A Horse Named Dolly

Two weeks ago I have attended an Animal Reiki training at Remus Horses Sanctuary in Essex, UK.
Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary provides lifetime help and cares for horses, ponies, donkeys, goats, sheep, cows and cats, that are victims of physical and mental abuse, as a result of ignorance or malicious intent. The animals are treated with the utmost respect. and never euthanized for reasons of age or infirmity alone. Nothing is spared to give them every chance to thrive into old age. The Sanctuary embraces holistic care alongside the superb work of our species-specific Vets.
For those who don’t know, Reiki is a holistic healing system, a gentle and noninvasive technique for supporting the wellness of the animals. It works by balancing the energy of the body, mind, and spirit, supporting the process of self-healing on all levels. Animals are in tune to the language of energy and are open to its healing effects.
During one of the many practices we had with the animals at the sanctuary, I had the honor to experience something unusual with one of the horses named Dolly. We were out at horse’s pasture for an open eyes meditative practice during which we had to invite intuitively a horse to teach or share with us a lesson. I have to mention that for me being around horses is pretty new, just learning slowly how to be around them.
Soon after I begin the practice, one horse started to approach me, he slowly came closer and closer. I moved along slowly to allow him to walk past me. However, he had other plans  He came so close to me that at one point, although I moved as well, he stepped on my right foot and lean on me. It was excruciating, I could have screamed at that moment, but I did not want to scare that gentle giant and the other animals around us. Now what I was supposed to do??? Luckily, I was facing my teacher and I mimed to her using my hands that he stepped on my foot and don’t know what to do. She showed me from a distance how to push him a little. For two-three long seconds I thought – should I? Can I do that? Or let him keep leaning on me and suffer till he leaves… The pain was becoming unbearable so I took the “courage” to push him gently while he was leaning more and more heavily as he was getting comfortable in that peaceful energy next to me. It was hard to do that more mentally than physically. As soon as I pressed my hands against him he lifted his foot and released mine… Soon after, he left.
The lesson here is huge for me: Boundaries!!!! To stand by my boundaries, and not let people step on me. To have the courage to speak up my truth. All my life I was a people pleaser, I do not like getting people upset or disturbed, I choose to turn around and leave any confrontational situation. I do not stay and argue infinitely about things which will not change someone’s mind or opinion. Dolly, the horse taught me that – it’s about the right time to change my attitude. He proved me that I am strong enough to avoid the pain of not saying anything and letting all the words I want to say to pile up for later times or never. He forced me to take a small step forward by gently pushing him a little. And that was perfectly ok, he did not get upset or disturbed by my gesture and the way I did it. As soon as I did that, he continued his walk as nothing happened……
Looking back at that fraction of a second when I had to decide what to do – if I did not know the lesson, I was ready to let him stay and remain in pain, considering myself so happy of having such a beautiful creature choosing to stay next to me during this healing session.
Dolly healed me, not the other way around and I’m so grateful for that…
Animals are indeed our best teachers, lesson learned!

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