Monday, December 8, 2014

The Sanctity of Horses

 At Spring Farm CARES we began our journey as a rescue and retirement facility for horses.  As we were working with these magnificent animals, we realized early on that we were not the ones doing the rescuing but indeed were the ones being rescued.  Our herd once stood at 38 horses.  Their hearts and hoof beats fill the farm forever with comfort, just as an infant feels in the womb, while hearing the steady cadence of it’s mother’s heart beat.  Today, that herd stands at 25, mostly all elderly and/or having special needs and requiring specialized care.  Through natural attrition we lowered our numbers so that we could devote ourselves fully to their needs and care which naturally increase with age.

It has been a most humbling and amazing journey to share their lives with them and for them to share their hearts with us.  Horses are deeply spiritual and finely tuned and connected to one another and to this planet as a whole.  They are majestic.  They are ancient in their wisdom.  And they give endlessly of themselves to their human brothers and sisters.  Horses have stood by us humans, served us in peace, fought beside us in wars, been overused and misunderstood by us – yet they continue to partner up with us.  When we began working with them, we were struck by the fate that most of them met.  They were used until their bodies could give no more.  Some were raced and shown while others were work horses pulling carts and logs and hauling people around.  Some were bred until their bodies could no longer maintain a pregnancy.  And then their “useful” days were over and they were disposed of.  Many went for auction and on to slaughter.  Some of them weren’t even old but their bodies had been carelessly misused, compromised, and destroyed.  They could no longer meet the needs of the humans who used them.  They were at the end of the road with nowhere to go.  We began to see that this wasn’t just a few horses, but thousands and thousands of them a year.  Hundreds of thousands.  Cast aways.  Thrown out as if they were a discarded old piece of machinery.  We knew we couldn’t save them all as we had limited resources and space.  But we could help where we could and more than that, we thought we could share with the world about the heart of the horse and the magnificent beings who have literally changed the lives of so many humans for centuries.  Horses have been a constant friend to humans as humanity has progressed through so many phases of our own development and history.  And we humans frequently take for granted just who they are and what they have given and continue to give to our own development. 

What we didn’t know when we started out creating Spring Farm CARES was how deeply they would touch our lives, honor this land, and guide us on to who we are now.  Horses listen to and understand at the deepest heart level.  They have a way of touching humans and showing us, indeed reminding us, who we are.  They ask the question, “Who are you and where are you going?”  And they patiently and quietly wait for an answer.  If you stop to share a moment with them, they will share their hearts with you and walk with you steadfastly beside you – never wavering with their loyalty and compassion.  Horses are huge – in body – and in spirit – and in heart.  You can have the most difficult day in your life and go out and hug your horse and feel the grounding energy fill your body and replace chaos with peace.  They have the energy of ancient trees and the wisdom of old stones.  They are mirrors to what lies deep within our own hearts and to truly know a horse is to face all those things about ourselves that we are sometimes afraid to look at.  They are healers.  They are teachers.  They are fellow travelers in life. 

Horses are the backbone of this farm.  They hold the space for all else to happen.  It is because of them that we are here and it is their strength that keeps us moving forward and steadies our sometimes weary hearts.  We owe them a lot and are honored to have them with us to guide us and share their wisdom. 

Please visit all of our horses, past and present on our website, and read their stories and be touched by their hearts.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What Do Animals Teach Us about Being Better Humans?

I don’t know about you but some days we look around us and wonder just what the heck mankind is doing.  It is easy to lose hope and to feel lost.  We look around at the destruction of our environment, the horrific ways many of the animals are mistreated or disregarded.  It is easy to see so much that is negative.  Great calamities wrought by a changing climate, weather patterns reeking havoc all over the world – floods, fires, mudslides, drought.  We seem to live in a world of great extremes. 

Yet, the animals have been lovingly guiding us and filling us with hope.  How?  Why?  Because they tell us that they see potential in the human heart that is beyond anything we fully realize.  Many days when I personally lose faith and trust in humanity, my animals will require me to look a little closer.  If anyone deserves the right to have lost faith in us humans, it is the animals.  Yet, they haven’t.  They still believe in opening hearts and trusting.  They still love unconditionally and without judgment.  Those of you with animals in your lives know exactly what we mean.  For many of us, we let animals in our hearts far more deeply than other humans.  I ask people this question a lot.  Why do we let animals in so deeply?  Inevitably they answer, “Because we can trust them.  They love us for who we are.  They don’t judge us.” 

Of course those answers are all true.  But the animals have asked us to look even deeper by asking us these questions – “Why not learn to love each other as we love you?  Why not believe in one another as we believe in you? Why not trust each other, love each other, help each other, believe in one another?  Why do you give up on each other?”

The animals have never separated themselves apart from nature, the environment, the planet, or one another.  They walk this earth knowing that all is connected.  It is humanity that has ostracized itself, disconnected from, and all but forgotten that we are all One and all connected and in this together.  But that can change.  We are awakening to something greater than we understand or comprehend.  When the human heart opens and is allowed to breathe of its true nature, we find our connection and Oneness with all.  The rest of Nature hasn’t walked away from us.  We walked away from that Oneness ourselves. 

And the amazing thing is that all the rest of Nature is waiting to welcome us back into the fold.  In spite of the havoc our indifference causes and has caused, there truly is no separation other than what humanity has perceived of itself for the past millennia.  The animals are looking to us to reach past our own inner pain and suffering and to remember the love and the hope and the Oneness of Life.  And, like the loyal canine companion awaiting our return home, they prepare to welcome us home with freedom and wild abandon of their hearts – celebrating that we are all together again – whole. 

With all the pain we cause them, often thinking that if they can’t speak they must not feel it, or that they do not understand or are less than humans, even with all of that, they still find hope and a reason to bestow their unconditional love on our hearts and try to help us find our way home.  It's as if they try to show us the best of who we are so that we can one day be the best that we can be and to remember the truth of Life – that we are all One.