I have had several horses die and I wondered if I had done the right things for them. Actually I know I didn’t. In chronic illness I tend to panic and give my choices over to other people, particularly vets. Sometimes this works and sometimes not. Staying grounded and in touch with the horse is crucial, and yet I don’t always have any confidence in that. I still have grief and guilt and a profound distrust of vets and western medicine. And a distrust of other people looking after my horses. This really limits what I can do away from the horses.
This is an issue that is very common, not only with vets, but with people dealing with medical doctors. Especially if they have a chronic illness. As a gut healing author, I hear from hundreds of people who have had the most horrific disasters and mis-management of their condition you can imagine. All as a result of following a doctor’s advice.
But here’s the thing: vets and doctors are just people too. Sure they’ve had specialized training in drug use and surgery and they likely have more experience and ideas than you have. But do they have the ability to connect with your horse’s own body wisdom? Are they able to trace a physical phenomena back to it’s emotional or spiritual roots? Here’s a big one: Do they even have permission to enlighten you as to how your horsekeeping practices, or your own emotional state/needs are negatively impacting your horse? Lastly, how much training in root-level healing have they had?
At some point, if you have horses that keep getting ill or injured, you need to look beyond the base physical level of reality and lean in to the message(s) your horse is giving you via his body.
As a result of this reader’s query, I created a Lazer Tapping session specifically on Guilt, Shame, Blame for Medical Issues (Human or Animal).
Note: As a result of repeated requests, I have also made a number of my mind/body acupressure tapping sessions available as Single sessions. So you don’t need to purchase the course and learn to tap for yourself; you can just do whichever session you need, as you need it – for only $11 each.
Anyone with this experience would likely also benefit from my tapping session on Release Anger or Resentment. Make the vet or the entire situation the topic (the person/situation you are angry at and resent) as you tap.
The other pieces I see happening in this situation are:
1. Resistance to death/loss/change/seeing death as the worst thing. Death is the only certain thing. What we do between now and then, how we lean in, is what gives it all meaning. Can you give your love to God (the Divine/destiny/universe), and trust him/her/it/everything to safeguard it for you?
It is often this resistance to death, seeing death as a terrible, horrific thing that must be fought against with every ounce of strength and energy, that underlies decision-making when dealing with injury or illness. So then we are making fear-based decisions… which are never good decisions!
In order, to get out of fear, and give yourself space to make non-pressured, non-fear-based decisions, you really need to make peace with death.
If you seen or re-experienced any past lives, you no longer fear death. If you’re able to connect with animals or people who’ve died/transitioned, you will no longer fear death. If you haven’t had any personal experience with death as a transition or transformation, rather than an end into nothingness, then seek out books about this topic. There are a few books by hardcore medical doctors talking about either their own near death experience (NDE), or stories from dozens of patient accounts. The book by Anita Moorjani, Dying To Be Me, is an excellent place to start.
2. I feel your horse asking you to FORGIVE yourself and give yourself permission to accept/receive that forgiveness (you’re the only one who can). Life is not about the right or wrong answer in any given moment; everything just IS. It is the regret/uncertainty/fear/clinging to the past that prolongs the grief and limits courage. Can you be forgiven? Can you forgive yourself?
3. I see nothing wrong with seeking the opinion of a vet. Get a 1st, 2nd or 3rd opinion if you want, BUT every piece of guidance/suggestion that is recommended needs to be filtered through your own filter of truth – and ideally the horse’s inner wisdom, if you can tap into this. Fear seems to sabotage our ability to trust our knowing and our connection to our horse.
Again, can you trust the process of what is happening, and surrender control? And how can this experience with your horse help you build this sense of trust in your own higher knowing, and in the higher knowing of your horse?
When you hand over responsibility for healing to someone else, you sabotage your opportunity to walk this pathway of healing together with your horse. Any healing journey is an opportunity, a portal, to an incredibly enriching, life-altering, growth experience.
One year, Jax got a severe puncture wound in his armpit. At first he wanted to heal it himself, so Güliz and I cleaned the wound and kept an eye on it. We watched him use deep breathwork to control the pain and work on his own healing. By day 3 my intuition was feeling strongly that infection was looming and I didn’t feel Jax could do enough to combat that. I also didn’t have the tools to flush his deep wound adequately (but I do now!), so I asked him if we could call the vet. He said yes, but he wanted Güliz to be with him.
I believe Jax wanted to experience vet care to map what this state of drug-induced surrender/powerlessness felt like – it was part of his own growth/expansion journey. I also think he wanted to guide Güliz through an experience of consulting/working with a vet, yet observing how he would not give his power away to the vet. He also made Güliz clean his wound every day and wouldn’t let me touch it!
It was a fascinating experience of watching him, for example, refuse the diuretic drugs, then go eat an entire row of a plant we’d never seen horses eat before. When we looked it up, it turned out to be a powerful cleanser and diuretic! Then he would only take the antibiotics for 3-4 days (tapering off on day 4 with half a dose). Right then, a friend with a PhD in Immunology sent me an article on how the standard course of antibiotics (7-10 days) is now considered incorrect and actually encourages the bacteria to mutate and get stronger! So it’s better to do only 3-4 days and stop when it feels like the infection has turned a corner.
Jax provided us with a master class in body wisdom, the wisdom of nature, and how to utilize medical tools, without giving up your wisdom, autonomy, or responsibility for your own healing journey.
So if you look at all these elements, you’ll see that this isn’t just about your horse’s healthcare/choices! This is about your LIFE and your process/journey in life.
