Equal Being: The Empowered Mustang Project

Zorra (c) Linda Bickerton-Ross

Some of us gather horses together out of love or appreciation for a certain breed, others because our hearts are moved to rescue those in need, others because it feeds our soul, or it’s the lifestyle we prefer. Many of us have no idea why we were pulled so strongly toward our horses.

Each of the horses in my herd comes with a compelling story. I had horses as a child – asked my Dad every day for a solid year until he got me my first horse at age 8. But Zorra my Andalusian sistah is the one who gathered our current herd together. And now the newest, 6th herd member has made herself known – I’d like to tell you her story…

Two years ago, I attended a Horse As Muse workshop in Arizona with Linda Kohanov and equine artist Kim McElroy. During one afternoon, Linda led us in a guided meditation – a kind of vision quest where we journeyed with a horse companion.

I turned into a black horse during this vision – a complete, true, blue-black horse, with just a small spot of white on the forehead (third-eye or ajna chakra). The horse also had a super thin line of white through the middle of the tail – maybe only a few hairs thick, almost not there. Even in the vision I was not sure whether it was there or not! I also didn’t know whether the horse was male or female.

As I came out of the meditation, I wondered if the black horse represented my place in the herd – whether I was actually the black horse galloping at the head of the herd? In the chalk pastel painting I drew afterwards, I painted what I had seen in my vision – the black horse running with Juno alongside and snow-capped mountains in the distance. The black horse’s hooves glowed luminescent white as they struck the earth.

Over the next few months, I ‘tried on’ the idea that I was the black horse (I do have black hair!), but it just didn’t feel right. I guess I was hoping that I was the black horse, as I was already maxed out being the sole human carer/partner to 3 young wildies and a foal – all of whom needed me to accustom them to the skills needed to function in a human-run environment. But from time to time, I would arrive at the barn and the thought would spontaneously pop into my head, there’s a black horse missing. In fact, I had already been feeling this for several months before I had the vision.

I had conversations with the herd like this:

“Okay, just because the universe/divine says, There’s a black horse missing, doesn’t mean I have to comply, I do have freedom of choice, you know.”


“Hmmm… I wonder if the black horse will appear when we have our own land. If we were on 300 acres, I’d be just fine with another horse.”

One day the horses gave me an image of a village in Tibet or Nepal – where the monks meditate most of the day and the villagers provide the monks’ daily food to support the spiritual work the monks are doing. The thought package that flashed into my head alongside this image was:

“We are like the monks who support you, your family and your work in the world. You may think we are just horses, but we are the underpinning to all the growth and proliferation you are experiencing.”

I had a strong feeling that the horses’ meditative/spiritual work was potentizing my business – that it was the reason for the rapid growth we were experiencing. And they were also the reason I was so strong and vital – so that I could stay vibrant yet grounded, while managing two companies, three children and nine animals. I had also begun processing personal issues (dysfunctions, trauma, negativity) at a hugely increased rate since the herd had gathered around me.

If they needed the black horse to complete their circle, who was I to argue? I trust the Divine implicitly. I know that even when the universe calls me to challenging, frustrating, or painful experiences, that by surrendering to the experience, and walking the process of illumination, or transformation, that it is always for my highest good.

So I kept an eye out for the black horse that was missing, knowing that s/he would appear at the perfect time – not necessarily the logistically perfect time! But at the spiritually perfect time. I’ve always loved Friesians and wondered if the horse was a Friesian? One day I saw a picture of a hardy black-ish mustang stallion with a strong face and I thought, “Oh yes, maybe the black horse is a mustang…?”

What’s the difference between Wild, Feral and Semi-Feral horses?
The only horses that can officially be called wild are those breeds that have never been domesticated (e.g. Przewalski horse). Feral horses are all descended from domestic breeds – like Mustangs who were descended from horses the Spanish brought to North America. The First Nations Indian tribes continued to develop the Mustang into breeds like the Appaloosa. Semi-feral are horses that live in feral conditions, but are owned or managed by humans. A popular, slang term for feral or semi-feral horses is: Wildies.

Two years after my vision at the workshop, I saw a photo on Facebook of a black mare posted by one of the women, Belinda Lyall, who saved my existing three wildies from the slaughter pipeline – and I got the first ‘ding’ I’d ever experienced with a black horse. The mare was from a feral herd off an Indian reserve near Vernon, B.C.

