The filly that could

Sierra’s Sweedie was the first baby born on our farm, which that in itself made her very special. She spent most of her growing up years on our first farm, turned out with the rest of the herd. Every night, we’d call to the horses and every night, the herd would run in from somewhere on the 200 acres and put themselves “away” in their stalls. Sweedie however made this a game. One we didn’t truly understand until she started her race horse career. As the herd of horses would thunder in across the fields, Sweedie would stand at the top of the hill and wait until all of the horses were well out in front and then she would turn on the speed and race past everyone claiming her place as the winner. This happened from the time she was weaned from her mom, until the time we started training her at 2 years of age. Looking back now, she had placed herself into her own training program, well before we did.

Sweedie turned out to be super athletic. She was big and powerful and boy did she like to run. Because hunters and jumpers were our primary business, we employed a trainer to teach her to race. She excelled quickly, was purchased by some friends of ours and was sent up north to start her formal race horse career. From the get go, Sweedie’s M.O. was racing at the back of the pack until the stretch when she would pour on the speed, passing everyone in her wake. With each race we waited with baited breath and watched in excitement as she made her move. However as well as she ran, she had yet to win a race.

One race in particular, Sweedie stumbled out of the gate, getting a late start and then didn’t seem to run her usual race. This time, she stayed at the back of the pack. We immediately thought she must be hurt and that the jockey must be holding her back. Then all of a sudden, you could see her shake her head, and pour on the speed, racing past several horses trying to catch up. We later found out that she had smacked her head in the starting gate. It must have stunned her pretty hard, as the jockey said she wasn’t with it for most of the race, but then all of a sudden, she “woke up” looked around, realized she was in a race and then ran her heart out coming in second. To make the story even more amazing, we later found out that she had broken loose from the pony horse and had lapped the track at full speed with her jockey prior to the race. She had that kind of heart.

After several races, all in the money, Sweedie unfortunately came up with an injured suspensory. Her owners retired her and returned her back to us. We had no intention on racing her again, but we were determined to make her sound. So we took our time, spending a year doctoring and resting her leg. We started with small sessions on her back, mostly trotting to strengthen the long forgotten muscles. Sweedie was thrilled by the attention and the rides and as she grew stronger, she hashed out her own plan. We spent months trotting her. She was in incredible shape and completely sound. However she wanted to gallop, so we employed a neighboring exercise rider to ride her lightly on the track. But as the days turned into weeks and Sweedie grew stronger, you could  obviously see the light in her eyes had returned. She wanted to race.

We decided to send her to a trainer at Calder race track in Miami. Within two weeks, she was ready for her comeback race. As we excitedly made our way to the track  my husband Chris urgently nudged me towards Sweedie’s barn to give her a “pep” talk prior to the race. I approached her stall. She already had her “game face” on.  I stroked her mane, told her how proud we were of her and to just do her best. And for the first time since she was born, she responded to me. She told me “she knew what she needed to do and was going to do her best to win!”

With that, I excitedly took off to the paddock to watch nervously with the trainer and the rest of the family. Boy was Sweedie excited … she danced nervously through the paddock, actually tramping the shrubs lining the mounting area. The jockey looked terrified. To make matters worse, she refused to trot next to the pony horse, constantly trying to break away. ( We later found out this poor jockey wet his pants prior to the race! ) This did not look good, however we remained hopeful.

And then they were off. Sweedie broke well from the starting gate, running along side her strongest contender, when all of a sudden, the contender veered left through a small break in the rail and then through a barricade losing her jockey in the mix. Sweedie, never faltered, even as the loose horse rejoined the field minus her jockey. Sweedie ran her race as she had always done. We watched in amazement as she approached the finish line and then held our breathes as she won the race!

Thrilled, we made quite the scene running to the paddock to congratulate our horse. And do you know what, Sweedie was smiling, she was beaming. She couldn’t have been more proud of herself in that moment, standing tall for the pictures, receiving pats and praise from family, grooms and trainers. She had done it. She had waited for this moment and here it was. She had saved the win for us.

