The Force of the Horse

Horse Whispers

Excerpt from the book “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” by R.T. Fitch

If Only We Would Listen

It’s Sunday, and I could not leave you fellow advocates and friends of the horses with the ugly images of the likes of Jason Meduna, Sue Wallis, Dave Duquette and the BLM dancing in your minds; that in it’s own right is a cruel and unnecessary act.  So for today, I give you a story that appears in our Book in an effort to wash your minds and souls free of the dirt, blood and corruption while replenishing and refreshing your spirit.  You may take it at it’s face value, but for those of you who have plunged into the depths of the equine spirit, you know of what I write.  Keep the faith and may the Force of the Horse® be with you, my friends. ~ R.T.

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Terry's "Apache" painted by Leslie Anne Webb

The wind was blowing out of the north and it was almost 11:00 p.m. on a night in mid-November in Texas. It was bone chilling cold.

It was Friday night, November 12, 2004, the night before our rescue’s annual Horse Festival fundraiser at the Brenham County Fairgrounds. We were trying to put the finishing touches on all that needed to be accomplished before the gates opened up at 9:00 a.m. the following morning.

We had completed our member Appreciation Dinner, which consisted of delivered Domino’s pizza and Coke. Once finished, the majority of the members had filtered off to warm motel/hotel rooms to prepare for the day to follow. Only a few die-hards remained, and the only reason that I was still there was because Terry was one of those die-hards. Anything hard or strong in me had died an hour or so earlier, and I was dragging…badly.

Terry and I had pulled two of our equine charges with us, all the way from Louisiana, so that they could participate in the event. Apache was to be ridden (that’s a story in its own right) in the Parade of Breeds. We brought along our foster horse, Maleeva, the cute little Arabian mare that has lived with us for ten months, so that she could have a new foster home in Texas, where her odds of being adopted and finding her forever home were much greater. So, we had company for the ride and equine children to take care of while in Brenham.

It appeared that the evil, slave-driving wives were about to wind down. So, I informed Terry that I was going down to the horse barn to check on the horses. We had experienced an earlier problem when Apache and Maleeva were not stalled near each other. The quiet, laid-back Apache was very distraught and wanted to be near “his” little Maleeva. Therefore, we had moved them into back-to-back stalls so that they would be together during the weekend. I walked down the hill and into the barn where there were stalls for over 100 horses—only about 30–40 were over-nighting before the big day. During the course of the afternoon, there had been a great deal of commotion and excitement in the barn. As I neared in the quiet of the night, I could tell that everyone had settled in for sleeping time and there were no pressing issues.

I calmly walked into the barn that was housing all those equine souls and knew within three steps that I was about to live one of those “life experiences.” I immediately slowed down my pace so that I could savor the event. The smell of the hay, horse poop, feed, and the gentle breathing of the horses blended into a heady concoction of pure relaxation and contentment. I slowly strolled down one aisle, headed towards Maleeva, and passed the calm and relaxed horses that were gently falling asleep. I was the only human amongst them, yet they felt confident enough with my presence not to look, flinch, or open an eye. I smiled as I was accepted and trusted to be one of them. I knew this was going to be special.

I reached little Maleeva’s stall only to find that she was lying down, dog style, gently dozing, and looking just as cute and peaceful as she could. Pressed up against the back bars of her stall, on the other side, was Apache, standing, watching her as if he were on guard with his eyes half-lidded. He was struggling to stay awake and  never bothered to lift his head to look at me. He was staring at Maleeva. This was all rather odd, as he would not give her the time of day back home. He had been rude and very pushy with her. One of the reasons we had brought her here was so that she could perhaps find a foster home that was not full of spoiled, pushy geldings.

So, I stood for a few moments and soaked in the feeling. I watched Apache breathe. I watched him blink as he looked at Maleeva. And, I could see that there was a cute, little smile on her equine lips. I watched; I stopped thinking; and then I listened as the whispers pierced my soul.

It was not the wind playing games in the rafters; it was not the fatigue that ate at my bones. It was nearby whispers that I heard—words that I could just make out. As I stared at Apache, the mumbling cleared and I could begin to hear him whisper in a most passionate tone:

“I love you,” he said. “You are the world to me, and I am sorry. I did not show you how much you meant to me while back home. The future is always uncertain, but I am so sorry. I will never leave you or take you for granted again. I will guard you and protect you from the others. I am sorry. You are my life. I love you so.” Then he sighed. She smiled and sighed, too. Even female horses like to hear words of endearment. I smiled, also, as the little mare looked so content, so peaceful, and so happy to hear and feel such things. Inside I began to struggle with my feelings knowing that they would no longer be together. They were about to be separated and there would be no tomorrows for them as a pair.