The very first picture posted of the newly-captured black mustang

A breeder of flashy bucking horses on the reserve had brought in really great quality stallions which mingled with the feral horses on the reserve. But he had grown older and now there were too many horses; so many they were getting hit on the roads. So the First Nations (Indian tribe) posted a notice to all owners in the area that they had until a certain date to get any branded horses back onto their own land, or a safe holding place if they lived on the reserve, and then they were going to cull the herd and ship to slaughter.

Belinda has rescued and re-homed over 200 horses, so she has connections all over the place and was able to contact the Kill Buyer and have the horses sent to various ranches and rescues in B.C. instead of to slaughter. Conveniently, this mare had been sent to Cheekye Ranch in Squamish – only 2 hours from my home!

I got in touch with Kris at Cheekye and she sent me a video of the black mare in a field with 2 other horses from the herd. When I saw the video I got an even stronger feeling and knew I had to meet this horse. We arranged for me to head up there in a few days’ time.

Screenshot taken from video of Kaliah with her herdmates at Cheekye Ranch

I talked to my herd about this mare and told them I was going up to see her in a few days, to see if she was the one. “Does anybody have anything to tell me, any knowledge you wish to impart? Is she the black horse? Are you going to accept her into the herd?”

I already knew that my herd was a very tight, closed group. At my old boarding place, the owners had suddenly bought a horse (a black Arab with a white blaze) and my herd refused to accept her. Aude wouldn’t even let her come near the fence line. So we moved out and the owner bought a second horse who bonded instantly with that mare.

Regardless of what I felt, or intuited, the litmus test for whether she was the black horse who was meant to complete the herd, would be whether the herd accepted her, or not. I had already told Kris about this and we had an understanding that I would need to return her if my herd refused her.

As I went about my chores that day, none of the horses had anything to say or discuss about the black mare. Until I put Jax alone in the paddock with me – I can’t remember why, I think he wanted to have his feed in peace, without the others bugging him. I was scooping manure into the wheelbarrow when he walked over stood a couple feet in front of me. “You know,” he said, “you should video everything you do with this mare, from start to finish, so you can show people everything we’ve taught you.”

I stood there just staring at him. Holy crapsters! As the idea he planted began to grow, images of media began to flash in my mind – Mustang Challenge! Taming Wild! Unbranded! – the whole approach of training/dominating feral horses through penning and isolation from the day they arrive. Because god forbid you let them loose on 20 acres – you may never catch them again!

The fear seems to be that if you give a wild, feral, or semi-feral horse instant freedom in a herd, it will be so much harder to develop a bond with them, and how long would that take? And all the other fears, worries, biases and presuppositions that accompany mainstream attitudes towards domesticating wildies.

But my wildies (semi-feral) have shown me a completely different path – to intimate relationship, not training, breaking or domesticating. In fact, I have purposely left mine as ‘wild’ as possible, since I prefer enlivened, empowered horses. And now Jax was suggesting I show others everything I have learned from them. Wowzers. What a great idea!

Jax the Wizard

And then does that mean that this mare is the one, and the herd will accept her?

The night before I was due to drive up to Cheekye, there was a terrible windstorm and I hardly slept all night as the roaring wind, walls shaking, and windows creaking, kept waking me up. As I dozed I had a surreal/hazy/trippy conversation with the black mare about her name. You know, one of those interactions where you’re not sure whether you’re imagining, dreaming, or just plain making shit up?

In the drifting haze, the mare said she wanted her name to embody Kali (a Hindu goddess), but she didn’t want to lead with that. Because the energy/process that Kali symbolizes is only part of her essence. So she wanted it there, but not up-front. At first I was resistant: “Oh come on, Kali – really?? The goddess of destruction. Why, because she’s black? Oh I am so opposed to the continual depictions of black as dark/evil and white as light/good. How do you think black people feel about that… except that very few black people are actually black… And of course the goddess of destruction is also the catalyst for re-birth and transformation…” and so on.

As I dozed I played with variations, derivatives, other symbols or representations of Kali – perceiving whether the mare felt, ‘yes, no, or maybe’ to each suggestion.