 

C’est la vie

Often times with the onset of having  psychic “super powers,” one may look back to a defining moment in their lifetime in which these abilities were gifted to them. Although from a very early age I always gravitated to animals that needed “saving,” these abilities were far greater than I could have ever imagined.

At age 20, I ruled the world. No, really I did. I had a job I adored working as a veterinary technician, I rode and showed my faithful steed Win Again ( aka Wendal ), I went scuba diving with friends in the Keys almost every weekend, and I owned a red sports car. Life as I knew it was pretty much perfect. To add to the euphoric lifestyle, I was presented with an opportunity to live and ride horses in France, which just happened to be my favorite place in the whole world.

The plan came about through the horse farm I worked for and boarded my horse at. The owner had recently begun importing horses from France and through her connections I was able to arrange a months visit to ride and train. Interesting how the universe immediately tried to intervene.

My first hurdle was taking a leave of absence from my job. I was a faithful employee who had been with the husband and wife veterinary practice for over three years. However, another opportunity training horses out of town had already given me a leave of absence just two months prior. When I approached my bosses again, they weren’t too keen on giving me a second month off to “play.” Although an extremely hard decision, I decided to give my two weeks notice as I couldn’t pass up this amazing opportunity. In the end, my bosses relented and allowed me “one more time” to get this out of my system.

Arrangements were made, leave of absence was taken, bags were packed, tickets in hand and there was only 3 hours before my flight. The farm owner called the trainer in France to let him know when I’d arrive. His response stunned us. He couldn’t take me on for the month, as he had clients for 2 weeks and would be back in the states for the other two. Heartbroken, I was left scrambling for a new plan. I quickly called my good friends in Canada who owned the largest riding school in Ontario. I asked if I could come for the month. I was warmly invited, however knowing my heart was set on France they suggested that I call a family their son had just ridden Grand Prix horses for to see if they would entertain me for the month. We quickly called. Immediately we realized there was a huge language barrier as I only had two years of high school French under my belt. They instructed us to call a friend in Bermuda to translate. The clock was ticking. Now one hour before my flight to France and I had no idea where I was going, or IF I was going at all. We quickly explained my situation and after much translating back and forth ( this is MANY years before cell phones and the internet! ) a plan was hashed out.

Off to the airport to catch my puddle jumper to Miami to catch my international flight. I boarded the plane only for them to have us disembark not once, not twice, but three times due to engine problems. At this point, I turned to my Dad and really questioned whether I should be going to France as the universe was trying it’s best to stop me from going. We looked into private pilots flying me to Miami as time was running out to catch my international flight, but none were available. FINALLY, the puddle jumper was deemed safe and off I went, excited, yet biting my lip. My flight made it to Miami without a moment to spare and before I knew it I was on a flight to France.

My instructions once arriving in Paris was to catch a train two hours south to the countryside of Amboise. After retrieving my bag I hailed a taxi to the first train station only to find out I needed to go to a different train station across town. The bad news is, not a single person spoke enough English to help me buy a ticket to where I needed to go. I tried everything to no avail. Then out of the blue a woman walked up to me and spoke to me in English. She offered her assistance, helping me to purchase my ticket, even placing the phone call to the family to let them know when I’d arrive. She walked me to my train and helped me board. I turned to thank her and she was gone. To this day, I believe she was an angel sent to help me.

Two hours later I was in the French countryside with my new family enjoying lunch at their crepe restaurant. They lived in a hundred year old chateau that was being refurbished. Their house bordered a huge horse farm surrounded by gorgeous rolling hills and trees. I had made it. My new heaven.

I quickly fell into the routine of both the family and farm. Riding several horses a day  and sometimes helping in the creperie  on the weekends. The weeks flew by. My only communication with home came via a phone call from my parents once a week. ( Remember, back then, long distance costs an arm and a leg! And this was an international call! )The morning of my last week on the farm, the husband and wife asked to meet with me. I was invited to live with them for the next year. I was ecstatic.

On a new high, I went out to barn to help the owner body clip a horse that we had started the day before. The mare had been quite obnoxious, rearing, kicking and even striking at times despite the twitch and lip chain. I kept encouraging the owner to use a sedative, however he chose not to. With each pass of the clippers the horse became more agitated, finally exploding and launching forward. In one swift move, the mare reared, struck out and hit me in the chest full force and then bolted away.

