I don’t really know how to lead into this one, so I guess we’ll just go for it.

This weekend I had my horse talk to an animal communicator.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Danielle, you are a pre-veterinary major! A biochemistry double major! Do you really believe in all that mumbo-jumbo? There isn’t any science behind it. It can’t be real’.

Yes. I am very science-minded.  I like proof, research, and cited scholarly articles as much as the next pre-veterinary student. And yet, I’d like to believe that the lesser accepted methods of treating our horses can be valid as well.  I love looking at veterinary medicine from a holistic standpoint: massage, chiropractics, acupuncture, (all beginning to gain standing in the veterinary field), as well as more obscure techniques such as  aromatherapy, magnetic treatments, vertical whole body vibration, reiki and energy channeling. And animal communication.  I think that these ‘less scientific’ modes of treatment can be useful, and perhaps there is a place for all of it (right behind all of the wonderful, proven, ‘traditional’ medical treatments and techniques we continue to develop and master).

That being said.  My horse talked with an animal communicator.  I am lucky enough in my department’s program to be exposed to a wide variety of modalities, and I have actually seen animal communicators at work before.  I’ve seen good ones, and I’ve seen not so good ones. The particular communicator I used I heard about from a peer, who was also skeptical at the get-go, but had a really wonderful experience. Over the holidays, my coach actually used the same communicator to talk with her horses, and had a similarly wonderful experience.

I had thought about getting a communicator for The Black Mare for awhile; I was curious about her past and what she thought about me, her job…everything, I guess.  So after another stellar review of this particular communicator, I decided to bite the bullet and schedule an appointment.  This animal communicator works over the phone, so I made my 40-minute ‘new client’ appointment, and drew up a list of questions to ask my horse.

As it got closer, I got worried. What if she hates her job? What if she hates ME?! What could she possibly say? I had no idea.

The day of, I waited patiently for Dawn (the communicator) to call me.  I had wanted to stay by my horse’s stall during the conversation, but due to the amount of noise in the aisleway, I had to retreat to the tack room where it was a little quieter.

Still being a bit skeptic, I tried to be very aware of how much information I revealed throughout our conversation to avoid giving anything away. Dawn asked me a few things in order to reach out to my horse: Her name, age, breed, color and discipline.  She asked if I was the only rider (yes), and why I was calling.  I told her I just wanted to get a better feel for my horse and if she was happy with her job, etc.

She went silent for less than 2 minutes before coming back, and over the next 40 minutes, I was inundated with information. (Keep in mind as you read over this that at this point, I haven’t given the communicator any information beyond the few things I listed above).

She came back so quickly because she informed me that my horse is very specific. She said most horses aren’t quite so detail oriented, and that she wanted to make sure she wasn’t leaving anything out.

She said big picture, The Mare is happy, but little things annoy her (Sounds like a mare).  She said that The Mare feels specifically bonded to me, that she loves me, and expects a lot from me. But our relationship is almost like that of one where I am the mom, so when I don’t do things the way The Mare wants them done, she gets annoyed with me. (This basically describes The Mare’s personality to a ‘T’).  

She had a few grievances about the barn, mainly that it is too competitive for her liking-it adds stress to the barn, which she doesn’t really like.

She then said that The Mare believes I am a better rider in my “sticky boots”.  Dawn paused, saying she wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but that The Mare says in my “slippery boots” I get more forward and put her off balance. (Me getting too forward on my horse is the biggest problem I have, so again, spot-on there. My best guess is that my “slippery boots” are my tall boots which are polished, and my “sticky boots” are my old half-chaps I hack around in, but I still haven’t deciphered this yet)

With regards to her job, The Mare believes she is good at jumping, and is obedient and athletically talented.  She says that the height we are schooling now is good, but she doesn’t want to do too much more because it’s hard for her to tuck her hind legs up.   (Dawn was quick to mention that it isn’t painful for her, and may have more to do with a weakness somewhere in her hind end, but that she also hadn’t had any other clients mention that specifically. Again, accurate: if we ever pull rails, it’s with the hind end)

The last thing she mentioned in our initial conversation was that my ‘fun level is a little low’.  My horse thinks I’m the best at riding I’ve ever been, but that I’m not as fun as I was at our other barn (my barn at home prior to coming to college), and it’s a bummer for her.  She says she misses that. (Accurate again: at the school’s barn, hopping on bareback and other shenanigans are generally not common practice for a proper hunter/jumper school barn).

Keep in mind, ALL of this is coming back from giving her name, age, breed, color and discipline. I hadn’t shared ANY other information at this point.

I had a few more specific questions after the initial response (these are just a few of the questions we got through in our session, and The Mare’s responses are abbreviated from their original detail):

– I asked if she was in pain anywhere (The short answer is no, she’s really healthy).  

– I asked about her life prior to coming to me and if she wanted me to know anything (Not really; animals are more ‘in the moment’ and don’t really dwell on the past, but she did want me to know that at some point in her past she was turned out in a really nice field with a herd and she really enjoyed that. My best guess on that one is she is referring to her breeder)

– I asked about explaining a flying change to my horse, partially as a joke, but turns out it’s a pretty common request. Apparently, my horse thinks that the canter cue only refers to her leading leg, and the rest of her legs just canter on the correct lead. (The communicator explained that the cue refers to ALL of her legs, and told me the The Mare does know her leads and understands the concept of a flying change….so I’ll let you know when we get those nailed lol.  She did mention specific things I had been experimenting with to get The Mare to get her changes, which was super accurate and kinda freaky).

– I asked if there was anything I could be doing for her that I wasn’t already (She said her bridle was too tight at her poll, so I put her bit down a hole to relieve some of the pressure on her poll, and she’s been pretty darn consistent in the bridle since then…)

Hearing The Mare's take on the world around her

A very cool opportunity to hear The Mare’s take on the world around her

Lastly, I asked what The Mare thought about going to shows this summer, since I’ve been saving and working my tail off so we can travel around this summer.  I was a little bummed to find out her answer, but after thinking it over, I think The Mare has a pretty good insight.

Her answer to if she would like to show is, ‘No, not really. It’s inconvenient’.  Apparently, she likes the the part where she jumps the jumps, gets all fancy and dressed up and all that jazz. She does enjoy that.  But to get on a trailer and go somewhere without turnout (that is her biggest caveat) and that isn’t home is just a hassle.  And I think we all are a little like The Black Mare: jumping the jumps and putting on our fancy show clothes and being at the show is awesome; the part where we have to trailer and stay in a hotel and work out of the trailer and eat horse-show food for a weekend, not so great.

Our time was up so quickly, but I could’ve stayed on the phone forever learning more about my horse.  By the end of the call, I was sold.  Dawn had relayed insanely accurate and highly specific details about my horse, the barn we are in, the atmosphere she is in, her personality, my riding…OVER THE PHONE and with very little information.  Dawn allows recordings of the phone call sessions, and I have already gone back to listen to mine–it sends chills down my spine with its accuracy.

So at the end of it all, I have a little peace of mind: The Mare likes her job, and loves me almost as much as she loves turnout.  That’s all I can ask for, right?

The Animal Communicator I used is named Dawn Allen.  You can find more information about her business here: dawnallen.org