I eventually narrowed it down to: Kaliah, Kalisa or Kalika (remember that middle one!). As night grew into the wet grey morning, I felt pretty sure Kaliah (pronounced Kah-lee-ah, with the same inflection as Maria) was the name she wanted. Which was ridiculous, since I didn’t even know yet whether she was the black horse, or not!

The wind was still howling and shaking the house in the morning, so I looked to see if there was a weather warning and sure enough – winds up to 80 km/hour for coastal areas. I texted Kris and she said it was already flooding there, so we cancelled and rescheduled for the following day.

I arrived at Cheekye Ranch the following day with a friend along for the experience. As my truck pulled up to the shelter near the field, a black horse came and stood right outside my window. I rolled down my window as the horse stared intently at me. I was thinking, “Is this the mare? But wait, a wild horse would not come up to the truck. Look she’s completely black. But she’s very stocky…” At which point Kris interrupted my thoughts saying, “That’s not her, that’s a boarder’s horse: Kalessi.”

Kalessi (pronounced Kah-lee-see)?? What-the-what? Was I talking to the wrong horse all night? Did she intercept our communication? This is just way too weird…

As we humans walked into the half-acre field housing the three feral/wild horses from the same herd, they stayed about two-thirds of the field length away from us, watching us warily, but with interest. Horses are naturally intensely curious. Most people don’t realize that domestic horses are trained into being flighty, jumpy and easily frightened, it is not their natural state. As Dr. Francesco De Giorgio asserts in Equus Lost:

“All horses are born cognitive. Their cognitive abilities allow them to understand themselves, their initiatives, each other, their environment, and their social context. However, due to their coexistence with humans, horses gradually change…
If you see something strange and unexpected as a human, you might be alarmed, and so might a horse. As an example, think of a piece of flapping canvas placed over some wood near a paddock. This situation would generate curiosity in a cognitive horse; he would look at it, integrate it into his mental map, and then proceed. A reactive horse, on the other hand, would jump away and remain in a state of tension and suspicion for several more minutes, even from a distance. The cognitive horse follows the same rule as all living beings: Minimal effort, maximum result.” (pg 12, 30)

Kris walked into the shelter at one end of the rectangular field and I set up the video camera to record. The mares were standing outside in the rain; because wildies don’t like going into dark, enclosed areas. For the first year, my semi-feral horses were most comfortable under pole shelters, where all 4 sides are wide open and there is only a roof to protect them from the rain.

I walked away from the shelter and began to walk the perimeter of the fence around their pasture – paying attention to the woods outside the fence, the condition of the grass-mud. Occasionally stopping to examine something and completely ignoring the wildies, who were watching my every move, whilst simultaneously keeping an eye on Kris in the shelter. Right away, I behaved the way the leader of my wildies (Montaro) taught me when he was still a stallion: Of primary importance in new surroundings is to check the perimeter and examine everything carefully.

Me walking round examining their digs and checking the perimeter

Once I’d had a good look around, I began to dialogue here and there with the mares. Nothing too intense or direct, just little explorations using the body-based language the herd had taught me. You can see in this still from the video footage how absolutely fixated on me the horses are – I could sense their astonishment that this alien being spoke Horse! And what the heck was I doing with that stick??

Horses are naturally intensely curious and playful

After a lengthy dialogue and exploration of each other – all at a distance of 30-50 feet or so, with the little black & white pinto stud being the most curious and occasionally coming within 10 feet of me – I sat down on a stump just inside the fence. The mares were alongside the opposite fence, staring intently at me as I sank into meditative state.

I looked up at the newly blue sky as I deepened my breath and saw three bald eagles lofting and circling overhead. I opened my heart chakra; front and back. And felt compelled to draw prana/chi/ki up from the earth, through the soles of my feet, and out the top of my head. Shooting up like a fountain erupting and then falling in a rainbow of color all around me. This delighted me and I couldn’t help smiling. Kris told me later that a rainbow had appeared over the mountain opposite me. I didn’t see it because I had my eyes closed. Maybe that’s why I felt compelled to rainbow shower the energy!

As I sat there with my eyes closed, I felt into the horses. I can feel the older, brown pinto’s body is wracked with pain. Oh lord, she has so much wrong with her; misalignments and joint problems and I’m pretty sure she’s pregnant. I feel a fear that the birth will be difficult – maybe she or the foal will not be okay. I teach her (through visualization) to pull the prana/chi in through her tailbone and her forehead, then swirl the two streams together in her body and run them down all four legs into the earth. I tell her she needs to do this as many times a day as she can – that her body needs her help to heal.