It was as if I was watching a movie of myself now. I watched from somewhere outside my body as I stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. The horse ran past me as the owner scrambled to my side. He had not seen what had happened. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of peace. A happiness. A complete love. I was enveloped in a white light all around me. I was now looking down at the situation from another view point, completely at ease. The owner was frantic, my body was not breathing. He began to undress me looking for an injury. I remember laughing thinking ” typical Frenchman.” He cried out as he continued to try to revive my lifeless body. From my position, I was completely unattached. I felt no pain, no distress, only an amazing sense of peace. The Frenchman took my right arm and stretched it over my head in an attempt to resuscitate me. All at once I shot back into my body like a bullet. The pain was so intense from the movement of my arm I gasped taking in a deep breath. The owner collapsed on me in tears of relief.

It was over two weeks before I was back in the states  to see a doctor. It was thought that the horses strike to my chest stopped my heart. All of the cartilage between my sternum had been damaged, almost completely stripped from place. In addition, I had a bruised liver. I was told that if my liver had suffered any worse damage I would have died within 24 hours of the accident. A magazine open to an article about near death experiences on my parents coffee table caught my eye. This is what I had experienced.

Although this incident happened 30 years ago, it was the catapult to the gifts I am able to use today to help both animals and people heal. It was only the start of a very long journey, intermingled with much “life work” to reach this state of enlightenment. With each healing I do I reach a higher level of understanding. Of evolution. And for that, I am truly grateful.

 

Taking one for the team

As the door swung open I was greeted by two sweatered Yorkies. Their yips, trademark to the breed, became louder as I reached down to greet them. As they circled in and around my legs it became apparent that one of the dogs had quite a limp. His owner reached down and scooped him up as the other one trotted off to a nearby room. “This is Bobey” his person started, ” he broke his leg a few years back.” I reached out to stroke Bobey’s head and we became instant friends.

I would see Bobey and his counterpart Dink often, as my son frequented their owners home for math tutoring. Each time Bobey hobbled across the kitchen to greet me I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something I could do to help. One day after my son’s tutoring session was over, our conversation turned to health and with it the topic of trapped emotions. I introduced what I did to the amazement of the dogs owners. They were quick to want the work on themselves and their pets!

The connection was found between Bobey and his human Bill. Amazingly when I read Bill, he had trapped emotions caught in a bone in his right leg at that age of 18 and then again at the age of 74. In reading Bobey, I found 4 trapped emotions and 2 psychic traumas at the age of six all caught in the bone in his right front leg. Bobey had taken on Bill’s trapped emotions to help ease his “suffering.” In turn, those trapped emotions, caused the break in the sixth year of Bobey’s life … you guessed it … IN that right front leg. Bill then trapped more emotions of his own after Bobey’s break back in his own right leg due to worrying about his little friend. I happily released all of these!

Trapped emotions are always trying to get out of the body either by sickness or injury. Our pets are sponges to our emotions and they can often take on our trapped emotions to help ease our pain. In the case of Bobey and Bill, the trapped emotions were found too late to “fix” the outcome, however by identifying and removing the trapped emotions in both of them, no further problems can be triggered between the two.

You are “healed!”

As my husband and I settle down to watch television from our bedroom our menagerie begins to take up residence in and around our bed. First our hound dog Tuesday hops into place, squeezing her 65 pound body in between my husband and me. Not content to just lay between us, she props her paws and head on my husbands chest as if to claim him. Next comes the rambunctious pug Kiki. Circling in and around my husbands legs jockeying for the best positon, she ultimately ends up on me as Tuesday has now taken up all available space on that side of the bed. In wanders my corgi Banjo. His legs too short and perhaps the wisdom of his 12 years, prevents him from venturing further. He settles into a corner for a nap. Just as everyone settles into comfort, in bounds Oscar, my orange cat. Disruption ensues. Kiki is quick to chase as a low growl bellows from Tuesday. But Oscar knows he owns the roost. He slinks by settling directly on my chest for his nightly “healing.”

