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

  • Breathe into me so I can fill my lungs with trust. Your deep breath makes me feel safe
  • Ask & invite, don’t demand & force
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    Your touch speaks volumes – how you touch, when you touch, where you touch & with what intention you touch
  • Remove the restrictive gear that I am running away from & I won’t need to run away anymore
  • How you use your body affects how I use my body
  • There is far more room for tender & kind than there is for fierce
  • Pause to ask what you can do for me, not always what I can do for you – I will tell you
  • Learn the lessons I offer you with good grace or I will present them in such a way as you can’t ignore them
  • Talk to me – tell me where we are going & what you would like me to do – I understand far more than you realise – show me pictures in your mind of what I can expect or I get worried
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    Always look at me through the eyes of your heart not your ego
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    Greet me with respectful delight & I will do likewise
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    Say thank you a lot
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    Never deny me my soul essentials – freedom, friends, food & love

Words of Wisdom for our Thoughts & Intentions

  • Connect with me, not control me
  • Our relationship can only flourish when you offer me my freedom
  • Be present - all that matters at the moment is right in front of you - when you are not present I feel abandoned & fearful
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    Being with me is a privilege – always treat it as such
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    Respect my dignity & I will nurture yours
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    Respect my opinion about people, places and equipment – I sense more about the environment than you do
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    Disregarding or dishonouring me kills my soul – keep watching my eye – that is the window to my soul
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    Push yourself to be a better caretaker – learn all you can but always ask me & your heart if it is right for us
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    Never betray my trust – I don’t give it easily & I seldom give it twice
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    Love me for who I am not for what I can do for you
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    You are accountable for about 80% of what I do – hold yourself to account & use that to grow not to shame yourself
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    I am here to heal you & like nothing more than to see you joyful – this is far greater reward for me than ribbons
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    Thank you for being with me as I left this earth, you are part of my family

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...

Suze Kenington is the founder of Rider's Mind: Connecting Horses & Humans which specializes in connection coaching, animal communication, and energy healing. 

At the Spirit Horse Festival Suze will be presenting on Animal Communication from the Heart of Horses

Find out more about our presenters and what's in store for the 2020 festival program

  • October 30, 2017