Sharing Human Grief
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
Recently I experienced a high level of grief in my life. After three weeks away I returned home a different version of my former self. I arrived home in the evening so didn’t see my horses until the next day. I went out to the paddock in the clear fresh morning and greeted each in turn. Then I moved to sit on the ground under a tree, one of the horses ‘camps’. As I sat there the enormity of what I had just experienced overwhelmed me.
The brumby Rumpy came over first to say hi, then Soray, a beautiful dark bay TB gelding. Soray stood beside me and touched my face with his muzzle. Next the TB mare Minka came over. Normally Soray would move away at Minkas approach, but this day he merely moved to the side and stayed with me. Minka began touching my face with her muzzle. Soray put his muzzle on my left cheek, Minka put hers on my right cheek, and then they both just held that without moving.
The tears started pouring from my eyes, and then I started sobbing. I had to blow my nose a number of times but they both remained. I sat on the ground, with huge horses towering over me on both sides and felt held in the tenderest loving embrace. I cried and cried. I felt their love pouring into my heart and the warmth of their caring enveloped me like a soft, warm blanket. Their total immobility was amazing; they stayed like that until I had cried myself out, then Minka walked away.
After a while Soray started bumping me with his head. It felt cheeky and playful and after a while I started laughing. He kept doing it and I realised he wanted me to get up. But I didn’t, I stayed stuck to the ground, so he reached out with his front hoof. Now I had no choice but to do what I was told, so I stood up. I got the message loud and clear, he was telling me to get up now and get on with life. Satisfied that I was ok, Soray also walked off.
I started walking out of the paddock and then the enormity of what had just happened hit me. While it was happening I was completely in the moment and was not thinking about it at all. Afterwards it hit me, and I turned and looked back at my horses with totally new eyes.
I have said it before and I say it again, horses are amazing. The depth of caring and understanding of my emotional situation was amazing. The desire by the horses to help me and be there for me in such a way was amazing. Horses have a depth and emotional intelligence that many of us humans struggle to achieve. To care for one of another species to this emotional level clearly demonstrates how evolved horses are as a species. This was not a knee jerk reaction in response to a survival issue, this was beings caring and giving to another in time of need. This is something we may think only humans are capable of. Horses are clearly capable of it too.
I feel extremely grateful to have experienced this. I will never forget it and will be aware of this gift with every horse I meet. I invite you to share your inner world with your horses, you will never regret it.
Suzy Maloney B.Eq.Sc.
Happy Horses Bitless
Lismore, NSW, Australia
Ph: 0401 249 263
Facebook: Happy Horses Bitless Bridles