Now I don’t know if you have heard, but cats possess some pretty amazing powers to heal. Domestic cats purr at a frequency between 20 and 140 hertz.  This has been associated with the promotion of tissue regeneration. If that isn’t amazing in itself, try this one on for size. A cats purr can raise your vibrational level to promote overall healing.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always allowed my cats to “heal” me. However, Oscar seems to take it one step further. He instinctively knows where in my body I “need” the healing and lays directly on it, closing his eyes in a deep meditative state, his purr rises to audible levels. In recent weeks, he has inched his way up my chest and reached out with both paws to my neck, often kneading it with sharp claws. At first I paid no attention to his healing techniques, only thanked him for doing his job. But as he continued to be adamant about healing my neck I had to stop and take notice. What was in my neck that “needed” to be healed? I asked Oscar. He told me it was my thyroid.

Research followed. I found that my body was suffering from at least eight of the top ten thyroid issues. Crazy. I knew what I needed to do next and that was to check for trapped emotions. Specifically asking my body if I had any trapped emotions in my thyroid, I was astounded as four trapped emotions surfaced from my late 20’s. My thyroid also housed a psychic trauma, which is when two trapped emotions happen at the same time. I quickly released all of them. I woke up the next day to euphoria. My body felt immensely better.

How amazing to think that my cat could know what needed to be healed and was trying to heal it for me. So next time your cat jumps into your lap and starts purring, remember, he may just be healing you!

The first voice

“Could you please come here?’ the voice asked. The voice seemed to come from directly behind me. I turned to see who was talking to me. No one. ” Please!” I heard the urgency in the voice this tine. Perplexed, although busy, I went about my job. At the time I was working as a veterinary technician in a large exotics hospital in Pasadena, California. The duties were plentiful and so were the technicians, so it wasn’t unlikely for another tech to need assistance. I looked around. Everyone seemed to go about their duties with no requests for help. Puzzled although busy with my own job preparing animals for surgery, I continued with my tasks. “Please come here” the voice insisted. This time I actually felt the urgency. I stopped what I was doing. I questioned who was talking to  me. I followed the direction in which the voice was coming from. It led me to an observation cage in the treatment area. Within the small confines of the cage was a terribly ill Chihuahua by the name of JJ. I found her laying on her side shaking all over. “what’s the matter JJ?” I asked while stroking the dogs long salt and pepper coat. “I’m scared” she replied. I looked around searching for answers from anyone. Could they hear what she was saying? JJ shook harder. I covered her with a blanket and rubbed her body and spoke softly to her. “it’s okay JJ, I’m here, it’s Okay.” I felt her body relax, and as I stroked her, she fell into a soft sleep. I didn’t want to leave her side. She had talked to me and I had heard it.

I questioned, why me? Why had I heard what she was saying. I quickly located an pulled my friend Tanya into the bird ward. Seeing the look on my face, I am sure she thought I was about to clue her in on the latest office gossip. I explained that JJ had just spoken to me. Tanya never blinked. She had experienced this with other animals so what I was telling her seemed no more foreign as if I had said I heard a person talking. I asked her why she thought I “heard” JJ. “Easy” she replied ” You are with JJ the most and she feels comfortable with you.” It was true. Tanya and I both worked at an emergency veterinary hospital as well as our regular 50 hour a week job at the large exotics hospital. I had been the one to transport JJ and all her IV’s, blood transfusions, and medicines from one hospital to the other daily. I held her for all her treatments and I had been there from the minute she arrived in the hospital. Most importantly I helped with her transition to the emergency hospital every night for observation. Often JJ’s owner would drive as I held the little dog in my lap. I could have easily handed her to one of the techs, but I always felt a sense of responsibility to her. JJ had been through so much and her elderly parents had done everything in their power to help her.

