About two months before the Fall, Tru and I were working in the round pen to effectually start over. Tru was moving head high and hollowed out, which I guessed to be the muscle memory of all those physical plane pains. I invited natural horsemanship coach, Ezra Morrow, for a consult.
After two hours of watching us, Tru zooming around in circles, Ezra said “He doesn’t trust you.”
Ouch! That was hard to hear. I’ve had Tru since conception. His full name is “My True Companion.”
But there was definitely something there to break through. Ezra instructed me to keep him moving, add energy with turns, until he relaxes. He warned me that I may need to stand there for hours. Ezra left saying “He will show you that he trusts you when he comes into the round and puts his nose on the ground.”
I reflected on comments from Tru’s original trainer, Clay Wright, who worked with him for six months. It took a lot of patience and persistence to break through with Tru, and with his sire, SW Daniel. Clay was still helping Tru relax his carriage when I picked him up.
For two months, we worked together as Ezra instructed. A couple times I left him in there, after some progress, and people would call me worried about my sweaty horse zooming around in circles. Eventually, Tru walked, trotted and cantered in a relaxed frame at liberty. At the working trot, he was still tense, feaful, but we had made progress when we hauled to the Canyon Creek trail and fell arse over tea kettle into the river canyon.
Then we had to heal, so it was about a month later, when we went back to the round pen. Tru walked in and put his nose on the ground. He trotted, nose on the ground. I was stunned. His energy was completely different. Ezra’ direction and memories of all the parts of the magical mystery tour that I could not fit together before, came rushing back.
As admitted, I would ask anyone what was going on with my horse. I spoke with two animal communicators, who really could not come up with anything, though one described doing remote bodywork on his back, pulling out old stuff from his sire. Then, I was talking to Marcy Calhoun. Marcy is a psychic who receives past life information. She knows nothing about horses and is not a “pet psychic or animal communicator.” But when I was in a session, I asked her about Tru, and she told me what she saw.
Marcy described Tru and I as warriors, like a general and war horse in the cavalry charging across Europe on a great campaign. “Tru was stabbed in the back with a big sword. He did not see it coming and did not know what happened. It was incredibly painful. You could not save him, and he died a painful death on the battlefield.”
Tru’s breed, the Shagya-Arabian, was developed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire cavalry in the 1700’s. When she told me this story, I was fascinated, but really did not know what to do with such information.
Two years later, when Dr. Noel showed me the x-ray of Tru’s back at L2/L3 (the physical plane of Our Magical Mystery Tour), I remembered what Marcy had said. It was the exact same location. Right under my tush, just where a horse would be stabbed in the back by a sword. I could see now that the animal communicators who had asked Tru what was causing his back pain, got no information from him, because, as Marcy said, Tru did not know what happened to him.
Huh. I looked at Tru, looking at me, ears pricked forward, body still and relaxed, ready for whatever I would ask next. Trusting me. This time, I had healed him (or at least been a channel for his healing). This time, we made it through the pain together. Total Trust Dividend.
Your trials do not come to punish you, but to awaken you.Paramhansa Yogananda
Since then, we’ve completed three endurance rides in total partnership. He is both a powerhouse competitor and a level-headed calming force for other horses. It’s been a total joy to feel our dreams coming true.
P.S. Maybe you don’t want to pay someone to tell you your horse doesn’t trust you ;-), but Ezra was really helpful to Tru and I at several points along our journey. Our “trust dividend” came in no small part through doing as he coached. Ezra moved to San Luis Obispo, but still coaches virtually in the Sierras. He and my friend Gita have launched Herd Spirit, equine-assisted spiritual healing. With the four horses of Herd Spirit, Gita guides sessions for people at Ananda Village. Their first Live Your Gift retreat is almost full this May!