As I blogged in the past, there are many casualties of grief.  Horseback riding was one – for me.  In the last months, I have tried to get my saddle time.  While it has been good to be back on a horse – we weren’t a team – not connecting.  My mare would hollow out, jig, toss her head – not good.  My ride last weekend jarred my back – and seriously had me thinking about giving it all away.  I have been riding for nearly 50 years – I can’t quit like this.

So, I prayed.  “God, please – I don’t know what to do.  Help me.  What is wrong with this hateful red, mare.”

The only word that kept popping in my thoughts – Listen

Well, God, I am listening – that’s why I am praying – tell me!!




OK, thanks to my loving Spirit Sister, we changed the tack – maybe the saddle was pinching?

Still, nagging voice – Listen.

This morning, after a sleepless night – I hauled my horse to the near by park.  That voice was hounding me – Listen!!

AAARHHHGGH!!  The anger, the frustration – what does that mean????

I just broke down, hanging on my horse’s neck – sobbing.  I hugged her head and pleaded, “Tonka, I am so broken-hearted.  Please, Tonka, I need you.”

This time, I understood the voice – Listen to the horse.  I looked into her eyes and knew that I put too much in the saddle.  I don’t mean just my extra chubby butt.  I mean I took all my pain, grief, sadness, darkness, rage, and frustration riding with me – I piled all that onto Tonka’s back.  As I clung to her neck, I asked her to forgive me.  I promised her today, it would be just my chubby butt (again, I apologized for the chubby part). No more emotional junk.  I felt her lean into me and sigh.  

Today, was the best ride in 31 months!  Today, Tonka and I connected.  When a horse and rider connect, it is beautiful, powerful – it is spiritual. 

I believe the Great Spirit blew HIS breath into the nostrils of the horse – he gave them life so they could held guide us.  In the woods today, surrounded by creation and truly connected with my beloved mare – I know GOD was there and my prayers were heard.  I am so thankful.

After a 3 hour ride, I smothered Tonka with kisses and scratches and stuffed her full of apples.  She was so relaxed, I could feel her relief.  Finally –  I listened!!!


10 thoughts on “Listen,Listen

  1. When I worked on the ranch we used to talk of how horses could sometimes seem so incredibly illogical but at the same time were always so incredibly intuitive and sensitive to their riders. I’m not sure about the illogical part – personally I think they are gaming humans by pretending to be slow sometimes. It was a good story and I’m happy to hear your connection was reaffirmed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Horses are highly intuitive. There are retreats that offer horse therapy to assist and support people on their healing journeys. Just imagine! you have your very own healer horse right there, waiting and wanting to help.

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  3. We use our horses to heal ourselves.
    They are so good at it. It’s one of the big reasons why equine therapy programs are so popular, and work so well.
    What gets lost though, and I think you see that now, is as good as horses are at helping us heal, they also suffer burnout from dealing with our emotions.
    One of our local stable does therapeutic riding programs and they have 20 horses they cycle through, so that everyone gets some time off to just be a horse.
    It can be hard work for them, helping us humans. 😉
    Bless you for listening and hearing what your horse needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, my Tonka was carrying my burdens – and it was too much for her. I have alot of tummy scratching to make it up. I am always happy to hear about therapy stables. They do so much to help heal.


  4. I grew up loving Roy Roger’s Trigger. Even at 66 I get giddy being around horses! But due to back problems I am afraid that I could mess my back up if I rode one. I have ridden some in the past but not in years.
    There is a communication between human and animals. If you haven’t read them yet, get Jon Katz’s book(s) about communicating with animals. You have probably seen where horses are being used for therapy for autistic and other brain or emotional problems. I have some kind of Communication with my two cats. I can’t imagine the joy of connecting with a horse like you did. I am a believer in treating other lives of all kinds with respect and kindness. I can tell you do too. Hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also love Roy Rogers!! I will look for the Jon Katz’s books, thank you. I believe spirit animals help us, guide us when we let them. I really needed Tonka that day, I just didn’t understand, she needed me too. We have hit the trails a few more times since that day, and it has been wonderful!! Thank you – hugs right back


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