It made sense, but at the same time, it was so foreign to me. Days would go by and JJ didn’t speak again. Perhaps she just knew I was there for her and she needed no more requests. I longed to hear her. Then just as I convinced myself it was all my imagination, I heard her once again. ” PLEASE!” her urgent cries came from the incubator she now slept in. I rushed to her side. She was dying. She shook so horribly that she started to seize. I yelled for a doctor. We had strict orders not to euthanize her unless the owners were present, but she was increasingly getting worse. I was joined by another tech as we both tried to hold onto her through the seizure. ” Please” JJ cried ” Just let me go!” I felt every ounce of emotion, mine and hers. I cried as if she was my own. The other tech cried too. I called out for the doctor as several techs ran to get him. They couldn’t reach the owners by phone. JJ was releasing urine and feces now as she seized again. ” You can’t let her suffer!” I pleaded. The best thing we could do now is grant her wish.

The motion of the little dog was still now. Somehow I expected JJ to come to me, to thank me, to tell me she was okay, but instead I heard nothing. I was drained. Not only had I communicated with this little dog, but I seemed to have felt everything she was going through.

Although this story happened over 20 years ago, I will never forget that time.  Hearing JJ’s voice impacted my life and now career, even more than I could have possibly imagined.

Abracadabra

Once upon a time, In my other life as a horse trainer …

As a trainer, there is always that one those horse and rider combination that will remain with you forever. Mollie was 12 when I met her. Her pony, Abracadabra, Abby for short, was a large bay pony who adored her owner. And at 12, Mollie adored Abby. The problem was they had lost all confidence in each other after a recent incident in which Abby crashed a fence and no longer wanted to jump.

The universe had helped with the meeting arrangements. Our farm was not far from hers and I stopped to introduce myself one day after seeing her riding in her front field. As all thing coincidental, they trained with a friend of mine, however their lessons were few and far between and they were in need of help. And that is where I came in.

After watching Abby hack around the field I could visibly see that she seemed “off,” so I asked if I could take a closer look. The minute I touched the pony, she did not stop talking. It was utterly amazing! The first thing she indicated was that her girth was way too tight, hurting her back and pinching her. Sure enough, the girth was tightened too much. I quickly loosened the girth and readjusted the saddle, also noting that the pads too had bunched up unevenly causing added problems. ( By the way, do you know, I get more complaints from horses about girths being over tightened over any other complaint?! ) Once the saddle and girth were refitted properly I mounted the pony. Abby let out a big ” OUCH, my back!”  as I eased my weight into the saddle. I reached back, touched her back and she sat under the slight pressure. I immediately got off of her and took off her tack.  Abby showed great sensitivity as  I thoroughly checked her back and neck. As I reached the occiput area on Abby’s head, she buckled to her knees. This poor pony was in need of a good adjustment.

I moved to Abby’s face, as now she had started communicating to me about her bridle being too tight. Sure enough the bit was too high in her mouth. I loosed the bridle and slid it from her face. She continued to tell me her mouth “hurt,” so I slid my fingers into her mouth to find some rather sharp teeth. I asked Abby why she was no longer jumping and she replied that it “hurt.”  I communicated my findings to Mollie’s mom. Being a great horse woman, she quickly arranged for chiropractors, vets, and dentists to come work on her immediately.

Once we got Abby feeling better it was time to work out the kinks between pony and rider. This is where the real problems began. Mollie had lost all  her confidence and Abby knew it. It also didn’t help that Abby associated jumping with being hurt. A horse is only going to be as confident as it’s rider. First I needed to retrain Abby. I started off slow, building my way back to small fences. Abby was now confident with me. Now it was Mollie’s turn. However she was still afraid of the accident and each time she thought of it, that is what was communicated to Abby and she’d refuse. It took a few weeks of positive experiences, but for everyone Mollie had, it gave the two of them the confidence they needed.  Soon, the two became a powerful force to be reckoned with in the show ring and they spent the next few years as an inseperate duo.

Because I’m a fancy hunter

What drew me to this little bay was actually the over sized cowboy, in his over sized saddle with the very mean barbed bit, kicking and jerking this horse around the field. I sat and watched as this apparent ” cowboy” went to training this poor fellow. The cowboy would kick, then jerk the bit really hard. I thought to myself, if I were that horse, I’d buck that guy off and no sooner did the thought leave my mind, that is just what this little horse did!

