When a ‘problem horse’ isn’t the problem

Here’s Rosie on her recent 40-mile walk, with horse and human companions, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to her home barn in Angola. Those are makeshift (diapers and duct tape) hoof boots on her front feet.

I was one of many professionals, volunteers and friends who worked with Rosie when, in July, she wouldn’t get on the trailer to go home. When I communicated with her about it, she showed me she wanted to go home, but the image I kept getting was one of a seriously stuck gear. The way a 12-15 year old rescue horse’s “gear” gets stuck is probably about the same way any of our gears get stuck: trauma, illness and factors only God knows.

If you can’t unstick a gear by the usual means, you have to figure something else out … maybe even something better. Rosie’s human was determined to find not only a fear-free, force-free solution but the larger lesson. As a therapy horse, Rosie has encountered humans with their own stuck gears. Like her, they’ve struggled with seemingly ordinary tasks and taken on the frustration and judgment of others.

To prepare Rosie, I continued our regular Reiki sessions, sharing a healing space with no expectation. Then I told her what was going to happen, visualizing the horses and humans and country roads, complete with rustling autumn leaves, and the barn and her friends back home.  

Though I wasn’t on the walk itself, I followed the live video updates on social media. As the group drew closer to home, a weary Rosie’s ears perked up and she ever so slightly picked up the pace. She knew where she was.

Was this the easiest solution? Of course not.

But aren’t we all, as Ram Dass said, just walking each other home?

Try animal Reiki at Dog Days in Angola!

Need a break? Your dog probably does, too.

On Wednesday, Aug. 10 I’m offering 10-minute animal Reiki sessions at Elemento, 65 S. Public Square in Angola, Indiana, from 4-7 pm. 

Bring your dog (or come in yourself and we can send distant Reiki to him at home!) and experience the peace of this Japanese stress relief modality.

The Let Animals Lead® animal Reiki method works through meditation, and your dog is welcome to be at your side, on your lap, or wherever she is most comfortable. With Let Animals Lead,® no touch is involved unless the animal initiates contact.

If you’d like to reserve a time, call Elemento at (260) 316-7801. The event is part of Dog Days of Summer, an event to raise funds for the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County. Cost is $10 per session; a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the shelter.

Let’s make all dogs’ days a little brighter.

Science-based horsemanship comes to Fort Wayne

Mustang science based horsemanship animal Reiki animal communication
Geronimo, a mustang I’ve worked with for several years, was the star of the show in a science-based horsemanship demo with West Taylor in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I caught a snippet of West Taylor’s science-based horsemanship seminar this weekend at Summit Equestrian Center here in Fort Wayne. Geronimo, a formerly wild mustang who trained at West’s Utah ranch last winter, was the star of the show for a Saturday demo.

Geronimo, with whom I’ve worked in my animal Reiki and animal communication practice, did a great job! Over the last few years, we’ve shared many a Reiki session — often while he was in horse time-out — and some good talks. Moment to moment, he’s had to decide that connecting and learning were worth the risk.

So I especially loved hearing from West about teaching horses to find and keep their center despite “trash-talking Tweety birds” and other threats. It’s about responding rather than reacting, which of course is something I have to work on myself.

I hear more trash talk from squirrels than birds, actually … but the point remains.