Saturday, February 12, 2011


I honestly can't believe that I've babbled about my horse and my life 500 times. That's unreal to me. It feels like yesterday I was making my blogger account so I could post on Fugly, and then I decided to make a blog about my new Appendix mare since I had an account. I didn't think that I would continue it, and I sure didn't think anyone would read it! Thank you for joining our journey and all of your support over the past 500 posts. We appreciate it and we love you!

In non-500 post news, I had a session today doing Equine Facilitated Learning. I wasn't sure how it would work, but my vet suggested I do the session with her dad, and since I LOVE HER I figured why not.

It was really interesting and it helped me to learn a lot about myself and my own issues that I deal with and how those affect Denali. We talked about my anxiety level around horses and what causes it to go up and go down. My goal is to keep it down. Use less of my head and more of my heart.

Before we started we talked about the horse choosing me. There are two therapy horses there. One reminds me of a frat boy who is full of himself (but he is one of my favorites) and the other one reminds me of Denali. She's nervous and wants to be with her herd in order to feel safe. I assumed I would work with the gelding because he's my favorite non-Denali horse at the center. I turned my back on the horses and when I turned around to look at them the Mare was staring at me with perked ears and the gelding could care less.

Okay. I guess she wants to work with me.

I went and got her and put her in the round pen and I started to walk around the outside. At first my anxiety level was pretty high because she was on high alert. Her herd was within sight distance and she wanted to be with them. I started to walk and she started to walk past me, circle and come up next to me. Okay, pretty cool, but I know how to do this. At one point I had this feeling of "I feel totally fine, I don't know what my problem is." Within a second, maybe two the mare was right up to my shoulder. It was a pretty crazy feeling. At that point my anxiety went up a bit, and she went back to her walk and circle.

The Vet's dad asked me if I was ready to go in with her, and gave me some directions about my bubble and I started to walk around the round pen with a lunge whip. I kept her away from my bubble, and walked around. She'd retreat and then come back, just before entering my bubble. After a few minutes I put the lunge whip down, and was reminded to not use my head and over analyze everything, just use my heart and my feelings.

I started to walk and the mare was instantly hooked onto me, but kept doing this weird thing where she'd walk in front of me and wouldn't let me walk in the one corner. I of course had to test to see if she was doing it on purpose or if it was a fluke. As soon as she'd look away I'd walk quickly towards that corner. She'd come walking up to me quickly, and would motion me away from that corner. She'd step in front of my shoulder and arch her neck around me almost like she was pointing. I tried going there every which way, but she continued to not allow me near that corner. I thought it was interesting, the I thought about it.

The corner she was keeping me away from is exactly where I landed when I got bucked off.

 It was the weirdest feeling. I looked over at the Vet's dad as he was commenting on the mare's behavior and as soon as I said "That's where I landed" the mare started to lick and chew like I've never seen her before. It was a crazy feeling. Did she know? I don't know how she would. Did she sense that it made me nervous? I don't know. I do know it was totally a weird feeling.

I know it might sound crazy, bit it was a really powerful feeling. It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it.

After my session I went up to see the mare. She is seriously SO SWEET (when she's not trying to off me.) She had her airplane ears on and put her head into my arms. Aww, you are sweet! I gave her some treats, and some love and then had to be on my way. She continued to watch me as I got in my car and then she starts to walk out with me while I drive.

There is something about Denali, I don't know how to explain it but sometimes I think we are one in the same. We are so much alike it's scary. She's special and I know there is a reason that I was meant to meet her, I'm excited to continue to learn what those reasons are.

Thanks for reading my 500th post!


Kate said...

Can I steal your vets dad for a while? He sounds fascinating! I think its great for you and Denali to have the opportunity to work with him.

Muddy K said...

You and D have a big story and are a big story. Even 500 posts haven't begun to capture all of it, have they? Can't wait for the next 500.

Jana said...

It's really great that you got to do an Equine Facilitated Learning session! I'm currently in advanced training to be an EFL facilitator at Epona Ridge in Asheville, NC. I am continually blown away by the ability of the horses to help us get right to the crux of whatever issues we are ready to learn about. Don't doubt the feelings you had in that session. They are real and the horses know far more than we give them credit for. :)

Annette said...

I am convinced that horses know a lot more than we think. She may not have known about the fall, but she sure knew that wasn't a good place for you.

achieve1dream said...

Congrats on 500 posts. :)

Wow, that sounds really cool. She must have been able to sense how you were feeling. We aren't aware of our subconscious feelings, but apparently they are. :)

Lisa said...

Well done on 500 posts!! Sounds like you had an enlightening session. Are you going to participate in more?

eventer79 said...

That sounds REALLY interesting. I think you are really tapped in to your emotional side and as a result, can really connect with emotional horses -- that is a gift! I can't wait to watch this story develop!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Holy cow! I totally believe in that stuff, FULLY! HOW COOL!!! I would love to do a session like that.
I'll take this 'use your heart not your head' message next time I go to the barn too.

Anonymous said...

That is awesome! It's amazing what they sense. They know more than it seems.

Can't wait for the rest of the 1000. :)

allhorsestuff said...

LOved reading this and the therapy was really interesting!
One thing I noted that really struck a cord(two actually) you said that Denali is very much like you. I think the same of my mare...she can be so much like me it's difficult to deal with..but that's not my point...
my point is, I think you are right. That said- I think you are also right-on with how "special" she truly is! And her being LIKE YOU...YOU are pretty special!!

Love reading and learning with you~