Second Chance

I believe there comes a time in everyone’s life that they get a second chance. Upon further reflection, I feel there
are probably many opportunities but unfortunately some of these go unnoticed.

I was recently asked to do an animal communication with a young horse I had previously worked with a few years
ago. It seemed his human companion had significant concerns that he had developed either a neurological
issue or perhaps a mental abnormality. He had abruptly become an unapproachable equine. There were even
discussions broaching the topic of euthanasia. Since I am often called upon as the ‘last resort’ at times like
these, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes to this horse owner’s request for a communication session.

As I began my session with this particular horse, I could feel the gentle soul of the three year old I had earlier
worked with. However, he was now quite untrusting. He communicated that he and his companion had mutually
experienced a riding accident. His rider was thrown resulting in both physical and emotional trauma. His injured
rider didn’t understand what had transpired to cause the accident, so the natural consequence was for her to
blame her young inexperienced horse for the catastrophe. This is all too frequent an event amongst those new
to the horse world.

What so many of us humans don’t try or refuse to understand is these animals with which we share our lives are
living, thinking, feeling four-legged beings. This young horse suffered injuries during this specific calamity as
well. Though his traumas weren’t physical, his emotional sufferings were very real. His young soul had been
asked to perform a task that should have only been requested and guided by an experienced leader or rider.
Unfortunately, at the early stage of his still developing mind and body, along with his budding courage and
confidence a situation arose where he became frightened. This resulted in his inexperienced rider likewise
becoming terrified. While both he and his rider tensed, each looked to the other for guidance and protection.
This was the natural reaction for both of these individuals, both very new at what they were attempting.

So what went wrong? Let’s look at it from each being’s perspective:
•        Rider’s Viewpoint- Human beings in the animal kingdom are essentially predators. Our eyes sit in the front
of our faces. The faces of hunters, meat eaters. We hold on, tense up and tighten our grips when frightened or
excited.
•        Horse’s Viewpoint- He’s a prey animal. His eyes are located on either side of his head. His vision is
designed to scan for predators approaching. When frightened or threatened his reaction is to flee so as to avoid
becoming some predator’s quarry; to flee for his life.

Keeping this in mind, their experience went something like this: While riding along something frightens both of
them. The rider (predator) instinctually tightens their grip and hangs on for dear life. The horse (prey) now has a
predator animal on his back digging in their grip (i.e. mountain lion jumping aboard for a kill). The horse, prey
animal, runs and bucks attempting to rid themselves of his predator so he can flee for his life. What are the
results?
•        Rider fearful of horse(s)
•        Horse fearful of rider(s)

Who is to blame? Neither, both were acting through self-preservation. But the consequence was this young
horse had concluded that he wasn’t about to allow another two-legged predator near him again.

During my sessions with this beautiful apprehensive creature I explained to him that he was not some evil critter
or bad horse and no one would harm him. For too many times, he had been taken away from the ones he loved
as a result of being erroneously labeled as bad and he didn’t want to be thrown away again. Through patience,
kindness and a willingness to not force myself upon this gentle steed, he gradually extended his trust to another
human. I was eventually able to approach him, allowing him to use his senses of sight and smell to ascertain I
was no threat. I’d pet, rub and softly massage this tender giant. I’d feel his body tremble beneath my hands while
I asked him if he’d be willing to trust again. I’d tell him that his companion and rider wanted so much to give him a
second chance. As I softly caressed the head of this magnificent beast, I could feel his yearning to be loved and
his desire to trust human hands again.

I have spent many wonderful hours with this splendid animal. During my time with this horse I grew to appreciate
the willingness of his loving rider/companion to try to understand what her horse’s feelings were. Through my
communication sessions, she was extending a second chance to this truly gentle creature. Through our
communications she too was given a second chance to gain understanding and clarity on what happen. Now this
wiser more experienced person holds a greater compassion for her horse’s fears as well as a greater
compassion for her own. What an extraordinary feeling to see two beings extend forgiveness and start to forge
again their bonds of trust. Healing has begun within the hearts and souls of these two beautiful beings.