I feel into the little pinto and I feel he really, really wants to come with me. He is young and light and playful. I explain to him that this is not about who wants to come with me. It is about who is meant to come with me.

The little black and white pinto really wants to come with me – he’s adorable!

I turn my attention to the black mare and continue the conversation: “I am here to see if you are meant to be part of this herd. Because this herd holds a specific consciousness and a specific purpose on this earth. So I don’t want to know if you want to come with me. I want to know if you’re meant to come with me. So I need you to give me a sign. I don’t need you to come over here, or to touch me (at that moment I get a sense/picture that she has evaded capture by humans more than once). I’m fine for you to stay away, but I want a sign from you – something definitive.”

As I say this last sentence, I open my eyes and look at her. She stares back at me and sends the thought, “Oh come on, you and I both already know you’re going to take me.”

I reply, “Yes, but I want a clear sign; I want you to put some skin in the game.”

She looks at me intently and then walks straight over to stand about six or seven feet in front me. She squares her chest to my chest – very unusual for a wildie, bodies are almost always positioned at an angle. And then she pulls energy from the earth, up through her hooves and out her heart center as she blasts me with a column of energy so potent I’m a wee bit scared by the end of it.

Kaliah blasts me with earth energy

She pulls energy from the earth like a volcano – that is the quality of it. No wonder she wants Kali in her name. Kali who is a black earth mother goddess – who destroys in order to re-create, as a vehicle of transformation. But she flows it out through her heart center. Because the crux of Kali (or Pele) is that the impetus for destruction always comes from LOVE.

Kali does not destroy as a symbol of her power, or to play, or because she can. Kali’s destruction is rooted, anchored in love – for the highest good of all. It comes from love and it flows out in love. This understanding of the root and process of transformative death/destruction/cleansing fire changes everything.

She looks at me as if to say, ‘That good enough for ya?’

I’m half smiling, half giggling with giddiness from the blast as I stand up and say, “Yup. We’re done here. All good.”

I walk back to Kris with a big smile on my face as I say, “I’d love to have her, if you’re okay with that, let me get a cheque…”

YES. She is ‘the black horse’

Read Part Two of this series…

Equal Being: The Empowered Mustang Project

28 thoughts on “Equal Being: The Empowered Mustang Project

  • February 11, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Well, I just busted into tears at the horses’ monk analogy. What a beautiful experience you are sharing here. I am so very very new to horses, but they have been calling me in dreams. This just validated exactly what I am looking for, or better and truer, what is looking for me.
    Thank you for opening up even more questions inside of me. I’ll have to sit down and have a conversation with future horse……

    • February 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Oh Christina – how tremendously exciting to be just embarking on this journey that will stretch you, challenge you, bless you, rip your heart out and put it back together bigger and stronger than ever before. Horses are this amazing journey of the intensely physical combined with the intensely spiritual – if we approach them in this way. They are like elephants, and dolphins, and whales – worlds within worlds. Be sure and share with us how your journey unfolds – I’d love to hear!

      • February 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm

        Dear Jini,
        Thank you for your encouraging words! It is amazing what happens when I follow my night dreams,which sometimes overlap with day dreams. Never was interested in horses until I started dreaming about them. October 2017 or thereabouts, started taking riding lessons and was fortunate enough to find a pretty awesome instructor at the second place I tried.
        Then Artemis, white mare with cream or strawberry speckles and a silvery mane, insanely powerful, with Demeter energy swirling about in the air, came to me in a dream stating that she is my horse, and I shouldn’t let anybody convince me otherwise. Well, now…….choices choices. I do live on a farm, so have some space, but most of my animals are low maintenance. They are happy and thriving with run in shelters, frolicking in the woods. Everybody (well, almost) tells me I would need a lot more “stuff” to keep horses. Artemis says she wouldn’t mind being boarded at the place I take lessons at but it isn’t ideal. Lol, well, and then I still have to find her plus she told me today she would have to come with her mother! Ha!
        Glad you have conversations like that with your existing and future animals, too, so I don’t feel overly eccentric writing this.
        Who knows what tonight’s dreams may bring!

