Boldly Stepping Forward


Today was a day of change for a little rescue horse who I lovingly call Joey. Today Joey decided to leave yesterday’s heartache and aloneness behind him. Without going back into history, today this little horse boldly stepped into a horse trailer without questioning me or my intentions.


Joey has taken a huge step of letting go of the past and boldly looking forward to the future.

What does a horse teach you? Silly question for a lot of people.

“What do you mean? I have got to work him, and train him to get him to give his forehand, his haunches, he has got to be worked every day.

She won’t load in the trailer.

Someone spoiled her so I have to break her bad habits.”

What if for just a few moments you thought of what the horse has taught you?

I could of looked at Joey and all of his issues and think…” I have to fix that, and this, oh and that has got to go. ”

Instead I asked myself what is he doing right? What is he saying? How can I help him understand?

In life we have got to take the bull by the horns. We feel that we have got to know everything. And we have a schedule that fills our day. Minute by minute, hour by hour, day in and day out.

Get up, make breakfast, take a shower, get kids to school… and so on.

For me horses break that schedule

The other day I went to Joey with the intention to fulfill a goal, he knew it! Sensed it as soon as I got to the gate. He stopped in midstride, and walked away.

At first I thought what the heck? Mister come on over here!

He refused to look at me.

Out of habit, I asked myself what is he saying to me?

I instantly noticed my body posture of shoulders square, direct and firm assertion and a commitment in my stride.

Joey was not ready for that yet, I had to redirect my emotion and my goals, as I changed my energy level and stance.

Within five minutes he was wanting to see what adventures I had in store for him. For in his twenty year experience of people he can read them like a book. He wants to be with me, but he also has a survival instinct that plays a hard hand. He has taught me and is continually teaching me to soften and be open… when I did this, he gave back to me ten fold with less effort than I first anticipated.  The hard part for us is to listen to an animal, we are the more intelligent species. Right?

Are we?

Today Joey showed me courage, letting go and stepping forward with blind faith.  As I turned him out in his new forever home I have never seen happiness from a horse as I have seen in him.


I watched him, playing, loping, kicking up his heels and grazing quietly but it goes beyond that. When all was said and done, Joey did something I don’t think I will ever forget, for a horse that a person couldn’t catch 30 days ago, Joey walked shyly up to me and let me pet him. What an honor from a little mustang who had made a promise to himself, “Never again”. Give such a gift to a girl who had made the same promise. For me that moment was his way of saying “Thank you.”

As the sun sets tonight I walked in the corral and whistled for him, he came walking to me in his shy way. I offered a small handful of grain to him for a reward. He did not eat it. I brought out my brush and started brushing away the dried sweat he had accumulated throughout his workout prior in the day. He lifted his neck as I brushed his chest, his flank and for the first time since have been able to touch him, I brushed down his legs. He was at ease.

There is a peace between us both. He has accepted me as a teacher and a friend, as I have done the same.



2 thoughts on “Boldly Stepping Forward

  1. Valerie Lantz says:

    A lovely chapter. My horse knows the difference between a “go” day and a “stay” day because my body language reveals intention. Since following your story with Joey, I try to soften my intent during morning feed time. It’s working. Thanks for sharing!


    • Thank you Valerie,your dedication to horses in your life has been admired from afar. Joey’s expressions are so vivid, honest and true. On days when I don’t think I have time, he presents himself to make me stop and reevaluate my intentions and expectations and for some reason as intended goals fall away he takes me on a different path that takes me further than I had expected to achieve.
      When walking up to the trailer I reminded myself to be, and allow. Let all expectations fall away. If it takes five minutes or an hour it was up to him. He never questioned me, and without more than a moments thought he stepped in.
      Thank you for your feedback on Joey’s Journey and my writing.


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