I too was given a second chance. Not only was I able to facilitate the beginnings of trust between my two-legged
friend, my new four-legged friend and myself, but I was given the extraordinary opportunity to reflect upon my
own personal traumatic experience with my horse, Rondo. Nineteen years ago when Rondo was three years old
(the same age as the horse above) I also was naïve to the concepts that animals, like humans, have emotions
that are very strong and bonds with others, which are very deep. Through my work with the young horse
discussed above, I have been given a second chance to mend things that were left undone for both of these
amazing, loving and trusting animals; as well as for me too.

We all deserve a second chance. Open your mind and open your heart. Have the courage to try again. With
willingness, openness, understanding, forgiveness and compassion the outcome will always be healing hearts.
May the horse be with you.

HeartSoul Media© February 2008
                                                                    Pondering Appreciation

        Definition:        (1) to recognize the value or quality of, (2) to value highly, (3) to feel gratitude.

Recently I have been pondering the meanings of appreciation and what it means to me. I remember growing up
and being told to appreciate the things you have and the things people do for you.

As I contemplate what appreciation is, it occurred to me that I’ve always believed the above is an action
expressed outward towards something positive; an action of gratitude towards friends, health, family, service to
others, etc. However, as I find myself mulling over the meaning of this subject, I realize that appreciation is not
only important in joyful or good events or individuals that cross our paths but equally important, it is an
appreciation for the less joyous or bad circumstances that challenge our path through life. You could say that
this good and bad are the Ying and Yang of Appreciation

I know that in my life, the moments of my greatest trials or my greatest tribulations result in my most powerful
moments of evolution towards my higher sense of self. I am being given the opportunity to choose perhaps a
new way of handling familiar life patterns or a chance to utilize a new and different tool which I’ve recently
acquired or even a skill previously learn but until this opportunity forgotten.

What would be the effect of seeing our lives and the lives of those around us through eyes of appreciation, for
both the Good and the Bad? Imagine the only thing that separates me from others is their and my beliefs. Yet
to appreciate everyone for exactly as they are would significantly help abolish the habits of judgment and
criticism. If I reflect back on the times that I felt someone had done something wrong towards me and I
experienced and responded in anger or hurt feelings, then perhaps my experience might have been entirely
different if viewed through the eyes of appreciation. Maybe my above event would have revealed the following:
(1) the experience was a co-creation of both the other individual and myself, (2) an appreciation for who the
other individual is and their beliefs, (3) an appreciation for myself and my beliefs.  How might my experience
have changed if I possessed the knowledge of my above insights?

The experience coming to mind is one I’ve had with my horse, Sky. I got Sky 3 years ago to be my Parelli
Natural Horsemanship partner. Shortly after I got her she became very ill. I was told I should let her go, put her
to sleep. I was heart broken and very disappointed. However, Sky despite the ongoing pain she was
experiencing still seemed to have an appreciation for every meal she received. Every time she would see me
coming I was and still am greeted with the biggest whinny hello. At times it hurt too badly for her to stand. She
would lie down in her stall and put her head in my lap. I’d stroke her head and Reiki her, she would show her
gratitude with an abundant supply of wet kisses. I would leave with a pant leg soaked in kisses. The bond that
developed through a year and a half of challenges, pain and healing is worth more than I can ever express with
words. Sky has taught me to appreciate every day and all the gifts it has to offer; whether it appears good or
bad. Every expression of love I give her is appreciated; even when I was hurting or feeling sad for the pain she
was going through she would meet me with appreciation for what we were experiencing together. Sky is now
well and she loves her rides into the forest. Everyone who shares this experience with her marvels at the way
she goes sightseeing and stops to enjoy the birds flying by, the deer it the distance and the trotting up the trail
paths. She greets all who come to see her with her whinny of appreciation for who they are and their
companionship. Sky is a shining example of someone who possesses a true appreciation of all that is exactly as
it is!

Have you pondered appreciation? Would you like to experience what it feels like to appreciation life just as it
is?  Allow Horses Helping Humans to assist you on that journey.

© HEARTSOUL MEDIA-2006   
HORSES HELPING HUMANS & CINDY HARTZELL