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This short story was published in the book
Animal Prints on my Soul
Absolute Love Publishing ©2021
By Ginny Jablonski
In late 2019, while I was working in northwest Colorado, I was lucky enough to be invited to visit an equine therapy ranch with a friend near Grand Junction. I had been immersed in the energies of formerly wild mustangs all week, and it was truly a magical experience. During that time, I communicated with more than a dozen mustangs. One by one they shared with me their unhealed wounds, pain, hopes, and visions for the future. They each possessed unique abilities, but most of them were not yet ready to express their gifts.
As is the case with most formerly wild horses I have worked with, they each expressed the need for time and support to heal their past traumas. I learned so much from my interactions from each of them, and the messages they brought forth were helpful in validating that horses are just as unique as humans when it comes to personality, trauma, and life purpose.
We arrived at the ranch in the early morning. The facility sat on a mesa with seemingly endless views of a colorful mesmerizing landscape. The energy in that part of the country is palpable and invigorating. At moments it felt like time had stopped and I was part of the mountain range, yet uplifted by the strong winds that always accompany that part of the country.
The owner of the ranch was genuine, kind, and welcoming. It was obvious she had been dedicated to this work for a very long time. Her love of horses shone like a radiant light all around her, and the horses responded to her accordingly. She had the energy of a horse whisperer. It was obvious to me that she was, as some would say, the keeper of the herd. As I am writing this paragraph and thinking of her, I clearly see a wild herd of horses stampeding behind her, kicking up dust and bringing a message of oneness and harmony.
I quickly realized almost all of the horses there had been gathered off the range in Colorado, and I was anxious to be able to communicate with them. We spoke with a few of the horses toward the back of the property and eventually made our way to the barn, corrals, and round pens. We were surrounded by horses, and it felt as if we were all experiencing a collective healing that day, both horse and human.
As we approached a small pasture with five horses in it, the owner invited me to speak with any who wished to be heard that day. One by one the horses came forward expressing their unique skills, preferred working environment, and personalities, and several of them had a few interesting questions. In fact, one of the geldings said he really liked working with young girls, but not just any young girls, the ones with long blonde hair in a single French braid. The owner shared that the vision the horse had revealed to me was of the owner’s own granddaughter! And, as it turns out, when the granddaughter visits, she always braids her long blonde hair in a single French braid.
One of the last horses to share that day was a gelding. He kept using the word “book,” and he spoke of a ministry. He said he very much wanted the owner’s husband to finish writing a book. I asked her if her husband was writing a book, and if it had something to do with a ministry. She revealed that he was, in fact, writing a book, but that it was temporarily on hold due to other commitments. She also shared that her husband was indeed a minister! The gelding was adamant that her husband really needed to finish writing his book and that he (the horse) wanted to help him do it. He shared that the reason the book needed to be finished right away was because his herd had plans for him to start writing another book. In fact, he stated it would be a series of three “little books.” He shared topics that each of the little books would address, how they would impact people’s lives, and even shared what the artwork would look like. The detail he shared was remarkable in every way. He even outlined how the layout of the ranch in the drawings for book would differ from their actual ranch and what the purpose was for each alteration.
Finally, he showed me a vision of the inside of the back cover of the book. It was a watercolor drawing of very tall, almost sheer, red and golden rock cliffs. Below the image there was a paragraph written that I could not quite make out. It felt as if the paragraph described the unknown, to me at least, importance of the cliffs. I described the drawing in the vision I was shown, and the owner exclaimed, “Ginny, these horses were gathered from the Little Book Cliffs here in Colorado!”
I’m pretty sure we both cried at that point. That was the first time I had ever heard of the Little Book Cliffs, or the wild herd of mustangs that lives there.
Roughly eight months later, after losing three recently adopted horses in the first six months of 2020 and one in 2019, my husband and I were sure we would never adopt another horse again. We were devastated by the profound loss we had experienced over the years, especially after we had invested so much of our heart and soul with them. We had loved them for 12 years, 1.5 years, eight months, and eight weeks, respectively, in order of their passing.
To my surprise, in the first week of July, my husband told me he thought it was wrong for us not to have horses on our property and suggested that we begin searching for horses to grow our herd again.
Within days of our conversation, I began to have dreams about Colorado’s Little Book Cliffs and the wild mustangs there. I would hear, “Little Book Cliffs, Little Book Cliffs,” over and over in my sleep. After two nights of this, I was convinced that at least one of our new horses was going to be from the Little Book Cliffs herd.
From what I knew about the herd, they were only gathered every 10 years and one had taken place not long before. I sent a few messages off to friends in Colorado, and within days, someone suggested I inquire about a mare near Grand Junction.
