Do You Still Love Me? When a Younger Horse Comes to the Barn

“He’s young.  He’s big.  He’s proud.  And he’s now competing in the same competitions that I compete in.  I used to be as young as he is.  And I was the king.  It doesn’t feel like I am the king any more.  And it makes me sad.”

Those who have the privilege and the joy to have horses in their lives are blessed beyond measure.  People who share their world with horses will tell you – all of them will tell you – that these magnificent animals have changed their lives.  They have absolutely changed mine.

I was in the barn to offer Reiki to the new king.  He’d injured his leg and was recovering slowly.  The second time I saw him, he’d re-injured it with a stone in his hoof and was unhappy to continue convalescing.  He IS young and he IS handsome, and frisky, and proud. 

I stood outside of his stall and began the flow of Reiki.  At first, he told me he wasn’t really interested in sharing Reiki energy.  He played with a rope, he knocked his feed basket around, he splashed in his water.  Eventually, as the healing energy made itself available to him, he chose to receive it and settled down for a gentle time of love and ease.

As time went on, I had a very strong feeling that someone was standing behind me.  My first thought was that the horses’ owner had returned to the barn.  But when I turned around, there was no one there at all.

It wasn’t a person who was behind me at all.  It was Smokey.  A slightly smaller horse, and an older horse, Smokey was staring straight into me with his face pressed up against the bars of his stall.  There was absolutely no question about what Smokey was saying.  “What about me??  I want some of that!”

I left the newcomer with Reiki energy flowing around him and throughout his stall, and walked over to this horse who so clearly wanted support and compassion.  As I stepped closer to him, I was overcome with a feeling of sadness.  It hit my heart and quiet tears began to fall.  This great one was sharing the pain and sadness of someone who’d lost a loved one.  And perhaps, in some ways, he had.

As I began to offer him Reiki, Smokey continued to stare me straight in the eyes.  The pull of energy was powerful, and the quality of the healing felt emotional, not physical or mental.   I connected my heart with his heart, and simply shared the magnificent loving light that flows through all living things.  We shared the powerful, transformational light of divine consciousness in a space where all things are possible. 

Somehow it became clear to me that Smokey felt that he was losing his mom.  She had always been “his mom” and now she was splitting her time, her attention and her affection with another.  Smokey was clearly a proud, successful show horse and was losing his place in the world.  The change felt sad to him, and his open, gentle heart had been injured.

As we finished our Reiki time together, I thanked him for opening his heart to me and sharing his beautiful soul.  Smokey lifted his head high and shook it up and down.  I believe he said “thank you.”

I returned to the newer horse, who was now resting quietly, his eyes half closed.  I thanked him for receiving the healing that he needs.  I walked to the end of the barn and invited Reiki love and light to continue to flow to these two beautiful creatures, surrounding them, flowing through them, healing them.

With gentleness and kindness, I shared Smokey’s outpouring with his mom.  As her eyes filled with tears, mine did once again. 

Sometimes we just don’t realize the powerful impact we humans have on the lives of our animals.  We simply may not notice.  Of course, we continue to love them as dearly as ever, but we may not “see” how change can hurt the heart and dampen the spirit.  Horses are a lot of work, a huge responsibility, and showing them is a monumental effort.  Sometimes there just isn’t time to notice, but our animals will find a way to tell us, somehow.

Smokey has been receiving the extra love and compassion that he needs.  He gets “alone time” with his mom, and travels with her to shows, just the two of them.  I know that his big beautiful heart is healing, and his eyes will be bright and proud.  As they should be.