Build fluency in natural healthcare
This may be a bit more complicated if you also work as a nurse, scientist, vet assistant, etc – as most of your training is in the drug/med way, making it more likely for you to default to vet/med care when stressed or fearful. Perhaps your horse is calling you to study herbal medicine? So you can amass and strengthen a better toolkit for her. Or perhaps he wants you to learn pranic healing or Reiki?
Our fear over health issues (covid anyone?) is directly related to the size of our Healing Toolkit. If the only tool we believe in, or feel is powerful, or have any experience with, is vet/med care, then we have put ourselves firmly in that box. We have actually cut ourselves off from kinder, gentler, holistic, and possibly more powerful choices.
We must begin to build fluency in natural/holistic methods of healthcare when we are NOT in an emergency! Do you have a horse herb garden, where your horse can self-select natural medicine before they reach a critical stage?
Do you have dried herbs on hand, so your horse can ask you for help and self-select what they need ongoing?
Next time your horse develops a hoof abscess, or lice or fleas, or a lump/tumour, thrush infection, or proud flesh, itchy skin, overweight, laminitis or colic… are you going to immediately call the vet? Or are you going to give yourself and your horse some time to dialogue together and try some of the natural remedies on this blog, or from other trusted sources?
A great way to ease yourself into this process when you’re really scared and have no faith in your own ability to care for, or listen to your horse, is to do an Internet search to find out what the vet would do in a situation like this. Equip yourself with a good understanding of the drug/surgical options available, so you’re not just flying blind. Post in forums where people have dealt with similar issues and read the variety of answers that come back.
If you’re strong-willed, you may be able to actually have the vet come out for a consult only. But if you’re not strongly committed to natural healing, it’s likely the vet will talk you into drug treatment if you give her/him a chance.
I provide my natural healing toolkit for humans free of charge in the Home Remedies section of my health blog – everything on there is tried-and-tested by hundreds/thousands of my readers, and my own family. So simultaneously, build your fluency and start stocking your medicine bag with human remedies. Because this is not just about your horse! Their healing is your healing is their healing is your healing… and so on.
Horses use their body to communicate messages to us
Remember too, that horses use physical issues/illness the exact same way our own higher self uses illness/injury – as a way to MESSAGE us about deeper things. Often, the healing that needs to take place doesn’t originate in the physical realm; but in the emotional or spiritual realm. You’ve seen my posts on this right? Here’s one and here’s another one.
I think horses only use their bodies to message us, when we are not getting it any other way. And they decide it’s important enough to manifest an injury/illness in their own body – in an attempt to get us to pay attention.
In these instances, when the horse uses their body to message you about an area or aspect of yourself that needs to be brought into wholeness (in alignment with Highest Good), it is an act of service, and often a sacred process.
Once we address the emotional/spiritual wounding or need, the physical then heals very quickly. Perhaps it doesn’t even matter whether herbs or drugs are used, once the origin is addressed!
I know people who teach animal communication and energy healing, whose first response when their dogs or horses get ill, or injured, is to call the vet! Even with their powerful toolkit, they do exactly what most people do – give their power away, place the vet above the animal’s own wisdom, and put themselves in such a restricted fear-based state, that they can’t connect/hear their animal’s wisdom.
Sometimes they can calm themselves enough to hear their horse or dog, but then they don’t fully trust it and default to the vet’s advice. Do you think their animals get sick/injured a lot? You bet! Because they must lean in to this piece. And until they can fully OWN this space without giving their power away, and trust themselves, their animals, the wisdom of life, and not fear death, and lean into the MESSAGE behind the illness/injury… their animals are going to keep giving them the opportunity to practice!
I once dialogued with a couple of horses, owned by someone who teaches equine-assisted learning, whose hooves hurt so much they were crippled and could barely hobble around. I told them what they could do to help themselves, and asked if they wanted me to speak to their owner. They replied, “No. We’re trying to get a message to her. We’re willing to die if we have to.” They were so clear, so adamant that I was not to interfere even a smidge, and so matter-of-fact about leaving this physical plane.
“My horse takes me down so many rabbit holes. I would like to understand what she is trying to tell me and that we could have a less painful way. In the words of Velvet Brown, “I would rather have that horse happy than go to heaven.”
That’s another really great piece to keep in mind; animals do not view death the same way that humans do! In fact, nothing else in nature views death with the fear and attachment that humans have. Yes, animals can be sad when those they love die, but in my experience, since they are not blocked from contacting, interacting and sharing love with beings in other dimensions, they do not suffer the tragedy that humans do (due to our belief systems).
Another great way to lean into deeper messages when your conscious mind is panicking, or locked in fear, so you can’t hear your horse, is to use medicine cards. Medicine cards, oracle cards, tarot, or simply connecting in prayer and allowing your bible to fall open to a particular passage, are all really great ways of bypassing the frantic, conscious mind. They are tools to help us connect to the divine and our subconscious – which are not mired in fear and attachment. The key is to ask ONE really clear question at a time.
As soon as an animal becomes domestic and is under our care, their healing is our healing. And our healing is their healing. I was discussing this feedback loop with a dog recently, and I couldn’t discern whether she had chosen to be in this loop, or whether it simply occurs whenever an animal is domesticated…
Either way, in spite of being in daily pain, she did not seem concerned that it was taking her human so long to lean in and receive messages. Animals have such tremendous compassion and they also take the long-view. Maybe you just can’t get there in this lifetime? Maybe the cost is too high? Or you’re not willing to do what it takes? It’s totally okay. Our animals have boundless compassion and patience and they will meet us again in another lifetime… it’s all good.