This morning I said to my husband, “No good can come from watching the news.” I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way, stressed about global events that seem out of our control. I hope you’re okay and finding ways to take care of yourselves during these precarious times. For those of you who can swing it, I highly recommend spending time with animals. When humans are challenging, animals come through.
Today, a little anecdote to lift your spirits:
A few days ago, I brought my friend Mari Ann to visit 13 Hands for the first time. Mari Ann has extensive horse experience, and with permission from Marylou, I took her to meet Dante, the giant draft mule some of you know from earlier posts. I love this guy without abandon. He’s rock solid in the love department, and so grateful for quiet attention. Every time I’m with him, I feel like he’s opening up his giant heart to let out a steady flow of calm energy and love. Mari Ann felt it too and so appreciated the opportunity to spend time with him.
After we brushed Dante (still his favorite thing in the world), we walked around the wooded paddock so I could point out some of the other rescues in the herd. I introduced Mari Ann to Dutch, Dante’s best friend, also a giant love. Moonlight was nosing around in the leaves far away from us, but Jaxon felt Mari Ann’s gentle, loving energy and approached her for a nose rub.
It was then that I spotted two horses I used to visit when they were in a different field: Toast and Halo. These two are magnificent, and their bond is palpable. While Toast still carries emotional scars and is wary of humans, I was hoping I could interact with Halo, who is curious and sometimes appreciates hands-on affection. When I noticed that Halo had a sizable branch twisted into her mane, I felt myself really wanting to connect with her so that I could detangle her hair and prevent her from being injured by this big, pointy stick positioned so close to her eye.
Halo wasn’t having it, though. Absorbing some of Toast’s wariness, she chose to stay by his side as he moved away from us. Mari Ann shared my concern about the branch, and we gave them lots of space while we chatted about how to approach Halo so we could extricate it. That’s when something absolutely magical happened.
Delmar, an older bay gelding with a loving, sweet, generous spirit, walked over to where we were standing and asked for some attention, which we were happy to provide. He stood for about a minute and listened to us talking about Halo’s predicament. Then, no joke—as if he knew what we were saying—Delmar turned away from us, marched over to Halo, took the end of the branch between his teeth, and pulled it right out of her mane. I KID YOU NOT.
Mari Ann and I flipped. I think I heard her say, “What just happened?!” and “Oh my God, Karen, he read your mind!” but I was too busy with my own disbelief, my own “Did you see that?!!” and “I can’t believe he just did that!”
Standing there in awe, truly in the presence of something mystical and joyful, we thanked Delmar, said goodbye to Dante and the others, and headed out to visit with donkeys (another surefire spirit-lifter). But we kept coming back to that moment with our shared wonder. Even later that day, when I texted Mari Ann to thank her for a beautiful visit, I brought it up again. She responded, “I was just thinking about how amazing that was!!!” That kind of magic lasts.
When you can, spend time with animals. I promise you—the magic lasts.
Until next time,