        • February 12, 2018 at 11:56 am

          Oh the Dreamtime – what a powerful place of connection it can be! Why don’t you work your way through the posts in this category and they will give you a better idea of what’s involved and what your horses may like/prefer for their living conditions:


          And by the way, if you have slow feeders, then except for manure management, if you keep horses the way you’re keeping your current animals, they’ll be pretty low maintenance too! If you have enough land for natural, robust movement, or live in a climate that kills worm eggs, they are pretty self-sufficient. Keep us posted!

  • February 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I love watching you and your interactions/conversations with horses. Listening and learning. I have an anxious reactive 11 year old driving pony…a little welsh mountain pony…He has been with me for 3 years and driving him can sometimes be quite stressful. I am still working on earning his trust and friendship. Your posts and videos are so helpful. Thank you always for sharing Jini! =-) Deb

    • February 11, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Oh I know Deb, those welsh ponies are extra challenging for sure! I had one dropped off to my field as a child of 10 – our fathers decided I might as well have a go before they took him to slaughter as no one could do anything with him at all. They called him Crackers, because anytime someone got on his back, he went crackers.

      Well I had never trained a horse, nor taken any lessons AND that’s why I was able to enter a place of transformation with Crackers. I just completely followed my gut, asking him, “what about this?” and “what do you think of that?” and so on. After he got a new idea of what was possible with humans and I had ridden him for a while, my best friend began riding him. She had never ridden before, but she was a lovely soul and he was delighted with her. Five years later – when she was more interested in boys than ponies – we sold him to a family for their 2-yr-old. We said if they ever had any trouble, we would refund their money. They were completely happy with him. Which goes to show that even a pony that has been traumatized to the point of extreme reactivity and anxiety, can be completely transformed – from a deep level – if we enter into that space of deep listening and transformation.

      With your pony, I would do the same. I would pretend he’s a brand new foal and just start all over again. No demands, no ‘job’, just pure unconditional love and friendship. Start a NEW story, a new dialogue. And see what HE has in mind for the two of you. That book, Equus Lost, has some great ideas for how to do this. Keep us posted!

      • February 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm

        Thank you Jini. I will do that. He does try to do what I ask but I often get a strong feeling he doesn’t like driving. So we have not done so for the last 4 months. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings with him and his little mini friend..Momma Cass.. and try to let them know that I will always try to keep them safe. I am trying very hard to learn to slow down..breath..listen. Your site, your experience, and your herd have been a huge help. =-)

        • February 15, 2018 at 5:57 pm

          Oh that’s wonderful Dee. And yes, the herd helps me with the same thing. Yesterday and today they were pointing out and making me realize that I work really intensely when I’m doing barn chores etc. That I’m kind of frantic and super intense. And why? Wouldn’t I feel better and life be more enjoyable if I learned to work in a more relaxed manner? When I went into ‘why’ I realized that I had been trained to work that way by my dad – if we didn’t work fast enough, or focus strongly, or anticipate which tool he needed next, etc. he’d shout or hit us.

          So then I had to do some EFT Tapping to release those cellular memories and spent the rest of the afternoon practicing how to work with ease and relaxation – not easy!

  • February 11, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    loved reading this… all of my herd are wildies. 🙂 glad you are documenting. was great to see the pictures along with the text…

    • February 11, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      Those of us with wildies TOTALLY GET why you wouldn’t want anything else, right?? I also feel it’s important to document the process just in case the USA is about to be flooded with BLM horses. None of us knows what’s going to happen there, but if faced with mass slaughter, maybe a whole bunch of people who only have domestic horses might say, “I’ll take one!” And then what?? This way, at least we can have a step-by-step resource for people dealing with a wildie for the first time – that does not involve isolation, breaking their spirit, and domination. Horses always have such great ideas, don’t they? 🙂

  • February 12, 2018 at 9:20 am

    OMG, OMG, I am jumping up and down from excitement!!! This is so amazing!! I watched the video too. Yay! She is totally POWERFUL. I love how it happened and how she’s coming (maybe she has arrived already by now?) to be with you. I love all your awareness about not “wanting” to come, but being “meant” to be there with your herd. This is so beautiful, amazing that you can see them like they are, and they are so attracted to that.

