From the Horse's Heart
Dooie was my teacher and my friend, and she spoke to me loud and clear
By Suze Kenington, Founder of RidersMind Connection Coaching
Most horse owners are familiar with that sinking feeling when they know, in their gut, something isn’t right. This feeling chilled me to the bone early one calm summer’s morning. It was to be the last time I felt this for Dooie.
She had been my teacher for 8 years and arrived as a hyped up thoroughbred mare who radiated tension. Nervous to load on the truck, sweating when traveling, rushing when ridden, and even eating as if it might disappear any moment!
Over time this tension eased and she was able to find peace when relating to people.
“I had nothing but admiration for her high expectations of how she deserved to be ridden and handled – her feedback was direct and pointed when you didn’t meet those expectations! Fair enough – she knew who she was and had the self-respect to communicate her boundaries clearly."
That summer’s morning, her time in this world was coming to an end. On the operating table we later learnt that she had torn an inoperable, fist-sized hole in her diaphragm – an injury the surgeon very rarely saw, and only from car accidents. All I found were struggle marks in a drain so I guess she miss judged her jump and fell in at speed. From her fight to get out her eyes were nearly swollen shut and she was in obvious pain – we thought she had colic at this stage.
That day I witnessed the immense power of a trusting relationship – this previously nervous loader followed nothing but the sound of my voice, because she was practically blind, and felt her way up the truck ramp to get to what we hoped would be life saving surgery. Such an incredible show of bravery.
Dooie’s Words of Wisdom
After Dooie died, I asked why she had to go so unexpectedly and traumatically. The reply was that I had to support her in her passing to fully open my heart, and that she was making space for a new teacher as our shared lessons had been learnt.
Dooie also left a legacy. As dawn broke, two days after she departed, a voice in my head said ‘get pen and paper, I am about to share something you need to write down’.
What she shared that morning were her requests and her words of
wisdom regarding how horses deserve to be treated.
Words of Wisdom for our Actions
Words of Wisdom for our Thoughts & Intentions
Brave, beautiful soul, so full of grace – thank you for all your lessons – physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. The grief of losing you was a small price to pay for the joy of knowing you.
I started my Animal Communication & Energy Healing training before Dooie left - would I have been able to hear what she had to share if I hadn't? I would love to say I was able to grow from Dooie's passing with ease and grace but I can't. The grief was suffocating - I was prepared for the sadness but not for the loneliness. I was surrounded by a loving husband and two young kids, yet the pain in my heart was only eased a little by human connection.
Looking back I now understand that I was able to unconditionally offer love to her more so than I was to fellow humans - she was so unabashedly & constantly herself without the insecurities that result in perfecting, performing, pleasing and proving that often comes with human relations. An unexpected bonus of grief was I didn't have the emotional resources to 'keep face' so the resulting connections with others were beautiful. I was raw and had no heart for anything that wasn't real (much like our animal friends).
Not surprisingly my capacity for compassion got a major upgrade! A big part of what I do in sessions is wrap words around the insights people's horses (or other animal friends) wish to share with them - these insights are often deep expressions of acceptance for how loving, loved and powerful the person really is, and compassion for what they are struggling with. We may not be open to hearing and believing these insights from a human, but we can when they come from our animal companions. The energy healing isn't just for our horses...