The Horse Totem
By Allen and Linda Anderson
There is a fascinating website called
“Native American Legends.” In the section “Native American Totems & Their
Meanings” (www.legendsof america.com/na-totems.html), it states that the Horse
Totem means “freedom, stamina, mobility, the land, travel, and power.”
Horses, beloved by indigenous peoples around the world, have offered the
freedom to travel and the power of protection from invasive forces.
In a story sent to us by Joy Loros, a horse-lover from Southern Oregon, she
writes about the connections she and Divine Spirit made between herself and the
horse who played a healing role in her life.
Franklin, the Horse
Who Waited for Me
When I was ten years old, I promised
myself that for at least one day, I would have my own horse.
In my 30s, I did a Native American sweat. I am a white woman, yet I have
always felt very close to the Native American ways. During this sweat ceremony,
I had an experience I never spoke of till the next year, when I was at my
second sweat. In a Native American sweat, you are re-birthed by Mother Earth. You
go into her womb, represented by a manmade tepee, which is totally dark. Much
ceremony accompanies the sweat.
At my first sweat experience, I could
only see a slight glow from seven hot stones. Then I saw a horse’s eye in the
pitch dark. Whether my eyes were open or closed, I could see the horse. I felt
a brief moment of fear and then an overwhelming love. The fear left, and all I felt was wonderful love of the spirit of the horse.
Years later, I met a very majestic
thoroughbred gelding named Franklin. He had run many races. He had kept his
racing human in hay for him and earned his keep until he
was nine-and-a-half years old. This is a very
long racing career for any horse. I got to ride Franklin over three mountains on a day ride. I fell into the kind of true love that only a horse and a woman can
have. Horses are such beings of light. And they connect you with the light. Franklin stole my heart that day.
We had several other rides a year
apart. Always up and down hills to exercise his up and down muscles, so he
could be a better racer on the flat tracks. I would be so sore the next week as
I had not ridden since the previous year. The discomfort was always worth every
moment I got to spend with this wonderful being of light.
Then, I became ill with chronic fatigue. I had to spend
three-and-a-half years in bed, for 90 percent of the time, trying to recover.
One day, my friend called to say that Franklin was retiring from racing. She
offered to give Franklin to me. But I was too sick to even think about having a
horse. I had to say no. All of my life, since age ten, I had dreamed and hoped
and even worked, as a teen, at a
riding stable so I could have a
bit of riding time. Now here was a gift I could not accept.
I felt so crushed. Heart
broken, I was angry with God for a while. How could I be sick and not be able
to have this horse?
After I healed, I again prayed to God
for a horse. I called my racing friend. I knew Franklin was long gone but I
still loved the heart of this
thoroughbred. I asked if she knew anyone
retiring a racer who would make a good trail-horse. She said, “I just heard from my veterinarian that ol’ Franklin became
available about a month or two
ago.” I was so afraid to even hope. Could it be true? My Franklin, my dream horse, available? YES! I was able to pay
the price of 800 dollars for Franklin and arranged to make further payments.
Franklin came to live with me.
For five years he was the best thing
that ever happened. He taught me so
much. He gave his heart to me
and filled my heart with love and knowledge that I could have only learned from him. Three years ago, Franklin had to be crossed over by the
veterinarian. His arthritis was so bad I could no longer keep him comfortable.
Before this, he had acupuncture, chiropractic, and herbs. I figured that if
natural things were good for me, they were good for him too. He was so proud
and went very quickly. Of course, I told him to go to the light.
I feel Franklin with me every now and
then. I even had a dream visit from him several months after he crossed over. It was the kind of dream that after you wake
up, it feels like it really
happened. This was one last gift from
my friend and very first horse Franklin, who will be waiting for me along with
the other horses I have loved, when I cross over in my own time. Thank you, Franklin for teaching me so much about horses
and what amazing wonderful beings of light you
Today, I have been the person for four horses. But my other dream was to gentle a wild mustang. No whips; only love and
understanding. I became the proud human to a yearling mustang. I found a
horse-gentler, who is guiding me, since I am no horse-gentler without help.
Gabriel is a tri-colored paint.
Sometimes I feel Franklin through him.
I named this horse Gabriel after the
Archangel, who stands for strength. Gabe
gives me lots of strength, love, and nickers.
Gabe has two white spots, one on each shoulder, where his angel wings were before he came to me.
That is why he is my angel
Has a horse brought you “freedom, stamina, mobility, the land,
travel, and power”? Has a horse
connected you to your own wild,
proud, and indigenous nature?
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 (www.adognamedleaf.com)