I waited for a day or so to make the call. I wanted to be certain that we were ready to open our hearts to another potentially devastating loss again, but after making the call it was clear she would be ours! She was 15 years old and was gathered off the range two years prior. She was bolting under saddle and not safe for the current owner. I was thrilled to hear this – not that she was bolting, of course, but that she was going to be ours!
I soon realized I had no idea what she looked like – I hadn’t even asked. I only knew her name was Beauty. So, I asked her owner to send a photograph of her and for permission to communicate with her to make sure she wanted to come and live with us.
That night before I went to sleep, I reached out to her with a message of welcome and love. I said, “I know you are going to live with me, and I don’t even know what you look like.”
I immediately heard a reply. “Black, black, black,” and then, “Black Beauty.”
I asked her if she knew who I was and if she wanted to come live with me. I can honestly say she was not convinced she wanted to live with anyone in domestication. She seemed confused and, frankly, very angry. I was not a bit surprised by this.
One of my abilities, in addition to animal communication, is that I can see and sense trauma and unresolved energies in the bodies of both humans and animals. Sadly, Beauty’s energy field revealed she was carrying a lot of trauma and energetic wounds. Happily, working with traumatized horses is my passion. It seemed to me that she was going to be just where she needed to be to heal, and with us she would have the ability to do it on her own terms.
She wanted to know why she was taken in the first place. I shared with her my then understanding of the Wild Horse and Burro Program managed by the Bureau of Land Management. I talked about humans, our nature, our flaws, and I apologized for the circumstances that she and her herd found themselves in. Both those who remain, wondering where the others were taken, and those who had been rounded up and adopted into numerous homes.
I also explained that there was no option for her to ever be returned to her herd and that a lifetime home with us may just be the best option for her. She needed someone who would understand her, offer her patience, and have absolutely no expectations during her healing process. I opened my heart to her and asked if she would be willing to feel into the work I do with traumatized horses.
After that exchange, I thanked her for reaching out to me in a dream and revealing herself. I told her I thought it was a sign of great spiritual ability and asked if she was still willing to come live with us. Not only did she say yes, but it was then that she revealed to me that her herd, on a spiritual level, had asked her to come live with us. She explained she was “chosen” by her herd to experience my work and to be a bridge for me to continue my work with them.
When I woke up the next morning there was an email in my inbox with several photographs of a gorgeous black mare named Beauty from the Little Book Cliffs!
We had been told that she got along very well with other horses, but when she arrived, she had great difficulty getting along with our two older rescue mares who were quite fragile. Every time we attempted to introduce them, she was aggressive toward them, and she favored our healthier donkeys.
She was also acting out, squealing and rearing from time to time. She was finally free to express her frustration, and we agreed to give her the space and time she needed to begin to trust us.
I worked with her over the course of several months until one day, she said, “I am beautiful and powerful, but I can’t use my power to control others.”
From that day forward she was never unkind to another animal on our property. And she went on to say that she wasn’t quite ready to have a close relationship with me yet in the physical realm.
Here’s a little backstory: When she first came to live with us, she called me out into the pasture and demanded that she wanted to have a friendship with me that was like the one I had with my former heart horse, Blue, who had recently passed away. When I explained that my relationship with Blue took a whole decade to cultivate, she angrily walked away, stating she did not want to wait that long.
After that conversation, her wounds turned into shields. She certainly has her own ideas about things, what some people would describe as control issues. We do spend time together physically, but she is slow to trust that unconditional love is real. She braces against it as if she is surrounded by a wall. As we all know, self-protection from all things good is a symptom of trauma.
My husband does most of Beauty’s handling, i.e.: farrier, vet, fly mask, etc. Even though she had consented to those interactions with her previous owner, the circumstances were far different. She was constantly enclosed in a much smaller stall, and training aids were used. When she arrived here, she had freedom in a three-acre pasture, freedom to express herself, and freedom to make choices. It took my husband nearly six months to achieve each of those interactions with her, which demonstrates his incredible patience and dedication to her, as well as his Vaquero training. Her previous owner shared that she had always done better with men than women, and she continued expressing that trait with us.
One day she shared how she really felt with me, and it revealed the extent of her internal struggles. She said, “I’m so afraid of myself, my power, my rage.” It was devastating to hear, but I knew we could overcome it together.
Beauty recently asked me to write a book about her extensive healing journey with us. She wants people to know how traumatized wild mustangs can be after being gathered and unceremoniously placed into domestication without their consent. Beauty has asked me to document my work with her and some of my other experiences with animals overcoming trauma. I look forward to sharing her story very soon in an upcoming book titled, “Healing Beauty.”