One of the many reasons I signed up for this Mustang Makeover was because I knew that I would learn and grow from this experience. Never could I have imagined the growth to be as powerful as it has been. Saint has pried open places I have had locked up for years.
Many have asked about my silence and what is happening with Saint. I am so grateful for those who are enjoying this journey as much as I am, though sometimes I need to step back from all the noise to hear what is being said in the silence to gain clarity about what I feel is right and to follow my intuition. If you know me you know that my internal guidance and connection to my source leads me through out my life.
The first 10 days with Saint were more challenging than almost any other Mustang or Domestic horse I have ever worked with. In these first days I found myself focusing on the need to get him to want to be with me. I wanted him to smell my hand, reach out, touch me, follow me, you know… All the pretty stuff. The walk on the clouds, life is perfect and soft and goes exactly as planned. What people on the internet want you to believe horsemanship is. Well I have news for you… That is so far from the truth! The old Lisa was the one who shared only the powerful moments. The beauty in the end. The “look what I did with this wild horse aren’t I great” image. If I did that I would be feeding you a line of crap and creating a belief that times are always good and easy, when they are NOT. The only reason the Powerful beautiful moment exist is because someone was willing to walk through the fire.
And the fire is what I have always been afraid to share with the world. Its Raw, Vulnerable and scary as hell. Working with Saint has brought me to a place where I can not live in any other way but to walk in my fullest truth and share even the icky moments. Saint is demanding it.
So here I am cracking my heart open about the last few weeks.
In the beginning he wanted nothing to do with me or any of my ideas and in many ways he still doesn’t. The normal “Round Pen work” at liberty was completely unpersuasive. In fact it did the opposite. On day two, what I perceived as Saint following me because he wanted to be with me, the following day turned into a charge. Though the next 5 days we were able to make more success including getting the halter on, he still attempted this pattern.
It had been a long time since I had felt fear around a horse and Saint brought this up in me. I wanted to walk in guarding myself but I knew that if I was coming from a closed, guarded, fearful and defensive place that he would come from that place as well. If I was going to prove to him that he could trust me then I needed to be someone worth trusting, and fearful and defensive were certainly not part of that equation.
Several times during a session I would catch myself sinking into the rut of distrust. Breathing and shifting my thoughts were only helping so much. One of the things I realized I needed to let go of was my attachment to needing him to want to be with me. As long as I was attached to this, it would create an internal energy force that would work against us. It was my old co dependent needs sneaking in. When I let go of this, Trust was able to emerge! It brought more peace and relaxation for the both of us knowing that I was not trying to control him in a needy way.
Years ago when I went through a dark time in my life, I discovered that music cleared my mind, shifted my thoughts and changed my whole day. Since then I use music on a daily basis to connect, visualize and inspire me. Music was my answer to helping me let go of my fears!
So I grabbed my little amazing music box that my Mitchy gave me for my birthday and went to the arena! I made Saint his own playlist (Yes, Saint has a playlist) and began working with empowering songs and singing them to Saint to help me stay focused, come from an open heart and Trust. Any fear and tension that came in was quickly moving through my body and leaving. With each session I began to see more and more changes. Something as small a sigh with a little relaxation was a big deal to this horse. The music was working!
Now that we have added music and began some scratches on the neck and his barrel, I noticed his hair falling off in big clumps. At first I assumed he was a molting kind of horse rather than a shed-er. Then the next morning I came out and there were big bare patches on all his flanks, chest and neck! This is why I have not been posting any pictures of him on social media. I was trying to figure out exactly what it was. I called The BLM facility where he came from and they were very helpful. I thought it could possibly be an allergic reaction to his supplements at first. Then with further examination we discovered it was mange caused by an internal parasite. Deworming him with Ivermectrin was the only solution. So how do you get meds in a wild horse? You make him a tasty soup!
Since his first day of arrival he has been eating a Beet pulp, Ultium, electrolyte, platinum soup, Thanks to my over the top awesome sponsors at Simply Country for feeding him only the best!! He was already in love with his daily soup so I added the tasty wormer and mixed it in. He gobbled it up right away! I am hoping to see some new hair growth in these places soon!
Now that WE have worked on learning to trust, overcome fears and tackle the mange, a new discovery is emerging. I first noticed it the day I unloaded him from the trailer and it seemed so small. Then a few days later in a missed step. Then a few days later a friend noticed it and it was a little bigger, 2 days after that he slipped in a muddy section in the round pen and now it was very clear. Saint has something going on with his stifle.
As I look back on the video of when we unloaded him I should have known. I think I did but did not want to acknowledge it because I had already loved him. He was the horse I connected with months before that day. I prayed about him 1000 times over! He was meant to come to me.
I immediately called my vet and gave him bute. He came out and did a zebra evaluation (Only Looking, as Saint would not allow for much more). He discovered a small pouch of fluid at the stifle. It was very clear that Saint was in pain. Standing, resting his hoof on the toe and not wanting to take even one step.
So many questions began to bombard my mind. Will he heal fully? Was he born with a weak stifle or did this happen in the wild? Was he lunging at me because he was in pain? Why this horse!!!??
My heart crumbled into pieces each day as I walked out the door to make his soup. I have cried every night sitting next to him under the stars as he eats. I have not felt my hear ache this much in such a long time.
It has now been 6 days on bute and I have began walking him for 8 minuets twice a day while listening to our music. Afterwards I spend time giving him lots of scratches and grooming him with the rubber curry. This down time is proving to be as good for him as it is for me.
Not having any agenda other than scratching and giving him love has reconnected me to the little 8-year-old girl deep inside. The little girl who brought an apple to the horses that whinnied at the sight of her on her bike. The little girl who forgot about the world because the smell of horses was in the air! When I reconnect to this joyful place he let’s go. Stretching his neck around, moving his lip back and forth as I scratch. He is beginning to find the joy in theses little moments! Saint now waits for me by the gate each day. Raising his head high when I call his name. Watching me where ever I go when he can see me. He is truly something special.
As nice as those moments are, it is not all quiet and smooth yet. Saint is still extremely reactive and snorty. He needs lots of desensitization work and we will work on that more after he heals. We will take the walking and grooming one day at a time for now. This competition is secondary to me. I absolutely refuse to do anything other than what Saint needs. This is not a race for us. This is a journey with discoveries to be made. About us. Who we are. Who we will become. All to be found in honoring one another.
Any of your good vibes, Love, prayers or blessing would be greatly appreciated for his healing. Much Love to you all and Thank You for reading!