There's No Place Like Home
I love this photo. It's from the first week I brought Tuxedo home. But let me tell you how it all started.
I had just moved to Monte Nido, California after living in Mexico for 9 years. Monte Nido is a small enclave in the middle of the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Calabasas. Monte Nido means "Mountain Nest" and as it was settled by the Chumash Indians, it has a very special energy about it. It even has its own microclimate. This is the only place in my whole life that I ever felt was my home.
One of the most magical things about it is that many people own horses there. They ride them around the neighborhood. In the summer you can hear the clip clopping of hooves on the pavement as the warm evening breezes flow in the open windows along with the sweet smell of Night Jasmine. To me, this was like a dream. I have always loved horses, I just never thought I would actually own one.
We looked at one home. Made an offer the next day. During the Inspection, the Realtor called over a neighbor who also was the Contractor who had built the house. He mentioned his wife had horses and taught lessons right around the corner. I said "take me to her…now!" We jumped into his truck and drove over. She was busy giving lessons and we quickly introduced ourselves and I left after spending a little time greeting all the beautiful horses she had in the stalls.
A month or so went by and we had finally settled in. I had never stopped thinking about the horses or the idea of taking lessons and more than a few times, I had pulled up the number I had saved on my phone to make the first step toward riding. When I finally did, I was disappointed to find out that the trail riding I had envisioned was not something I could do there - but that instead the instruction was for English riding and more specifically the sport of Three Day Eventing. Lisa, the Instructor was a National Champion. I'd never ridden English, didn't even know what "Posting the Trot" meant but I just decided I would turn myself over the process and see what happened. I just wanted to ride. I was put on an a lovely older Mare named Magic and she graciously allowed me to learn to trot and canter on her. It all came so naturally. At some point during this process - probably about 3 months into it - I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I had to have a horse! No one was more surprised about this than me. I don't have children. I couldn't even commit to a dog. The idea of owning a horse was such an incredible responsibility that I could not understand how it was even possible for me to seriously be considering wanting one.
But I wanted one. Badly. I realized that this is what it must feel like when a woman wants a child. Something maternal had happened. It was kind of shocking to me but I went with it.
Every morning, for months I would go on Dreamhorse.com and type in all the specifications that I was looking for in my horse. Mind you, without any real horse experience, I had no business even doing this and I was also doing the thing that you NEVER tell a real horse person you did, which was looking up my horse by color. I wanted him to be all black. Anyway, all my searching led me nowhere. When something for me is right, I get a "feeling" and I usually act quite quickly. My instincts are strong and I trust them.
I believe it was a Sunday. It was heading toward noon and I had been searching page after page, yet again with no luck. Something kept me on the couch long enough to click through the last two pages before I concluded my search again. The last few pages often have expired ads on them, so it is possible I'd skipped over them before. Not that day. There he was on the very last page. The ad had a red line of text over it that said "expiring." I figured he had to be sold. Why had I never seen this ad before? I had practically memorized every horse on this site and seen them all.
That's MY Horse
My heart skipped a beat, then started beating faster. He took my breath away. He wasn't at all what I was looking for, yet I knew it was HIM. I could barely contain myself enough to read through his description because I already knew.
HE WAS MY HORSE.
I called Lisa and excitedly babbled on about him and everything the ad said. She told me to call and see if he was still available. I was terrified. Not wanting to hear that he had been sold but I knew I had to call right that moment. I called and his owner answered.
He was available!
So the process began of driving the 2 hours down to meet him and ride him, then again to have him checked by the vet. I knew it was all going to be ok and it was.
HE WAS MY HORSE.
Finally, the day after Thanksgiving we went down to pick him up and bring him home. It was one of the most special days of my life. He was magic. My King. My 1200 pound animal that I was responsible for. I felt honored to have this responsibility. I was in awe of him.
HE WAS MY HORSE!
Meditating with Animals
Being in awe is part of what I discuss in the Animal Method™ because it is the first step to deepening your connection with your animal. When you think about it, the fact that we keep animals at all is quite remarkable and not a fact to take for granted.
Awe shifts your attention away from yourself. By this conscious act of generosity you are acknowledging the greatness and the uniqueness in another being.
So it began for Tuxedo and me.