Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When Hearts Open PT 2

Howdy Folks,

I wrote this story yesterday in the barn with Kessy, Saturday and Miss kitty. Some folks say horses don't remember. I know they do ... I've listened to their stories ... I posted Pt 1 yesterday..  (HERE)  ... I hope you enjoy Pt 2 - 
Writing with Kessy & Saturday
  When Hearts Open -Pt 2

Holly understands now why Megan had hugged her so tightly that day. Why she cried so hard into her mane that tears ran down her neck. It was the first time Holly had heard, "goodbye."  That day she could not understand what it meant. She knew Megan's heart was breaking, because they understood each other, but Holly could not understand the sadness. When they led her to the trailer, it was a strange man and a strange trailer. Are we going to a show? Where is Megan? As they closed the door Holly screamed and pawed. "Where are you Megan?" she screamed. The trailer lurched as they drove away. Holly screamed and screamed, but Megan never came.
When she stepped from the trailer Holly found herself in another new world, new smells, sounds and sights. But it was not a show she had gone to, and still there was no Megan. From the trailer to another tiny dark place she now knew people called stalls; she had seen plenty of stalls at the shows with Megan. This one was like the one long ago at the training place. At first her heart jumped. Were her old friends here? But no, all these horses were strangers. Who later would become friends, but that first day, Holly was just alone, and scared. Where was Megan? She missed Megan. What had she done wrong that had made Megan go away? She tried to understand, but could not. She called for Megan until her sides hurt.

The people at the new place were nice and even took Holly to shows. Her new rider, a strong young man was a good rider and confident, but he never took the time to understand her. He demanded Holly do her duties, and she did, and they won ribbons as before, but there was hollowness to it. She missed Megan. For a long time whenever a truck stopped by the barn she whinnied for Megan. At every show Holly looked for Megan.

Every few years Holly would say goodbye to new friends she'd made, to move on to another new world. New horse friends were always happy to welcome her, but she learned over the years not to open her heart to them. While she learned to understand it, she never learned to like it. She hated each time saying goodbye to her friends. She remembers each of them. She had a life full of making new friends, and even learned she could help her new riders master the art of riding and winning ribbons. There came a day when Holly began to wonder why there were not as many shows. Where had the fun and excitement gone? It seemed everyone now wanted more of her. More flash, more speed. So many different riders, each with more and confusing demands. 

She tried to understand, but long days in the dusty ring with many different riders made her back hurt. Her mouth was sore, and her ribs. She loved to teach children to ride, but too much, too many now. She felt her legs go weak, then crashed to the dirt. People ran to her, pushed and shoved, pulled on the reins, but her tired legs needed to rest. She had been careful to fall in a way not to hurt her young rider, but he was angry anyway.

Most of her time now was spent in a new tiny dark place. Almost never out in the sun. Never brushed or bathed. What had she done? She missed Megan. She missed Megan's hugs.
Her legs were tired all the time now. And she was hungry. Her skin itched. She tried to tell them to turn her out in the big field, she needed the sun. She knew she was too tired for a show now anyway, but the sun would warm her skin. She nickered when they opened the big doors and a few yellow streaks forced their way to her dark stall. The people did not understand and yelled for her to "shut-up" … "Please turn me out," she pleaded.

"She's got to go." Holly heard the big man say. "You either take her, or she goes to the auction. She's worth nothing to nobody!" It was hard for her to remember how long she'd been here, at the hungry place. But it was very hard to remember not being hungry. Somehow hearing him say that confused her.

Then she saw her. A woman walking up the aisle toward her stall looked so familiar. Holly remembered the happy stride. She tried to whinny, but coughed instead. "Megan? My old fiend Megan?" Her heart raced, even her legs stopped hurting. How wonderful, Megan has come to me after all this long time! 

When the woman reached for her, Holly realized she was not Megan. Holly looked past her, perhaps Megan was behind her … no one else came. "Hi beautiful," the woman said. "They tell me your name is Holly. I'm Carol and honored to meet you!"

It was a hard job walking into the trailer. The ramp seemed so steep. Not like the years before going to the shows when she danced up into the trailers. But if they were going to a show, she would give it her all, and step lively as she could. She didn't feel the old excitement, but getting outside feeling the sun on her back pepped her up a little. Carol took each step slowly with Holly, and Holly felt the warmth of Carol's heart. It reminded her of Megan.

This new world reminded Holly of times so long ago. Stepping off the trailer, Carol was there to steady her. She asked nothing of her, and waited quietly as Holly moved slowly, stiffly from the trailer to her very own grass paddock. And look, fresh hay under the tree. Good hay, sweet hay. Settling in was easy here. Carol made sure there was always plenty of fresh hay and water. She often she sat with her, and told her stories. Every morning Carol visited, but Holly worried about opening her heart, and for a long time, kept her distance. But Carol kept coming, talking, hugging and brushing. Holly's legs grew strong once again, as strong as the tug on her heart. Finally, after many weeks, Holly knew it was not only safe, but important to open her heart again.

Holly lay in the sun close to her other new friends in the big field. The strength now back in her legs after months of never being hungry, she knew any moment now Carol would come out to the field to check on them. Carol was easy to understand, like Megan. There were no tiny dark places here only new friends, big fields and sunshine. And a little work. Holly's new job was helping horses to once again open their hearts. A job she understands.

On quiet warm days Holly still thinks of Megan, remembers their romps together. Sometimes she'll nicker, hoping she'll hear. 

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry


  1. I had to get a tissue. This was a good one :)

  2. What a beautiful story! So happy that Holly ended up in such a great home and found the love that she had missed so much! This is the truth about what goes on in most horses life spans and the unlucky ones usually end up in an auction or worse, neglected, starved or beaten and sent to slaughter! All horses should have a good retirement like Holly, for they do give their all to their humans and ask for so little in return!

  3. I'm thrilled so many of you enjoyed our Coffee Clutch blog post of the past 2 days, "When Hearts Open." It is a story rooted deeply in my heart, my soul. Over the years I've worked with too many horses with broken hearts, broken bodies. Sad eyes. It was for them I had to write Holly's story. It was for them, I wrote a happy ending. Sending that happy ending out into the universe in the hope that horses who still suffer at the hand of man, or have crossed the rainbow bridge without peace here, can feel it, know the comfort and love through Holly's energy. ~ Dutch

    1. sending the happy ending out in the universe is a beautiful action...It is so easy to become completely hopeless in the face of so many horses/animals being treated less well than they deserve. Sending my own happy endings out too to horses and donkeys. Thanks for the story and the action step, Dutch!

  4. Dang! my eyes are leaking,,,,,

  5. beautiful story, sniff sniff, Thank you, from all of us at Happily Ever After Farm.

  6. u r a very talented about doing a story about Betsy Rose and Freckles??? a children's book about her will to survive no matter what she endured before being saved by Theresa and her being an inspiration to people from all over the world who r following her progress....just sayin'

  7. Beautiful story....and so true. I worked in horse rescue for two years. The souls of these incredible animals are as beautiful as they come. Their language is pure - not like humans. When a person opens their heart to a horse, they'll enter a world of love and beauty and yes, humor too. They can be amazing kidders. I wish every horse were treated as they should be. One day, hopefully they will. THANK YOU for sharing this story. My eyes were "leaking" too.

    1. Thanks Anon,and Tina, for all you do to help the helpless ...