I ended up buying a horse that changed my life. Literally. He was a challenge and many times did I think about giving up. But I didn’t, I couldn’t. I’m a gluten for punishment and apparently, I have been told, I sought out this challenge as a reflection of my own insecurities. Even though, all I said I wanted was an easy, fun trail horse. I guess we just are who we are even if we try to be better. But the lesson in this, is that’s not necessarily always a bad thing. We face head on who we are and then we see why and where we may want to change. Then we have the free will to make that change if we wish, if we are willing to do the work. If we are willing to look at our messiness. My sweet boy, what a challenge he was. He taught me self confidence, assertiveness, focus, to STOP caring about what others think and say, to forge my own path and believe without worrying what the outcome may be. Because it was just he and I in the end, making it or not. In more ways than one, because I have the on-going neck pain from this path! Dare I say, a HORSE changed my life. Yes, I say it. A horse greatly changed my life. Today, he is my best friend and we are getting along beautifully. Still a challenging moment here or there, but really no worries. The therapeutic value of horses is so hard to put into words. And, Im not one of those “airy fairy” types that believes in Tao type deep energy connections. And, I don’t not believe in it either. It’s just not totally and completely “me” to go there. I will say my truth though, and that’s that there is indeed therapeutic value to horses in so many ways. A creature who can quite literally feel your feelings, hear your heartbeat and smell your fear. A horse will synchronize to your heartbeat, breathing and emotions. This may sound deep, but as Monty Roberts teaches, it’s nature. Horses are herd animals, looking for a leader. It is a survival technique for them to synch with the herd. When the herd leader becomes frightened of something, a predator say, it is the immediate syncing of the herd that alerts and saves them. Take a horse out of the wild, and, well they still need a leader. If that’s you, then they sync to you. Be afraid, they smell fear. Increased heartbeat, faster breathing? They sync to you sending their heart rate and breathing up. Keep yourself calm (even in the midst of fear or nervousness) and you can keep your horse calm. Breathe deep, focus, visualize and your horse will come with you. As John Wayne says “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways”.