    And I can totally attest to what you wrote about your herd telling you they are the underpinning of what we experience. Since I adopted my 2 mustangs last year, everything changed in my life. Not in a bad way (although the shakedown felt very uncomfortable), but everything from my awareness of how I want to live my life, how I HAVE lived my life, to patterns and conditioning that I really wanted to let go but did not know how…. Such ENERGY MASTERS. And if we only pay a little attention to what they are expressing.

    I love the name that came to you and that whole Kalisa, Kaliah story. Which brings me to my current situation: I am also adopting a horse, but not a mustang (I really love mustangs and wild horses and I had only seen myself adopt a small herd of them, not domesticated ones).
    This 7 year old mare just appeared one night online and I was compelled to adopt her. The fact that she was hours from being shipped to slaughter and there was a full moon/eclipse/blood moon had something to do with it…. There was not one iota of doubt in my crazy decision. This is NOT the time for us to adopt another horse!
    She’ll be here at the end of this week.

    But the interesting thing is that as I have been tuning in to her, what I am getting is that she has no idea of who she is. I can’t come up with a name, and I feel her being very insecure (of course that’s also part of her being transported to several places in the past few weeks). I am getting that she’s very good at figuring out what humans want, and give them that.. But she does not know herself. So I find that very interesting since that was not the case at all with my mustangs. And of course I am excited to support her in discovering herself. And I think mama Denali will be able to share some of her wild nature to her…and maybe this new girl will share with Denali about relationships with humans….

    Thanks for sharing this Jini, it’s beyond exciting to read your process and watch the video! I am so grateful for your sharing with us!! <3

    • February 12, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      I LOVE your observation Vittoria – and of course she can’t feel her name yet, when she hasn’t been allowed to even feel herself! I sense MANY very important teachings/realizations ahead for you with this mare. She is probably closer to the state of most humans, than your other 2. I wonder if the process of providing space/intention for her to rediscover herself will provide a framework and massive insights for your own journey and work with your students?

      And I wonder what your mustangs are going to teach you through observing them with her? I know watching my wildies teach Zorra (my domestic) how to speak ‘horse’ again, has been absolutely fascinating! And not just physical horse language, but the energetic one too. It was comical and at times painful to watch, how much of a doorknob she was! Poor lass. But not surprising when you consider that the thing we love most about horses – their magnificent movement – is the first thing we take away in domestic situations. Confining them to dry lots, stables, paddocks, and controlling all their movements when we take them outside their tiny quarters. What seems large to us, is usually tiny to a range animal 🙂

      Well, that’s why we horse listeners gather together right? The more of us that can LIVE and bear witness to a different way of facilitating the inherent magnificence of these creatures – the better! And of course, as Zorra so rightly pointed out:

      My healing is your healing is my healing is your healing… in a never-ending circle.

      p.s. Next post will give you the next piece of the story and you’ll find out what happened next! Much love and can’t wait to hear more about your new mare – can’t wait to see the first pics of her together with Denali. I’m as frustrated as you that you don’t have your own place yet where they can all be together! LOL I’ll bet she and Dakota become great friends. Surrendered Action, right? We stay in action, keep moving forward, researching, manifesting, but under the umbrella of surrender to Divine timing and omniscience. 🙂

      • February 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm

        Oh Jini, I am jumping up and down again! So exciting! I know, I am actually thinking now I will ask her to let me know her name…could take a while…But a few weeks or months are not long in a lifetime. 🙂 It’s funny, I am sensing a goddess name, but it’s not fitting because she does not know she’s a goddess.

        Thank you for what you shared. Yes, she is probably closer to humans in her awareness and will “be a good girl”, that is my guess. Well, we’ll see if we can free her to rediscover herself! And yes, I think there will be some great learning for me and good insights that I can share in the future. I can’t wait! I feel I have learned SO MUCH this past year with my 2 mustangs, mostly by doing nothing, watching and responding to their initiative! Ha!

        I love what you wrote about how we take away their movements. ESPECIALLY about controlling their movements when near us. Even in the what I consider “loose boarding situation” our horses are in, where they are out all day every day in the winter and 24/7 from April-November, there is still so much control. These nice, average women who are friendly and kind with humans, become controlling and somewhat aggressive around horses. I feel a lot of it is what we think “we have to do since they are bigger than us” response. I feel grateful I have had several months here (and several months in another place) as an experience of how it is in the “real” world. Invaluable experience for me. And hopefully some of my gentleness with the horses has rubbed off on some of them who observed….

