Please – I hope I don’t lose you here! I’m a level headed person! But I need to first fill you in on my personal story before I continue with the horses. It’s a big part of the journey!
Around 1999/2000 I had been very ill – it has been described as ‘viral’, ‘chronic fatigue’ or ‘nervous breakdown’ – amongst other things. I had been studying a university degree and fell in a heap. For almost two years I struggled to get off the bed. I would get the kids organised for school – then spend the day on the bed. Daily chores felt like I had to climb Mt Everest – so Doug soldiered on with whatever I couldn’t do. I knew I needed help – and that arrived in the form of a psychologist. Let’s call her Joy! Joy was like my angel who came into my life exactly when I needed her!
I explored my whole life – from birth to the present – I knew I had to – buttons were pressed – hidden emotions were revealed – grief, which had never been allowed to show itself, now flowed like a waterfall. All the time I felt lighter and lighter in my body – I felt different! A huge weight was lifting. And during this time something else happened – I started seeing the world differently and also I started hearing voices……
This life exploration led me back to horses – they came up over and over in my therapy – from when I was very young – I’d forgotten how much I loved them – and that is why they had to be in my life.
Now – those voices! I can only describe it as psychic happenings – I could tune into people and also channel messages. I had had psychic events before this time – but nothing like this. Was it because I had spent so much time in silence that I was able to hear these things? I don’t know. .. Joy, the psychologist, kept me sane! She said ‘Oh that’s quite normal. The quieter you get – the more you start to really hear’. This ‘skill’ continued to grow. Once I embraced it, I was amazed rather than confused. I knew then that we are never alone – we just have to be quiet enough to hear.
There is one other story I need to tell you before I get back to the horse journey – as it’s relevant to the story…. I had been having therapy for almost 2 years. I had explored my whole life – I’d had so much to go through and unravel. I was determined to do it – so I could know who I REALLY was – not the false self I had been living with. Many books were read, so much writing was done. I wrote so much – and I have kept it all. Joy, the psychologist, was there all the way through – I think of it like she was holding the ball of wool – ie. my life to that point – while I unravelled it and made sense of it.
When I thought I was nearly done, something else happened. We were watching the movie Gallipoli featuring a young Mel Gibson filmed in 1981 – a very sad movie about Australian soldiers fighting in WW1. We had watched it before – but this time – something happened. Afterwards I started crying – and couldn’t stop. Doug said to me – “I know it was sad…. but it wasn’t that sad!” I said “You don’t understand – I was there!” ( and it was the first I knew about it!) Doug was used to my ‘weirdness’ by this stage and he was just relieved that it wasn’t anything he had done!!!
I continued “I wasn’t THERE – but I was in the war. My friends …….. I lost so many. I loved them! But my horse! I shot my horse. I left him there. How could I! ” And then I cried more! I continued “No one understood – when we got home – how much those mates and horses meant – they were more than family”….
I was shaken – I remember sitting on the floor next to my bed, wondering whether I should be locked up. I said to Doug “In the morning I have to ring Joy – I need help”. So the next morning I did ring Joy – told her the story between sobs – and she calmly said to me “Well, that makes perfect sense! You’ve opened the gates – you’ve dealt with this life – you’ve moved back further into the past – to things that were bottled up and never came out”.
Okay – I’m not completely crazy – but is this a normal occurrence? I cried so much. I cried more than when I relived my father’s death as a young child – why was this so deep? And I had visions of steam trains, leather, hooves, sand, saddles…. And I felt so much – the thing I felt the most was the companionship, the closeness to horses and the very simple basic life. I felt the fear too – but it was overshadowed by the positives. And then I felt it ………. it was my Grandfather….
Had I been him? I thought past life stuff was New Age garbage – but I seemed to be living it – and I hadn’t had to pay someone to tell me this! When my mother was next visiting I asked her if she knew anything about him – he was my father’s father so I wasn’t sure if she would. “Yes” she said “He had died before I met your Dad – but the story was he never got over the war. He had joined the 6th Light Horse in 1917 and went to the Middle East. He died in the early 50’s – supposedly from sand in the lungs – a souvenir from his time in the war…. I think he died from a broken heart – he always talked about the horse he had to shoot”.
With that I had to excuse myself – I was shaking – my mother knew nothing of what I was going through – the breakdown – or the therapy. But she knew I was ‘off’. She didn’t need to know at that time. In the photo below – me – about 8 years old – my Grandfather aged 24.
I did tell some people my story – some who I thought wouldn’t laugh at me. And for a very long time I couldn’t tell it without crying. Now I can – although writing this here has been a bit tough…………………………..
Okay – now back to the horse story! We pick up the story midway through 2007. I had stops and starts attempting Parelli ground work. He still seemed very flighty and nervous – trying to second guess where my carrot stick and rope would go next. Then we would all be in a muddle!
I even got knocked down by him as I was taking off his rug. We still only had the paddock to tend to the horses – He heard a noise in the bushes and took off – leaving me on the ground. I hurt my ribs – but fortunately no real damage. Flying hooves had missed my head. Magnum was fed alongside him and also would take off whenever Ducati did and vice versa – so I felt like I had two extra nervous horses.
I must be doing something wrong!!!! And I sure didn’t feel like I was a Light Horseman!!!
COMING UP – CAN HORSES TALK?
IF YOU ARE NEW TO THIS STORY, PLEASE START HERE AT THE BEGINNING – Part 1 – An Introduction
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