As I began to slip back into human mode, the horse whispers caught me again and pulled me back to the place of peace. However, it was not Apache who whispered. It was the gelding next to Maleeva. He was whispering his story. He wanted to speak of his past and he wished for a better life in the future. As I stepped in front of his stall, he began to tell me his story. As he spoke, I read the sign on his door that gave a human’s perspective of what he was and where he had been. They did not quite match up as the human story left out the details of abuse and neglect. So, I listened and I smiled. I wished him well and moved on to the mare beside him. She was whispering her tale of woe to a mare behind her and together they compared notes. Both of them were glad to be where they were. They were confident that they were loved. I moved on, out of range of their private conversation.

Stall-by-stall, one-by-one, I listened to each and every one and read their stories, all of them, not one could be missed. There was joy, fear, hate, love, anger, confusion, and depression; but, above all else, there was hope. The feeling of hope was so thick in that cold barn that night that you could have cut it with a knife. The feeling was so real that it stuck to everything like molasses and slowed my pace even further. I drank it in and could feel it purge my soul of any uncertainties or conflicts. There was hope. If my arms were big enough to reach around and collectively give all of those whispering horses a hug at one time, I would have done it. Instead, one-by-one, I listened and reassured them. We were all one for a moment in time.  We had the same vision. We had the same smile. And, we had the same heart.

It is hope that brings us home.

27 replies »

  1. I was thinking (OMG…not again), values based, decent humans can hear the equines….even if they don’t own one. They hear suffering and joy from almost everything. They care. That is why humans have hope.

    How to win and when are entirely different matters.

    I’ve got mine and now taking care of 5 more for other reasons.

    Hope…always have hope.

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  2. Awesome RT !!!! Hope is now in the air fresh and clear , we now all of us experienced the Magic of the horse, their Spirit is amazing…….I remember the beautiful black Tennessee Walker who touched my very soul……with her story of woe and her love for another black Tennessee walker for whom she could not be more than 5 ft away from , she is the very reason I am here………………………… She would be mine along with her beloved counter part Eric , her name is Spirit and that is what she gave to me……………their owner would not sell them to me………. but he does let me visit them……….I met her when she was 6 yrs old she is now 11 yrs old, she fixed my broken heart and life……………………….

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  3. Thousands of years in the wild have ingrained mother nature’s instinct and intelligence into these horses and burros and although they surely all have it … occasionally we humans are in tune enough to actually realize it and see it and feel it and hear it … if we give ourselves the chance. We are the lucky ones.

    Thank you, R.T.

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  4. Folks RT’s book is also available on Kindle! It is an amazing read. So during those times when RT can’t post new posts–you can read his book and feel renewed.

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  5. R. T. THanks so much for this Sunday reading. I hope that in 2004 plans were changed so APache and Maleeva could stay together. If not, what has ensued since then. What a wonderful story but the best result would have been if both Apach and Maleeva could stay together. I hope love, peace, and health to all equines. I was out at the sanctuary where I keep my horses and the owner had earlier received a call of two emaciated horses dumped off Oretega highway and that the animals control wouldn’t take them. THe sanctuary owner said she couldn’t take them, she was fighting to keep her horses feed with the hay prices, but said if the woman couldn’t find placement to let her know. So far, I don’t know what happened. I wish I had the funds to see that they receive the food they need to recover, and give them the love they need to fight back to survive. I’m now treating a beautiful grey Arabian that I saved and she has flounder. Every day she has improved, her ribs are no longer showing but the back of her , the last to regain fat, is awhile away. She has had two feet trimmings and with each one, I hope she is able to walk better. She may forever be on the orchard hay and feed she is now on, but the bottom line is, up to now we saved her. He fight is not over yet, but with God’s help, we will save her. I hope these two that were sighted yesterday will be as lucky. I only wish I was able to be the one to save them and I pray that God will come to their side. ANd, most of all, that God will help us to save the horses in need from the wild horses and burros to all those that end up across our borders — with the end result that no more horses will be rounded up or killed — that they will be loved and taken care of, whether by afar or close by. Thank you again for this Sunday nice story.

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    • I have an extraordinary trimmer whose passion is saving foundered horses. There is a group om Facebook called Saving Foundered Horses. You have probably studied all there is to know-about this, but I will say that my trimmer has had some good success with this. if you are interested, email me christiefinn@gmail.com.

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  6. Here’ something for you, R. T. The planet is changing, fast. We are all here at this time and place for a reason.

    Bless The Beasts And The Children

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    • Thank You Louie, it is true that we are all here in this place for a reason……………….We are all blessed , because each of us know that the importance of the animals with whom we live with they most assuredly have a divine purpose especially the horse. it is why he is called THE KING OF THE BEASTS, his gifts to us are endless……………………………

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  7. Thank RT for washing away that taste that “other” person left in my mouth. I think I will sign off virtual horse world for the day and take this warm, fuzzy feel with me instead. Adieu.

