Horses Helping Humans
                                                                                 l

   For centuries horses have been an extremely important aspect of human history. They have served us in a
multitude of ways. We have used them for transportation, hunting and for working the land. We have used horses
for athletic events, wars and even for pleasure. Horses have a magical beauty that draws people. Their magic
causes humans to be awed by the majesty of their spirit. Those who have had their lives touched by a horse often
become enchanted by this magical essence. Though some people consider horses as just a tool to get the job
done, those individuals have missed out on a fantastic bonding friendship that is available through the
relationship with a horse. Horses have always been willing and waiting to lend their strength and loyalty to those
they’ve been entrusted to. Unfortunately, many individuals have abused the trust and loyalty of this true friend,
the horse.

   Previously, mankind has believed animals, including the horse, were incapable of emotions, simply creatures
lacking souls. However, as our evolving society grows weary of greed, anger, war and fear we humans are
beginning to grow in our awareness that animals do indeed have emotions and souls. People, like myself, who
have always felt an extraordinarily close connection to animals feel the statement that animals are soulless or
emotionless is utterly false. By sharing our lives with animals we have discovered they are most definitely capable
of all the emotions we possess. In fact, they too have become capable of some of the same unflattering emotions
of humans. These included for example; hatred, worry and even greed.

By contrast, watching a pack of wolves or coyotes, a herd of horses or a flock of geese, you can marvel at the
beauty of their harmony within their populations. In these animal communities, you can find all that we humans
desire in our societies, our communities yet, unfortunately, seem to lack. By observing an animal community you
will find:
1)        Leadership-which is carried out of love and respect.
2)        Teamwork-all pulling together to provide food, shelter and protection for all.
3)        Compassion and Respect- you can see all members caring and honoring one another. If a member doesn’
t respect this you are not condemned rather you are simply driven away until you change your behavior.
4)        Unconditional Love-all is forgiven, no grudge is held.
5)        Protection of the Young and the Old-the strong will circle, protect and defend their weaker members.
6)        Living in the Moment- no holding onto the past or fearing for the future.
7)        Never Taking More than is Required- respecting and preserving their environment.

You will see many different species of animals co-existing in their communities, and amongst other communities,
such as in these mountain forests. Some are predators and some are prey. However, never will you see one
animal species kill another merely for the sport of it. This so called privilege is reserved for mankind. In the animal
kingdom you will not see them destroy their environment merely to claim it as their possession. They do not
destroy in order to possess. These communities of animals respect and honor their environments and understand
it is what sustains them.

I have had the privilege of experiencing animals in my life. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a special bond
with animals. Often times I couldn’t even explain it. I have frequently gone through turmoil in order to maintain my
connection, my bond with animals. Sometimes this would lead to arguments with my loved ones over my animal
commitments. My devotion to them I don’t fully understand or try to explain. However, my bond with animals is real
and an extremely important part of whom I am.

I got my first horse when I was twelve (12) years old. I have had horses for over thirty (30) years now. The loving
bond and loyalty a horse has with a human I discovered during some of the toughest years of my life. Some of my
discoveries include:
1)         A horse is one of the truest of friends I could ever have.
2)        Horses are compassionate, supportive and understanding of me when at times I didn’t or don’t understand
myself.
3)        Most importantly, a horse has taught me that in order to have a good relationship with them I had to learn
how to be present in the moment with them. I could not be lost in my mind or in my worries.
4)        I would receive their respect only when I respected both them and myself.
5)        In order to accomplish my goals with horses I had to be a good leader. I had to know when to lead and
when to trust them to do it on their own.
6)        I learned the meaning of compassion and forgiveness for things I did wrong.
7)        I learned how to be devoted to a relationship.
8)        I learned personal responsibility and to be accountable for my actions and my behavior.

   When things seem to be going wrong in my life all I have to do is go out and spend some time trying to get my
horse’s cooperation in achieving a task. They will respectfully show me where I am not being true to myself, not
being present in the moment and not being compassionate.

Through the help of horses I have committed myself to helping others to discover things about themselves they
don’t know. We can help others build self-confidence, self-esteem and improve social skills and gain leadership
qualities. We can help children acquire team building and socializing tools, appreciation and compassion for living
beings and take responsibility for their actions, for themselves. In addition, We can help co-workers or families
become more appreciative, supportive and cooperative allowing them to create a stronger cohesive team.
Horses Helping Humans is an experiential method to help people identify   emotional and physical challenges then
triumph over them. This is what we do! We offer a safe, friendly and nurturing environment, where people can
discover their true being within.
                                                                        Saying Goodbye
                                                                                


This is probably the hardest article I have ever written. However I feel that is one of the most important as well.

On June 20th we had to let Sky, my dear horse friend and teacher, go.  She had been fighting a severely
debilitating condition called laminitis for several years. We had made every attempt to help her to overcome this
and to be able to have a life free of pain or at least manageable pain. We would make progress and than for no
apparent reason she would regress. I realized on June 17th that it was time to let her go. She had been in pain for
so long it was no longer fair to her.  Deciding when it is time to let a pet member of your family go is not an easy
decision. It is one that is filled with painful questioning and wondering if it is time and is it the right thing to do. How
do I have the right to decide when it is time to end another’s life? Am I playing the role of GOD? What if she gets
better? All of these and so many more run through your already exhausted and confused mind.