I stifled a laugh. Although it wasn’t completely my thought that made this horse buck off his rider,  I thought, wow, we think alike. The thing that impressed me the most was that this little horse, all of 15.2 hands tall, could buck hard enough to get this very, big man not only off of him, but send him halfway down the field. I  know horses that are that athletic can always jump. The man, embarrassed, picked himself up and tried to catch up the horse. However every time the man approached the little bay, the horse would turn his butt to him. I watched for a good twenty minutes before the cowboy finally jerked the reins in disgust and started walking towards me. I think he was surprised when I asked how much he wanted for the horses as he knew I had just witnessed the whole fiasco. I may have passed on the purchase, however I had also noticed this little guy moved every bit as good as the top hunters in the country. He was small, he was ornery, but now he was mine and my husband Chris thought I had lost my mind when I brought him home out of the blue.

Interesting enough, the bay came with the name ” Cowboy.” That had to go, so I quickly renamed him Raleigh. However each day after I worked with him, I’d “hear” the names   ” Taz” or ” Dillon.” I couldn’t figure it out, but after one workout, Raleigh unmistakingly  said to me, ” I am a bad boy, I need a bad boy name, not ” Raleigh.”  I made a deal with him. He could pick a barn name, but his “show” name was to be Raleigh because that was a fancy hunter name, and he was going to be a fancy hunter. That seemed to placate him and we continued to work together with little to no communication between us.

Raleigh apparently had a rough life prior to finding us. His body was marked with scars and he was not at all trusting. He did seem to find comfort in learning something new and leaving his old life behind. I would praise him constantly for his efforts and although it took a lot of convincing, I could see him coming around. Finally one day after an excellent training session, I was loving and rubbing on him saying ” Taz, I am SO proud of you! He responded by saying ” My name is Raleigh, because that is a fancy hunter name, and I’m a fancy hunter!’

At about the same time, we had a family buy a small hunter pony from us. It was an amazing home. One you would wish for for any horse. They were also looking for a mount for their son who was an inexperienced rider, but was looking to trail ride western. I thought of Raleigh. He had been western when I purchased him. Although I had great vision for Raleigh as a hunter, I couldn’t ignore possibly placing him with this ideal family. So I borrowed a western saddle from a friend. However when I went to mount him, I saw nothing but fence and ground as he repeatedly reared to get both me and the saddle off. Well, that obviously wasn’t going to work, so message received. I went back to training him as hunter and finding the boy a different mount.

Problem was, Raleigh wanted nothing to do with me from then on. At first, he didn’t let me catch him, then he wouldn’t let me tack him up. Once I finally talked my way back onto his back, he gave e difficult rides at best. No matter what I did, I couldn’t win back his trust. I had spent months replacing all those bad memories with good ones, only to have one episode with a western saddle change everything. I was heart broken. I decided to seek the help of a local, well know animal psychic. Although there, twenty years ago, I was just getting a handle on my own abilities. Not to mention I now had a horse that chose not to “talk” to me. The psychic came, put her hands on his withers and heart, closed her eyes and started nodding her head with each detail. She looked up at me and said ” Done Deal.” I looked back perplexed. She continued ” You made a deal with him to be a fancy show horse and you went back on your promise.” I explained that yes, that was my intention, but when I was faced with a possible good home with him, I thought he’d understand. Apparently not. No mater how much apologizing, he was not going to accept it, not then, not ever. He had given me his trust. I had compromised it. End of story.

I went on to tell the psychic about Raleigh correcting me with his name. Half way through the story, the woman laughed and when I inquired why, she said ” Raleigh says so far the story is right, he is just waiting for you to tell the rest.” I was floored. Okay so he was no longer talking to me, but he was still talking.

About a month later, as I still tried to regain his trust, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Now although I rode all my other prospects, Raleigh proved to be just too unpredictable and I could no longer risk riding him. I continued to work with him on the ground as I looked for a potential buyer to finish his training. A trainer from up north contacted me after seeing a video, vetted him, and bought him sight unseen. We stayed in contact after he left our farm. They were happy with his purchase and he seemed to be behaving himself. About six months later, I received an email to say that Raleigh had excelled with his training and had been sold to a little girl as a children’s hunter. He was now being shown under the name Raleigh Nights. Raleigh ended up living happily ever after as a fancy show hunter and that’s all I ever wanted for him.