        I am so looking forward to finding out more about Kaliah (and what a gorgeous name btw) and how she will integrate with the herd.

        Yes, this new place, my new home, my goodness, it’s taking so long to manifest! There is an open 20 acres now available next to 1000s of acres of forest land. Ummmm… Nothing on it though, except a good well. We’ll see! I am practicing a lot of surrender these days along with taking action. Some of the action is tiny steps which seem like I am walking in place…frustrating for the personality, but a good practice to learn the trust necessary for magic to sweep in. HUGS!

        • February 12, 2018 at 8:31 pm

          Yeah the fear thing is just SO weird!! I actually have to be more careful (against getting hurt) with my Maine Coon cat than with ANY horse I’ve ever met! In fact the biggest danger with my wildies is not getting nipped when they’re ‘grooming’ me – because when they groom each other, they massage each other with their lips, and the crème de la crème is the little nip that follows. Not! So I have to teach them that although they adore the nip, it hurts me. They almost always remember and even the rare time they forget, they’ve never nipped me hard enough to leave a mark.

          But in some of my videos on YouTube, people have posted the nastiest comments about how stupid I am to not wear a helmet around Jax and Montaro when they’re wrestling, for example. People have this heightened sense of fear from a belief that horses are going to kick you in the head ‘by accident’. But if they spent any time actually observing their horses, AND if their horses were free to express natural movement, they would realize that a horse can kick with laser accuracy. But then, maybe their horses are so frustrated, or angry, that they would kick people! Ah well, as you said, hopefully the simple presence of your gentleness will speak louder than any words.

          I actually would prefer land with nothing but a well, or even no well! Then I could plan and build exactly what I want. I’ve become really aware that most people plan for function (when they have pasture animals) and largely forget about art. So I’m really loving the idea of making the whole property like a piece of art, that is also functional. Winding paths and curves for example, are SO much more beautiful than hard angles and lego-block buildings.

          Also, feeling for the energy of a property. For example, if you have 20 acres in a rectangle, where the eye can see all corners, that feels so much smaller and more boring than 20 acres chunked up into different spaces by forest, bushes, creek, etc. Then, the same 20 acres can feel like a journey, an adventure, because you can explore, and you can’t see what’s around the corner – it’s more exciting. That’s what the property I’m on now is like and WOW does it ever make a difference to have the woods, the creek, etc. – even though it’s a rectangular lot.

          AND if nothing’s built on it, you get to feel for what the lands wants. What naturally happens, and where? On my current property, there is so much difficulty created by NOT locating the barn at the highest point. So then you have to do all these things to it, and invest a ton of money to now stop the rainwater from flowing into the barn! So yeah, I’d really like a blank canvas. Or maybe 1 tiny cabin would be okay 🙂

          • February 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm

            There is a lot of fear about horses, even from people who don’t spend time around them. I am excited about all of us “horse listeners” as you call us, who are really introducing and expressing such a new way of being with others. It’s so exciting! It’s that awareness thing that is so up for all of us right now. I’ve watched videos of horses petting cats on their heads and bodies….and they do know how to use their lips to the utmost precision. It’s quite remarkable actually. And obviously so pleasurable!

            I am also working with Dakota and his teeth. Both Todd and I are asking for lips and tongue vs teeth! He just loves to use those teeth! And he does that all day with other horses, why not with us, he says? 🤔 He’s learning. Like your said, they are such curious beings. Give them a little space and all they want to do is explore it. (And BTW, I love the whole investigating the perimeter thing when you got into their space. So exactly what D & D have done in the past with any spaces they got in).

