My theory is that every rider gets a One-In-A-Million horse in their lifetime. An angel of a horse who guides and protects them and teaches them more about life than any professor ever could
(If you haven’t found yours yet then be patient and keep looking, they’ll come when you need them most in life). These soulmate horses or heart and soul horses as I like to call them, come into our lives to save us, to teach us, and to be the greatest gift that the universe could ever give to us.
I love all of my horses and each of them have a special place in my heart but I was fortunate enough to get my heart and soul horse at the age of 14. To understand the story of my main mare I must first tell you another little story. A little over a year earlier I had bought my first horse Stryker (who I adore and love deeply) and he taught me more than any other horse could. He was wild and unruly, a 2 year old who’d never had human contact, wasn't gelded yet and was the dominant herd boss among his pack of youngins that he lived with on the farm where we bought him from.
Every horse person will tell you that you should never buy an untrained horse as your first horse, but I was horse savvy and all of my coaches believed I was gifted as a rider and i’d been doing some natural horsemanship work for a few months and I firmly believed I could train a horse from the beginning. I was pretty bold at 12 years old. Well let’s just say, that horse tuned me up but at the same time taught me some important lessons. I was told on the day I got him that he was extremely dangerous and that I would never be able to get on him, he would hurt me or someone else and should be sent back or sent to auction.
Through a lot of patience and diligence I started to gentle him, we got him gelded, and he settled into his surroundings and started to be a bit more manageable. However when it came to actually working with him and starting to train him I was grossly out of my depth. I soon found a better barn to board him at with the owner being a brilliant coach who agreed to coach me on how to train this horse without doing it for me. Ray Salmon was one of the greatest horsemen I’ve ever met (still to this day) and for an old cowboy, he was the gentlest sort who understood horses in an instinctual way that i’d never experienced before.
To make a long story short, I did train Stryker, under the instruction and great teaching of Ray, and that horse remains one of my favourites in the pasture and the best kids horse for pony rides you can find. That horse was a challenge though, and he put me through the ringer, but eventually we got it figured out and I had a pretty good understanding of how to train a horse. So a year later when I purchased my second horse, a big, lanky, quiet and beautiful 2 year old mare, I thought the process would be very similar and easy peasy. Now that i’d trained one horse the next one would be the same right? WRONG.My beautiful heart and soul mare Abby, was the complete and utter opposite to Stryker and this would be the beginning of the most important lesson I would ever learn with horses.
As I started to train Abby I quickly learned that every method I thought I knew and could use with her, wouldn’t work and would leave us in a dizzying meltdown. I had been riding for 6 years already and worked with a slew of horses at the different stables where I'd taken lessons. Of course I understood that every horse was different but surely the principles of training would be the same would they not? But every session I had with Abby I was butting up against a wall and seeing no progress. My thinking had to change. My methodology had to change. My mindset and presence had to change. I had to step out of the box and create a whole new perspective for myself and this horse. Where I needed to be strict and dominating with Stryker (who was an alpha horse) I needed to be expressive, quiet and indirect with Abby. While Stryker would change his behaviour when pressured and discomfort was added, Abby would shut down with any discomfort. If I asked something of Abby and she didn’t understand, there was no pushing and continuing until she finally got it. If I wanted her to understand I would have to ask another way.
Constantly this horse challenged me to find another way. To think outside the box. To see things from a different perspective and to adapt my expectations. She could read my energy and see into my soul.
Abby is still my main mare 12 years later and the depth of our connection has grown to an even greater significance. I thank the Goddess every day for bringing this horse into my life.
Her soul is connected to mine. She reads my pain and carries it as her own. She mirrors the shadow aspects of my personality and reflects back the lessons I still need to learn and the healing work I need to do for my own soul. Our energies are so attuned to each other that sometimes we become too much for each other, both deeply feeling the emotions we are trying to work through. But no matter what is going on in my life she is there, holding space for me, ready to ride and work and dance together.
We all have those beings who come into our life as pure angels, absolute gifts, here to teach us more about ourselves, energy, life and love than any book or teacher ever could. Whether it be a horse, dog, human or otherwise, I believe that we are graced with these One-In-A-Million souls to help us on our journey in life. I’m lucky enough to say I have a few of those souls in my life, my horse Abby, my partner Jon. Both my soulmates, both my angels. Along with all of my other animals and friends in my life, I’d say I'm exceptionally blessed. I’ve often struggled with feeling guilty about having such incredible beings in my life. Who am I to deserve them? But here’s the lesson I've learned: Exchange guilt for gratitude and thank your lucky stars for them.
We don’t always know why these angels come into our life. Why they help us and teach us and give us more than we feel we could ever possibly give them. But they are here. And that means we manifested them into our lives for a reason. We absolutely DO deserve them.
Because while they teach us the greatest lessons we could ever learn, and take care of us and give to us in ways we feel we could never reciprocate… there is one thing they receive from us in return that makes it a fair energetic exchange… unconditional love. We can give them our undying, deepest, unconditional love because we’ve felt their support and soul connection. And that gives us the opportunity to give them our strongest love and appreciation in a way that no one else could ever give them. So we thank the universe, God, Buddha (whatever higher power it may be that you believe in) for our One-In-A-Million horse and trust that we’re One-In-A-Million to them too.