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  8. Thank you R.T.My newest foster(have named hime Zane Grey), an arab gelding,grey roan, visits with me this way. I love him dearly. Starved down to a “3 or 4” on the scale when he came to me,he still has been loving and hopeful after initial depression lifted from him.I feel so blessed that my equine friends share ith me and that I can hear them.Sometimes this sharing/mingling is all that keeps me going forward when so many of them are in need. Yes..poo,hay,breath and munching are magic to my ears,nose and soul. So glad I am not the only one out here-am meeting more of us every week.Thank you for your good works and keeping our spirits lifted. Namaste’

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    • Thanks for asking, Jill.

      I am pleased to say that Maleeva was spared the pain of going back into a herd of 5 pushy and grumpy geldings, with or without Apache. She found her forever home where love and affection will be shown to her for the rest of her life while Apache went back home, and still is there, with the true love of his life, Terry.

      It was Terry who saved him as a former cart horse in Brazil and made a promise to him that when we went back home to the U.S. he would follow and if nothing else, the Fitch’s keep their word.

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  9. I wish someone would write a book or novel on a story of a loving and happy horse and then stolen or sold to a horse killer and what hell he will go through to the end. This would make such an impact it would open the eyes of many. Especially those who know nothing of what goes on to the beautiful horses of America.

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    • The book and then the movie. Anna Sewel wrote Black Beauty to educate the Brittish public about the cruel practices cart and carriage horses faced in England in the 1890’s. It was the first book my mother ever read to me, and it so touched my little spirit (I could have only been 3 or 4), that the story continues to be part of the way I see the world through the heart.

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  10. Thank you RT for sharing this story. Everyone has the ability to speak to the animals if they only open their heart. Horses especially have a whole lot to say
    about their owners, environments and past lives. They sometimes will come to you when you are least expecting it. They are not aware of time as we know it.
    Ten years could pass and they may see it as yesterday. I am a Reiki Master and work with people and animals. Its amazing and you truly have the gift RT.
    When I began my journey and the animals would speak to me, I thought I was truly losing it. But as time goes on, you realize that you have been given a true gift from God. I worked with a Standardbred mare who was owned by my
    coworkers husband. I would ask her each time she came in how the mare was. One day I came in and asked about the mare…She had foundered and was
    very ill. Cheif’s Pretty Girl came to me and asked me to help her. When I reached the barn at the race track, I was not given the stall #, but her energy drew me to her stall. The moment I rounded the corner, I knew it was her and she was extremely happy that I was there. She was in terrible pain and I told her that I would try and help her. In the mean time, I saw her as a mom with a little colt by her side. This was relayed to Kathy’s husband and he thought that I was nuts. The horse was so ill and by all indications was to be put down.
    The x-rays were bad and two vets including a specialist from Kentucky gave the mare zero odds. As usual, it was the holiday season and Kathy said she did
    not want the horse to be put to sleep at that time. She was a very high spirited mare and I loved her. When she heard the second vet reconfim, she said it was not her time. My coworker gave me permission to do the Rheiki energy on the horse. To make a long story short, my teacher and I went out a total of 3 or
    4 times using the Rheiki energy on her and a couple of flower essences. Now I
    by no means feel this should take the place of regular veterinary care, but can be used as an extra aid. The mare just got better and better and I was drawn to her. In March of the following months the mare was x-rayed again and showed no signs of the founder. The veterinarians were dumb founded and could not find any scientific reason for this. She could have done well had she been raced. Actually, when she regained her strength she was too much horse for Kathy’s husband. She said she loved her job on the track, but needed someone who understood her. He sold her and last time I knew she was at a standardbred farm in southern Illinois with a lovely colt by her side. Very much like her and I know he would make a dynamite horse with the right owner. So you see, we all have that special connection, its just a matter of
    working on the skill. The energy of the horse is unbelievable..

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  11. I touched the warm, living body of the horse, and he shared his soul with me.
    Thanks RT– they are earthy and magic–and we are better for having loved them.

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  12. This brought tears and memories of many horses that have crossed my path. If I would have been wiser, I would not have let them cross but stop when our paths met.

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  13. RT and Terry, now I understand why you perservere in the face of human nonsense. Garnet and I just experienced that same happy reinforcement this weekend when taken by two wild horse protectors into some vast and seemingly unappealing desert where eleven wild horses still ran free – with 3 babies in tow. That is the miracle! They would not trust us to come close but they shone with freedom and give us the great gift of hope. No roundups, no mankind could erase wild horses from the desert…so we fight on for the rest of them and it is good for the human soul!

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    • DEAR ARLENE, I have been to the Nevada Desert to see the Mustangs hundreds of times in the past, nothing but nothing could ever top seeing them running free through that desert, it was a sight and sound that nothing can ever even come close to the beauty I found their is embedded in my heart mind and soul forever……………..it was breathe taking………………It reminded me of a saying , Life can never be Judged by how many breathes you take, only by what takes your breathe away, (i am hoping i got that right) That is the only way to describe the sight and sound……………………………..of these awesome horses,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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