Tag Archive | horse story

Till Your Last Breath My Sweet Boy….

Jay March 2015

By Diana Wanamaker

My sweet boy Jay has been enjoying the cover and shelter of his new barn since the beginning of this new barn experience. I often find him standing at the end of the aisle to the barn, looking out at the pasture and keeping a close eye on his buddy, Sadie Lou. I will often find Jay in his stall or standing further inside the barn when I arrive, sheltered from the weather. Enjoying the comfort of being inside during inclement weather.
I can’t help but think of all the barns I have been at that my sweet Jay stood out in weather conditions that were unthinkable and border line neglect. And I had no voice to help him, no means to change it. And with each move to a new barn I found the same again and again. With each situation I became more and more hopeless, as I stood by voiceless on what I could do to help who I love the most.
After over a decade of this, my voice erupted in bursts of anger, at the lack of control I had to help who I loved the most and whom I know was affected by the lack of compassion and understanding from these barn owners. Not only did I cry in sadness and yell in anger at the injustice being done to my beloved horse, but I cried for all the injustice’s of my own life, and all the times I had no voice. No one to speak on my behalf, as I endured unspeakable events of my own life. I knew the truths of standing in the cold with no support anywhere to be found, and when I saw that in Jay, I could not stand by and blindly watch, as other’s in my life had done to me. I became his voice.
I spent years with a voice that talked with reason and understanding and coming from another’s view point. Putting myself in a barn owner’s shoes (best I could) and I talked with respect and logic. I strived to negotiate and come to a middle ground. I used every communication skill I possessed to create change for the better of Jay’s comfort and needs. It never resulted in change. Or if it did, it was short lived. So, I did what I could with the tools I had.
I would create shelter for Jay with blankets and hoods, place hay nets in corners where it provided some sort of wind break, or moved him to another part of a pasture in yet another corner, to protect from wailing winds.
His resilience however, is far greater than my own.
Eventually, I did move onto a new barn and yet another and another. Improvements came in the area of shelter, but it offered other challenges that weighed heavy on me.
With the last barn (before the dream barn), I was broken. I had hit a bottom with the abuse towards me and my horse over the years, and I could no longer trust or have faith in what was to come next. I made the hardest decision, I have ever made. It dawned on me, maybe I need to let Jay go. Maybe I need to find him another loving home, with someone who has their own farm and doesn’t have to board. Maybe Jay would be happier with that, then the stress of moving from barn to barn. I had to consider that and I had to do what was best for Jay. I could barely breathe thinking of being without him, but I could feel peace in knowing he may be better off without me as his person. I had to know.
I found an animal communicator to communicate with Jay, and ask him the much dreaded question. Would he be happier with someone else, someone who has their own farm, so he would not have to endure these barn situations any longer?
When Jay was asked this question, this was the response:
His left eye opened up. He asked if you are kidding. He feels the sunlight coming from your eyes. That’s his reflection of you. He feels cramped in his stomach and he can not breathe thinking of not being with you. He will not hear of it. Now his neck is long and thin and head is high up in the air. He tells you to dig deeper. He is sad over this thought. He says, I thought I was your baby.
When I read this, I broke down into tears. Crying in relief and crying in joy and crying in guilt for even asking such a question. With all that he had been thru in these barns, he still chose me. With all my imperfections, worries and fears, he still chose me. With my laughter, my smile, my kind heart he still chose me. With my anger, my pain, my past and all else that comes in this package, he chose me.
It is not often that an animal can make a choice of where it lives, or who is their person to be the witness and partner in their life. I wanted to give him that chance. Yet, he still chose me.
That was freedom, freedom that not even I had during times of my own life. Even though I have a voice, even though I am a person, I too have been in times of my life, where it was not my choice. I too have been caged like an animal, not choosing some of the people that entered into my life. Where even a voice cannot escape it’s bars. There was no way I was allowing that to be a part of another living being, especially to one I find so dear to my heart.
My voice returns, my choices gather, my fight continues, and I become larger than life, with no one stopping me, when I know that someone truly loves me and when given a choice, still chooses me. Despite the mistakes I have made, despite the times when my voice meant nothing. I stood by his side, seeking new solutions, to each unwanted circumstance that came our way.
That was freedom within itself. To be loved and to love. For that love to be accepted and returned. Seems like a such a simple feat, but so many of us have trouble allowing that in. While here before me, I got that from a horse, who has no voice, who often has no choices and who has endured much neglect and abuse before me. He still is able to love again. To laugh, to joke, to have fun. You can see it in his soft eyes and cute facial expressions, that the love has erased most of what he knew, and together we have found love, that each of us was looking for. To be free from the chains of the past and live in the joy of today.
Till your last breathe my sweet boy, I choose you too.
Love Diana

