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Horses Are Good For The Soul

Horses Are Good For The SoulWhy do we love horses? 

We all have our reasons – maybe it’s the thrill of the gallop or the chase, the adrenalin rush, the challenge or the satisfaction of competing.  Or maybe it’s for the peacefulness of a trail ride, or simply the fact that they seem to like us!

But a horse is more than just an animal.  They are far more than our playmates, our work fellows or even our means of earning a living.  They have a spiritual quality about them that speaks to our hearts and our souls, and there are those who appreciate and value this aspect of the horse more than anything else.  To put it simply – horses inspire us in more ways than simply enjoying them.

Here is the beautiful story of how Chronicle of the Horse journalist, Jodie Jaffe, has drawn on her own horses for strength and peace during many difficult times in her life, including head injuries suffered from falls, broken bones, and testing times when she thought she was going to lose both her son and her husband.

Her horses calmed her soul – and most of us will know exactly what she means!  

Horses Help Us Through The Roughest Times
~ by Jody Jaffe
February 12, 2012

Life keeps getting in the way of my return to riding. And this column.

This summer, I’d finally reached my goal of showing in the Special Adults with Woody, Diane Wade’s Doctor of Confidence. I’d spent the previous year emotionally recovering from a head injury. I say emotionally because, while the injury was bad enough to obliterate a day from my life, physically I felt fine in a few weeks. But it erased what little confidence I had on a horse.

Woody took care of that. Really, you could put a monkey on his back, and he’d metronome his way around the ring, which he did with me. But at some point, the riding skills I’ve acquired over the past 40 years clicked in, and I actually rode him around a course, confidently. I had big plans for our fall show season: the Randolph Medal Finals and my first-time ride in a hunter classic! I was even starting to shop Ebay for a shadbelly. But you know what they say: If you want to hear God laugh, tell him/her your plans.

A series of three surgeries—oral surgery for an abscessed tooth, facial surgery for squamous-cell skin cancer and arm surgery to plate together a broken ulna—sidelined me from October through December. I’d just returned to riding when Life struck again. This time, horribly.

My husband, John Muncie (aka The Saint) spent 12 days at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., fighting three infections acquired during a routine back surgery there. Each day brought a new, seemingly life-threatening crisis, including an emergency midnight surgery, a suspected pulmonary embolism and the possibility of bleeding out. I didn’t leave his side. My Facebook friends followed his descent into Hell through my posts. And they continue to follow the developments in my war to make hospitals accountable for hospital-acquired infections. John’s on IV antibiotics four times a day at a cost to us of $60 a day for at least six weeks. Medicare stopped paying for hospital-acquired infections, so why should we still have to pay?

Doesn’t seem fair. But I stopped hoping for fair years ago. Both in life—and the show ring. Sometimes you get pinned in a flat class even after your horse picks up the wrong lead, and sometimes the judge forsakes your horse’s perfect trip for the rail knocker. However, with horse shows, only a ribbon’s at stake. With hospitals, 100,000 lives are lost each year to these infections, many of which can be prevented.

So as you can see, between John’s battle against bacteria and mine against the hospital establishment, there hasn’t been much time to ride. However, that doesn’t mean horses have been out of my life. They are what kept me sane during our 12 days of Hell. After each new crisis, I went to the barn. In my mind. (Read the rest of the article…)

Here is a selection of related books you might enjoy:

Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul: Inspirational Stories About Horses And The People Who Love Them  – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marty Becker, Gary Seidler, Peter Vegso and Theresa Peluso

Horse Miracles: Inspirational True Stories of Remarkable Horses  by Brad Steiger & Sherry Hansen Steiger

Rescued by a Horse: True Stories of Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Healing  by Cheryl Dudley

Angel Horses – Divine Messengers of Hope  by Allen Anderson & Linda Anderson

Heavenly Horse Sense: Inspirational Stories from Life in the Saddle by Rebecca E Ondov

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