I hope this note finds you taking good care of those you love and taking good care of yourselves. Life can be challenging, and we all need to retreat from stress. Taking care of others and a bit of self-care can go a long way.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I lost my horse Ray in December of 2021. He’d been mine for almost nineteen years. Once I said goodbye, grief settled into my core. It still rests there — mostly quiet now — but occasionally I feel it big time. I know some of you can relate.
Coming to terms with the loss of Ray meant I needed to figure out how to take care of myself, how to deal with the grief. This meant deciding to be with horses again, which luckily brought me to 13 Hands. I also considered that although I’d been around horses for more than twenty years, I had a lot to learn. (And still do.) This gave me the impetus to become a student. I’m not sure I knew exactly what I wanted to study, but I set out to find the perfect instructor. I figured I’d know her when I found her. Through a close friend, I made my way to Heather Meyer, an expert trainer with extensive experience, and I began taking lessons in horsemanship.
When you meet Heather, the founder of Reimagine Horsemanship, you feel her unwavering passion and commitment to the health and well-being of horses. You also come to understand that she is deeply rooted in a system of beliefs and practices which honors horses and their relationships to their humans. Stressing the potential for energetic connection, along with cognitive training, Heather enables her students to discover new ways of interacting with horses. In addition to teaching at her own barn, Heather works with several rescues at 13 Hands. These lucky equines are making huge progress as she earns their trust and instills the confidence they need as herd members and potential adoptees.
Over the past few months, in lessons with horses at Heather’s barn and with rescues at 13 Hands, I’ve had so many powerful moments — of discovery, of connection, of joy. This feels like an enormous step in the self-care department.
Even better, when I visit with equine rescues at 13 Hands, I often have Heather’s voice in my ears. I’m paying attention to the way I approach them. I’m looking for signs of stress and relaxation. I’m allowing for moments of possibility instead of checking off items on my agenda. I’m practicing patience. Stillness. Receptiveness.
As a student, I have a long way to go. There’s so much to learn. But I’m inspired and hopeful that what the rescues will reap from my visits will feel to them like good care. They deserve it.
Wishing good care for you and those you love,