Many years ago, I rescued a mare, Trudy, who was angry that she was mistreated and forced to compete against her will. She did not like her owner whose philosophy was: "if one whip doesn't work, I'll find one that will".
When I got her, I was warned against driving her. Why? Because she was unstable under harness and kicked a driving cart to pieces. Later, I found out that she didn't like to be ridden either. I knew that she was a former show horse and assumed that I would be able to ride her on the trails. After she had settled in and was following me around like a little puppy, I decided to take her out for a ride around town.
Well, all was fine until we turned around and then she took off like a speeding bullet galloping full speed down RT 104! There was no way I was going to stop her. I had never had a horse run away with me before, so this was a novel experience. I simply held on because I knew where she wanted to go - home. As soon as she turned onto our dirt road, she slowed down to an extended trot, and later a walk after much coaxing.
Later that day, I contacted an animal intuitive who told me that Trudy does not want to be ridden - she loves me because I was the first person to show her real kindness, but that she just wanted to be pampered. Quickly, I learned that we must take into account the animal's feelings. I might think that it's a beautiful day for a trail ride, but my horse might not be in the mood. After all, they are emotional beings too.
I got upset with my sister when she told me that he horse has Lyme Disease. One this particular day, he showed symptoms of lameness, but she rode him anyway. I told her that she was selfish to put her desires before the health and well-being of her horse. Well, that was 18 months ago and she has spoken to me since.
I learned a lot from Trudy. I had other horses who came to me with anger issues, and after a year or so, the anger dissipated, but Trudy was different. It took her five years before she came to terms with her anger and totally trusted me.
When my house sold, I had to board Trudy at a farm in the next town. I told her what was going to take place and that as soon as our new home was built, we would be together again. But, she became very depressed and I thought she was going to die. Seriously. The owner of the farm had never seen such a depressed horse. She wouldn't eat so she was losing weight - she just stood around with her head hanging low.
I visited her every day, groomed her, talked with her, assured her that she was loved, and gave her emotional support using flower remedies. When I couldn't be with her, I sent loving thoughts to her always reassuring her that we would be together. It took a couple of months, but she snapped out of the doldrums. Animals are so sensitive.
When the barn was finished, she moved in and was a bit lonely so I rescued another horse from her farm. But, this horse had some serious physical problems, and eventually, I had to release her spirit from her broken down body.
Although she loved me, Trudy needed some company. For one of my major birthdays, I decided to buy a colt because I eventually wanted to start trail riding again. When the little fellow arrived, she was in heaven - she had someone she could boss around. After he arrived, someone suggested that I turn my walkout basement into a barn. So, I had stalls made and moved the pair into the house. There were two huge windows and a 36' door that let in the light. It made winters so easy for me and the horses enjoyed being close to me.
Three more horses were rescued - Coltan, Nytke and Coco, her grand daughter - but Trudy definitely was the matriarch of the basement. She didn't have a door on her stall as the other four horses did and she would visit each one. She was especially fond of Coco and the two of them would eat hay together.
Trudy was with me for 15 years until one night at 2am I heard a crash. I ran downstairs to see her struggling to get up, but she couldn't because she had equine degenerative myelopathy - the muscles in her hind end had collapsed. I kept her calm until the vet came, but her back legs were like rubber, and she couldn't stand. I had the vet release her from her body. It was a sad day for all of us.
About a month after she passed, I was upstairs and heard a horse walking up and down the aisle. I knew that the four horses were tucked in for the night, so I listened carefully. I knew that she had come back to visit with her friends. The next morning, I called a friend, who is a communicator, and said to her: I had a visitor last night - and V said that it was Trudy who wants me to know the cloud above me will be clearing up.