            I am sorry about the nasty comments. I haven’t read them. 😖

            Our land: I agree with you about the space, and honestly I think that is why it has not happened yet. We need to re-focus. This particular piece is a little out of the way, and may not be very reachable in the winter due to snow. And it’s challenging for us financially to buy w/o selling first or concurrently, so the creation of a cabin/barn/fencing/etc would take some time (which of course is/will be part of the fun!). I trust the solution will appear. Maybe we can rent a small something up there while we build shelter/cabin. We don’t need much!
            I love the “feel for what the land wants”. Yes!
            Thank you for the reflections as always! ❤️

  • February 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Crikey! That really was something!!! Powerful horse, powerful woman😬.
    My gelding Malachy also has a ‘weighty stare’ lol- I’ll know he’s looking at me without seeing him.
    The video was fabulous -and also confirmatory that this this way of being with horses is way, way beyond the ‘old’ paradigm.
    I wish you and Kaliah well -and also really hope things go well for the little brown and white mare- my heart went out to her.
    Looking forward to the next chapter😬

    • February 12, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Yeah, she’s a real sweetheart Dee, and I’m trusting that she will find the perfect home. If I had more land etc I would find it very difficult not to take all three! And so glad you loved the vid! I was almost not going to publish it – I thought who is going to sit through 45 minutes of very little apparent movement? I thought for sure people would get bored after the first 3-4 minutes. So it’s brilliant to hear from you and others that you find it as fascinating as I do 🙂 Post a pic of Malachy if you can – I’d love to see him! I want to see if his pic matches the image I have in my head now…

      • February 13, 2018 at 8:39 pm

        Here’s Malachy, he is a gypsy cob (I’m in Ireland) and arrived to me so completely closed down it was heartbreaking BUT he has over two years come into his own right and standing, and as I say I often feel the weight of his stare.

        I’m dying to hear the next segment of yours and Kaliah’s journey with the herd.

        • February 13, 2018 at 8:51 pm

          Dee, his eye is absolutely stunning! I have never seen that kind of marking around a blue eye!! If I painted him no one would believe I didn’t add eyeshadow! I don’t know why it’s uploading the pic sideways (I’m having my programmer look into it) but if I click on it, it opens right side up in a new window. What a beautiful Sir (can’t call him a lad) and your mini in the back is adorable too 🙂

  • February 15, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Jini I loved this video. I could have watched all day. It was the most fascinating thing to see how these wildies as you call them responded to you speaking their language. I too have spent time with my horses much like this although they are by no means wild. In the summer I walk down through the woods with them. Sometimes I’m the last one and sometimes I’m leading the three of them to the big pasture. I would spend time while they were grazing, bent over and pulling grass to simulate them grazing. At first they would come over to see what I was getting that might be better than what they were. If something alerted them in the bush around their pasture and they would look in unison, I stand and look also. One time it was a deer that came out of the forest and ate some grass on the other side of the fence from us. There are times that I have wanted them to come back up to the barn for some reason. I walk down and stand looking at them. They lift their heads and look at me and then one by one they return to grazing. I walk over and tell them I need them to come up and why. I start walking back to the opening of the woods that takes me back to the barn when I hear the hooves of running horses who gallop past me and head up to the barn as requested. I know this isn’t the story you were expecting but this one came as I set up to write. For some reason I am having trouble with my keyboard do I will return to the blog again soon with the story of my mare Spirit.

    • February 15, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Yes, I love that Jocelyn: the pause between us asking and them saying, ‘Oh, okay’. I’ve learned a lot by watching how they ask each other to go somewhere else, or head back to the barn, or go get water. That balance between, “let’s go” and “well I’m going, come if you want” and the length of time it can take for a horse to say ‘Sure’ – much longer than us humans take to respond. And if we’re in human-time, we think they’re saying no, or ignoring us, or not understanding what we’re asking… when really, all they’re doing is thinking about it and saying Yes – in horse-time.

      • February 16, 2018 at 12:28 am

        What a fabulous shiny, many faceted meditative, brilliant ‘thing’ lol your original video and the following comments have been❤️. I just loved it all. Thank you for being putting it (and yourself ) out there. Wonderful.

        Dee and Sir Malachy (aka Eyeliner Boy😂)

        • February 17, 2018 at 12:04 am

          Eyeliner boy! Too funny 🙂 I think he was a rock star in his last life!

      • February 16, 2018 at 10:23 am

        Jini that is exactly true. It took me a while to realize that too. Now I make sure that everyone who comes is aware of it and I ask people to give their horse time to think about whatever it is they are asking them to do. Horse time is far more healthy and peaceful.

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  • April 10, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Hi Jini, I don’t know if you will ever read this but I noticed that the black one has the tiny white star on her forehead just like the one you envisioned. I’m sure you noticed already but what an AMAZING correlation!!!!


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