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A home for every horse - one human at a time.

When I was little I wanted to raise horses. I thought it would be so amazing to have a stable full of them. I didn't understand the work involved in caring for all those horses. The daily care that goes into keeping them in a stable compared to allowing them to roam on open fields. The costs of keeping two compared to keeping more. I loved the idea of having ten, possibly more so that the earth would rumble when they galloped across the fields. As a child, letting my imagination run as wild and free as the horses I believe I would have some day created a spark that I held onto for 30 years.

I never realized how much skill is involved in properly caring for horses until I started teaching others how to be around horses safely, how to care for them and also how to enjoy the entire process. It's been almost twelve years since I held my first horsemanship class. Who would have thought that so much joy could come from a clean stall - we are talking about shoveling manure into a wheelbarrow, pushing that said wheelbarrow to a place far enough away from the barn that it does not draw flies, and then dumping it out, bringing it back to the barn and doing it all over again the next day. That's literally just the beginning. How to approach a horse safely, watching their body language (horses are mainly non-verbal with their cues, but they "speak" very loud and clear), listening to their body language (this is a big one as most humans want to ignore what the horse is clearly saying and do what they had in mind), how to calm your own energy and intentions, and then catching the horse with a rope and a halter. Next is grooming and all that is involved in the process of keeping a horse's coat, skin, and hooves looking their best. Routine vet care, vaccinations, diet, water, supplements, equipment, tack, ground work, where to ride, etc. All these little steps that I honestly didn't know were so important because I did them instinctually after so many years of working with horses. Riding is an entirely different volume because it really is a journey, atleast for me. The more I learn about the connection and lightness in riding, the more I realize there's so much more for me to learn.

The most amazing thing about horses and really all animals is that they do not judge a person in any way shape or form. It does not matter that you may or may not know all those afore mentioned skills. It does not matter what you look like, what type of car you drive, how much education you have, where you live, what you do for work, how much money you have in your bank account, or who you know. NONE of that matters to the horse. The only thing that matters to them is that you are present - right there with them in mind, body, and spirit when you are spending time with them. This is the foundation of a good relationship with horses. How could we believe anything but they are gifts from God? When you quiet your mind and stay present with them, you will notice small things about their personalities, how they communicate, their likes and dislikes, and how they see you as a partner or not. I love that about them. I love how horses naturally want harmony in their lives. I understand that completely. I love how the work you put into your relationships with horses is exactly what you get out of them.

When I look at Javi, I often look back on that dream of raising horses and think of what would have happened if I chose to let that dream die... We would have never had such an amazing horse step into our life. I would never have met him. I may not be making any sense, but I guess all I'm saying is we have to hold onto some dreams. We have to. It's taken us 30 years to finally have that little horse farm.

But back to becoming a horse owner.... I hope that every person who comes to our barn, whether they are 6 years old or 60 will leave with the desire to be near horses again. These positive interactions with horses help people see that horses are truly gifts from God, to love and cherish, to take good care of and to learn from. I could get all scientific about their heart rates, energy fields, and physical movement that heals us in so many, many ways, but I don't need any of that research to already know what is in my heart. Horses allow a person to go straight to their heart and spirit - instead of staying stuck in their heads. Yes, a person has to use the brain that God gave them when they are working with them, training them, riding them, and raising them for the safety of the person and the horse; however, every horse person knows, you have to get out of your head, to have a true connection with a horse.

Horses should never suffer because of our greed, ignorance or misgivings. They are innocent creatures that need responsible owners now more than ever. I can only hope that the positive interactions and experiences that people have with our horses will ignite a spark that someday will mean they will share their life with a horse. There would be no greater reward than that.

If you are looking to adopt a horse in Michigan, please reach out. There are several rescues in our area including Horse North Rescue in Traverse City. With the cost of hay and feed going up and up, I know there will be more horses that need homes in the coming months in every state. Please consider volunteering or donating to one of them in your area. I promise, it will be worth it.

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