It’s been a couple of months since I adopted the four year mustang mare, Corazon. She's been given plenty of time to settle in and decompress. In getting to know Corazon I’ve been able to gather information about her past experiences, simply by paying attention to the the way she responds to specific actions or requests. For example, when I go to put a rope halter on her she turns her head away, and it becomes a struggle to get her haltered. Ironically, she was fostered to her previous owner from the BLM under a program which requires her to be ‘halter broke'. The BLM pays $800 to the foster person to do this, (not sure if this is still in effect), in order to give the horse a better chance of being adopted. Corazon is challenging me to come up with creative ways in which to re teach her how to accept the halter.
One thing is certain, whenever I approach Corazon, I have to consciously make my energy very small. I imagine my energy shrinking into a genie bottle. And then I pull back any energy remaining and put it behind me. If I forget to do this, she instantly moves away from me.
A few weeks ago I managed to put a fly mask on her. The first day went well, but then the following days were not so good. One morning as I was having trouble with her allowing me to put it on, she became incredibly panicked. As I was reaching to slide the fly mask over the top of her head, I felt the extent of her fear and had an instant insight of her being traumatized while having a bridle put on her head. I was told that a ‘horse trainer’ had gotten extremely frustrated and violent with her and had taken her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly while she was tied and defenseless. I realized the horse trainer was most likely trying to put a bit and bridle on her when he lost his temper. After three weeks of putting the fly mask on and off we've come a long way, although I still have to be very calm and talk her through it. I also have to be in a good mood and not in a hurry.
So far, the best moments spent with Corazon have been when I’m not asking anything of her. Recently she came over and literally hugged me. You may wonder how a horse hugs you. My experience of her hug was a feeling. I was flooded by an overwhelming sense of what I can only describe as blissful peacefulness and elation. She came and and positioned herself beside me and ever so gently leaned into me. She was careful not to push me off balance. Then she rested her head on my back so our hearts were facing each other. We stood like this for about ten minutes. Later, I wondered if this is Corazon’s medicine, to emit love via hugging like the Indian living saint Amma. Corazon was born with the mark of a heart on her forehead, hence her name.
In my experience, many of the clients I’ve worked with have secretly longed to be hugged by a horse. This desire often overrides the urge to ride. I started wishing I had a horse who could hug people, and then forgot about it. I was reminded of this recently when a friend came up to see the horses. On his way here, he sent a telepathic message to Corazon, and imagined their hearts being connected by the infinity symbol. When he arrived, she went right too him and then very gently, from across the fence, leaned over and rested her head onto his shoulder. His face lit up and afterwards he could not stop talking about how she'd recognized him. She made a huge impression on him.
I’m excited to be on this journey with Corazon. She's teaching me so much, mainly to have patience and not be so serious; to effectively 'lighten up'.
If you want to meet Corazon, consider coming to one of our upcoming events and retreats, check out what's happening at Silver Horse Retreat