Copyright March 2105. All Rights Released

For the Love of my Horse

Jayatbaldwinbarn

By Diana Wanamaker

That’s a lot of work they say. But they do not understand what joy and purpose it brings to my world. They shake their heads at how I choose to feed horses day and night, no matter the day, no matter how late or how early, I am there 365 days/year (2x/day). But they do not understand that they are my family. It is not work, it is a steadfast commitment to beings that bring to me what no others do.
Over and over again I hear, that’s a lot of work taking care of horses. I weigh heavy in my heart how they do not understand that they are the air I breathe, they are a connection that words barely touch on. They are my heart, my soul, my life! I would have it no other way.
That’s a lot of money they say. They are expensive, they say. Get rid of the horses they say and you can pay more bills and have more money for this and that. But they do not understand that these sentinent beings that have graced my life are dependent upon me to be there for them. They are not just material things you place on a shelf and watch the dust collect. They are not just a few moments of euphoria at a store as you buy the newest and latest things. There life sings in my heart day and night, throughout the year. They feel, they love, they hurt, they have needs and wants and joys as do I. We travel together in this journey of life and without them along my side, would be a world without much left to even behoove existence to my world.
Do they not know what passion and dedication that is driven purely by unselfish means looks like? Do they not know that in my world there is no other deeper connection then the connection with my horses (and mule). They are not just work, they are not just more bills being paid, they are my family. And my devoted commitment to them is till death do us part. It is not a light hearted decision, it is one that reigns without much thought. It just is.
So, the next time you shake your head at how I have horses to feed, or all you can think about is how much work they are (as if they somehow had to do this work?), or how much money they cost, or how I have to haul manure out across a 5 acre pasture each day, know that this narrow minded vision of what is viewed of my life with horses is not understood by even the slightest perception. If you can not take off your colored glasses and see beyond what is there in this love I have for my horses, then you have little to no understanding of me or who I am, at the slightest.
I think we all can view another’s life, at times, and say, “I don’t know how you do that?” “It is so much work!”. I see people with kids and families of their own, and I am exhausted just looking at how much they have to do within a 2 hour time frame, let alone a lifetime. The expense’s of having a family is beyond anything I can fathom. The long hours of full-time work, taking care of a home, kids, husband (or wife), etc. I am exhausted just thinking of it.
But so many of you choose this with glee all around, proudly displaying your family and the voyage of a lifetime creating memories and impacting another’s life forever in your world. I look time and time again at all the families that people have. It is a joy that you share it and I can see how your world sings with elation. How much pride and recognition there is to have a family, home and husband/wife/children! It is what so many have and so many delightfully embrace each day. There is nothing like it. No questions as to your choice’s. No question as to the work involved. The dedication. The heartaches and the disappointments, and the devotion of time, energy and money it takes to have a family of your own. I look at it and the pictures speak all the words. I look at it and I too wonder how so many of you raise families in such a world of being overly busy. But the joy and delight that is shown proudly displaying your pictures of your families needs no explanation. There is nothing like family. How precious they all are.
But they say to me, “It’s just a horse!”. But what I see is that there are many similarities between our worlds and there is probably few experience’s with your family, that I cannot relate to with my horses. There is no dividing of differences for me. It is not only a choice, but a lifetime dedication to them, as you have to your family’s.
See…my life is not graced with children, a husband, or even a significant other. I have few friends, nor a large immediate family that I can embrace. Life did not defer me with such a life. I do not have extended family to share the joy of having so much family around as I raise children. I do not have a large network of friends that comes from being connected to so much family.
My family is my horses, my animals. They are my children. They are what brings that much desired connection to have a family of my own.
So, the next time you shake your head at how I have this duty to my horses, know that what you envision about me with my horses is what you have chosen. Know that the fondness and love that graces your hearts from your families, also does for me with my horses. Understand that the devotion, the patience, the love, time, energy and money that is fully dedicated to the love of my animal family, divides out no differently than it does for you and your families.
Understand that it is the similarities in life is what bring unity and peace and togetherness. It is the recognition of
differences and the argument of those differences is what brings segregation, detachment and parting of worlds.
Understand that what lies in my heart with my horses is not a just a choice but it is the very life of my being.
It is the knowing of those similarities that bring unity in our choices.
May those similarities bring more understanding that my horses are as much a part of me, as your families are a part of you.

Copyright Dec. 2015. All Rights Reserved

A Love Story

Jay with meisha 8-9-13

By Diana Wanamaker

I had recently moved my gelding Jay to a new farm that was filled with rescue horses. A large farm with over 21 horses and ponies combined, on 80 some acres. Having Jay in a large herd was his first time, and I was excited that he would be surrounded with so many horses, like horses are built to do. He was slowly introduced to the herd and finally released amongst all the horses and ponies. Days and weeks went by and he did not adjust well to being around such a large herd of horses. I would often find him a distance from the herd, in a separate pasture, or trying to join the pony herd. He was not fitting in too well and his stress was increasingly noticeable.
Left with no other options, we decided to introduce Jay to Meisha. Meisha was a sweet, senior, Arab mare that was kept in a small barn and pasture, with her goat companions. They followed her around like she was their mother. She had a neurological issue that would cause her to just fall to the ground, unexpectedly, and then would be unable to get herself up. It was due to her condition, that she was not let out in the pasture with the rest of the herd.
So, my sweet boy Jay and sweet, gentle Meisha were introduced. It was love at first sight. Each of them finding a place where they fit in, with each other. Together they formed their own herd, and together they would graze in unity, in eyesight of the larger herd. They found a place in their world, where they belonged, despite their handicaps and differences that made them slightly unusual from the crowd.

So began the love story of a 43 yr. old Arab mare and Jay, a sweet TH gelding.
She is so ecstatic to have Jay as a buddy, you will see her sometimes cantering in the field, to keep up with Jay, as if she is a young filly again!  Inseperable, they found unity from a world they were divided from.  Where Meisha was, Jay was. Where they were, the goats were close by. Together they formed their own world of togetherness and all was well.
Then, one day, Meisha and Jay were grazing on a hill, in the apple orchard. She had toppled over, underneath the apple trees and couldn’t get back up. There were people on the farm that would come out periodically to check on her, but sometimes it could take up to an hour before she was discovered.  Meisha layed on the hill waiting for help. Who do you think stayed by her side the entire time till help could come?  Jay.  Never leaving her side, till the farm owner found her and got her back up. Just like I knew he would.

Copyright August 2013. All Rights Reserved