You try to turn to your heart for the intuitive guidance only to feel that your heart is hurting so bad that you can’t
feel beyond it.  What I did next was turn to Sky; I sat with her and allowed myself to feel into her essence and to
look into her eyes. Once I was able to do this there was no question, she was ready. She had lost that spark in
her eyes, that excitement for life. It had been replaced with pain and a sense of detachment. Here was my friend
letting me know she wanted to go. Okay, this I had to accept, it is time. So now the pain of knowing that I will never
hear her loud whinny at 5AM telling me its time to get up and feed her. I will never feel those precious big horse
kisses that she gave me ever night at bed time. All of this makes me hesitate for a moment, searching for that way
out of doing what she and I know is the right thing to do. The question fills my mind like a gentle whisper on the
wind, “Can you love her enough to let her go?”  I cry “I don’t know!”

Then I am reminded that only our physical bodies are separate. We are all God’s creations, so even though I will
no longer enjoy those physical treasures that she has shared so unselfishly with me. I am still completely one with
her. I wonder perhaps this is not the end of our cherished relationship but the beginning of a new one on a level in
which we could not experience in the physical domain. Perhaps we can now be connected more fully as one, in a
way that she can guide me and teach me on a level that was impossible while she was here on earth.

Okay, I can set my friend free of her pain and suffering. I cried while we said good bye and I held her tightly while
she made her transition into the spiritual realm. The tears I cried at that time were a mixed of sorrow for my loss
and joy for the peace that she had gained. I miss her dearly, at the same time she is here with Rondo, my gelding
and I. We can feel her presence everyday.

While I grieve for the loss of my horse, I am faced with yet another challenge. As if this wasn’t enough! We had the
misfortune to have both of our 10 year old kitties taken from us by the coyotes. The first one was in May; she just
never showed up that evening. We knew in our hearts what had happened. My mind, however, could not stand
the visual I was experiencing every time I closed my eyes and thought about her. I searched for weeks in vain. I
asked for guidance in understanding how this could happen. I was so angry at God, the angels and the universe.
We don’t even need to go where my anger was taking me in regards to the coyote kingdom. In time I began to
forgive and realize that coyotes did not steal my cat. They are hunters and have learned that our neighborhoods
are prime hunting grounds. They are trying to survive. I have never had to “SURVIVE”. My life has been full of
challenges but I have never had to go without a meal, let alone hunt for one. I believe that no living being goes
before their time. I had to hold on strong to this belief, in order to forgive and let go of my loss.

This past Thursday I received a phone call from a frantic woman who had just found two tiny kittens that she
believed were dying from heat stroke. I told her I would meet her right away. They turned out to be fine and about
10 days old. I thought, “Thank you God for these baby kitties, but why two we only needed one?” We brought
them home and got them re-hydrated. Our 10 year old cat Max was not too happy with these new gifts we had for
him. We cuddled him and told him how important he still was and that we all loved him so much. The following
morning I stroke his head and leaned in to feel his purr to reassure him of my love. While doing my horse chores, I
heard a cat screech. I ran around the barn only to see my lifeless Maxie, the friend I had so recently caressed, in
the mouth of a coyote. I screamed and chased the coyote and got my cat away from him but it was too late. So I sit
with my precious cat in my arms screaming at GOD, “How could you?” “Why both my cats?” “ WHY????”  These
questions I have not found the answers to, yet. I have found myself running it all through my mind; wishing I had
done this instead and not have done that and so on and so on.

Over the past several months I have been reading and practicing lessons from a Course in Miracles. The day I
lost Max my lesson for the day was: God is the love in which I forgive. Wow, okay I got my way through that day by
forcing myself to practice this lesson; forgiving God, the coyote, my husband and ultimately my SELF. I can tell
you the latter was the most difficult. The next day’s lesson was: God is the strength in which I trust.  

This has been very difficult for me at times. However, I have to widen back from the pain and loss that I have
suffered and realize that Divine timing is working everyday. I don’t know why we out of all the veterinary clinics
around the lake, received the phone call for these two tiny kittens, in need of rearing. I don’t know why we lost our
two cats, a horse and two parakeets in less than 8 weeks. I don’t know why I had to see that coyote with my cat in
his mouth. But what I do know is that I believe that God has a plan and that if we trust in his divine choices and
timing we will be okay. We will grow and learn and perhaps be forgiving enough to turn around and try to help
others through their difficult times by sharing our experience and pain we have gone through.

Regardless of how it is we lose our loved ones it is important to remember that we are all one with God and that
we can never be separated from those we love. Be willing to open your heart and allow their love to continue to
flow through you. Trust that God is not here taking our loved ones away from us. It is they who have agreed to
leave; whatever way that may be.  Should we be blessed enough to assist them through that, trust your heart that
you will know when it’s time and then love them enough to “SAY GOODBYE.”

In Loving Memory of:      Missy 1997-2007
                         
             Sky     1988-2007
                                      Max    1997-2007
Copyright © 2008 Heartsoul Media. All rights reserved
HORSES HELPING HUMANS & CINDY HARTZELL