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Awareness Magazine
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PET CORNER

Native Americans and Horses — a Sacred Agreement

By Allen and Linda Anderson

 

Horses and Native Americans formed a sacred agreement hundreds of years ago. When Native Americans inherited ancestors of today’s wild horses from the Spaniards, it changed their way of life. In return they revered and respected horses as essential to the advancement of their culture.

Today, people continue to forge sacred agreements with horses. Kathe Campbell lives on a Montana mountain ranch. She is a prolific writer with a distinctive style who has contributed many stories to our Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter.

A Horse Named Freedom

“The young Mustang’s life was unruffled, his fodder and spring graze lush, while he contemplated his prime and lived near kin. The fields and pastures were seasonally green, and the rancher forked up two squares a day, lending belly comfort and warmth to the horse’s life even through a winter’s chill. Then some folks arrived on the scene to take the youngster away. He left his ma and sidekicks while being prodded into a tiny horse trailer.”

This is when the Mustang’s fortunes took a turn for the worse. He was mistreated and neglected to the point where only a few years later, Horse, as the new owner had named him, was literally on his last legs.

“A lady from the local animal sanctuary appeared. She opened Horse’s pen and ran her gentle hands over his body, murmuring soft sounds of love and reassurance. Other folks blanketed his emaciated carcass before escorting him inside. After a long journey the doors to the horse trailer opened to the scent of green sprouts in a field and the loping hooves of donkeys rushing to greet the pitiful wretch. Horse was turned loose to the glory of it all — a barn, alfalfa hay, and clean running water when he thirsted. Horse was free.

“Shivering and gasping at the sight, I saw Horse’s scrawny neck schmoozing my donkeys across the fence on one early morning. ‘So you are our rescue baby, you sorrowful thing,’ I tearfully whispered, caressing his head against my chest. ‘We’ll bring you about.’

“Horse was made welcome in a clean, straw-filled stall when he needed comfort and seclusion. I brushed his coat daily, clipped and filed his split hooves, shared carrots, and assured him he had a home if he was a mind to stay.

“He was high maintenance in the beginning and stayed for a goodly time at our ranch, high in the Montana mountains. When we saddled up and rode the hills and forests on our big champion donkeys, Horse trailed along until he amassed the sleek coat, bulk, and muscle he was born with.

“The day came when we shook hands and hugged a dear old friend as he and his small Native American grandson emerged from their truck. Horse seemed taken with the boy’s tawny skin, shiny black hair, and winning smile. The lad crawled up on Horse bareback, pulled gently on the reins, and spoke kind words as they rode the acres. This was surely the best birthday present the youngster ever had. The Mustang walked easily into their trailer to go home. They called him ‘Freedom.’”

This full-circle moment seems to continue the sacred agreement between Native Americans and horses with a son who appreciated Freedom’s gifts.

A Magical Horse

Mira Paul was originally born in Germany. She now makes her home in the foothills of Colorado where she is a blog writer and photographer at www.mira paul.weebly.com 

Mira met the Appaloosa horse named Magic after she started working at the sanctuary/rescue, Harmony Horseworks in Conifer, Colorado. Unwanted, neglected, and injured, Magic had been treated roughly by humans. Magic suffered severe separation anxiety if she had to leave her main herd for even a short time. The only thing that eased the horse’s fear was for someone to bring her goat friend to her stall in the barn.

About a year after Mira met Magic, the sanctuary had raised funds to conduct an experimental surgery to correct and fuse the horse’s pastern. It took almost a year for her to heal. When Magic returned home, Mira and the other staff trained and walked her until she regained most of her range of motion and was pain-free.

“When I started working at Harmony, I knew that this was not a place where you should get attached to any one horse. As it was primarily a rescue center, horses came here to be saved from their cruel owners, to recover and heal, and to move on to new homes that would love them for the remainder of their days. In spite of that knowledge, I grew very attached to Magic. Selfishly, I hoped she would not get adopted, so she could be with me forever. But for her happiness, I knew I would one day have to let her go.

“That day came all too soon. A mother and son from Parker, Colorado fell in love with Magic, just as I had many years ago. It isn’t difficult to be spellbound by Magic, and she had enchanted them as well.

“The family in Parker had a stunning piece of land and even offered Magic the companionship of their spunky Morgan mare. Part of me was ecstatic. Magic would finally have the forever home her beautiful soul deserved. The other part of me was shattered. I would lose my best friend on four legs. On the day the mother and son decided they would adopt Magic, I cried on the way home until I had to pull over to the side of the road.

“I smile when a memory of Magic crops up in my mind. Right above my heart I carry a pendant that looks exactly like her, running wild and free, black as midnight, sprinkled with brilliant white stars.”

Have you loved a horse or other animal and had the bittersweet gift of helping him or her through a transition to a brighter future? If so, like the Native Americans, you have experienced a sacred agreement with horses.

Allen and Linda Anderson are co-founders of Angel Animals Network and authors of a series of books about the spiritual connection between people and animals www.angelanimals.net. Their newest book is A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life. Visit: www.adognamedleaf.com