Lisa S, who we know better for her poems about her beloved horse William has also turned her hand to simple prose.   Here she tells us all about a most remarkable horse she owns – Indy.  A horse who seems to be possessed of almost uncanny psychic powers.

Read on and you will discover.

Indy – A Most Remarkable Horse.  By Lisa S

In recent days, with Indy not being too hot to trot, I’ve been thinking about the years we’ve spent in each other’s lives. I always write a big, emotional post when I lose a horse, and I got to thinking this week that Indy totally deserves a tribute while he’s still earthside. The thing is, I’m not even sure where to start!

In his 27 years, he has lived a hundred different lives. Played a hundred different roles, and meant something different to everyone who’s had anything to do with him.

His life as a racing trotter would have been hard, and he raced for so many years, winning and doing well. I met him years after his racing days had finished, when he was agisted where I kept Chester. I vowed to that horse that one day life would be better for him. His owner left him for months on end, coming to ride him one weekend in 12, for hours on end, feeding him a big feed afterwards and not bothering about the colic she caused afterwards. He was almost bald from itch and rubbed raw in so many places. I put it out to the Universe that that horse would one day find love…and a few months later that owner was about to get on a flight to go travelling in Europe.  Her other horse sold and no one was willing to take on the difficult itchy horse. I knew how this story was going to end, and it wasn’t what I wanted to witness…so I asked if I could have him to prevent him going on that one way truck. Sarah Harris and i drove to pick up a horse who barely knew me and who hadn’t seen a float in a fair few years. He walked straight up that ramp and never looked back! I had never been more impressed with a horse. But he hadn’t shown me anything yet.

In his life of many roles, his purpose was clear; to be the helper. The facilitator. He won his owners money, he helped that girl experience horse ownership and he never blamed her for doing it badly. His next role (because I couldn’t really afford another horse), was to help people learn to ride with Margaret-Anne Green as his guide. This role, he filled as well as the others. His gentle nature, despite his size, was perfect for novice riders to learn the ways of balancing on a horse – his huge trot throwing people out the saddle and making them learn where their balance was!! His other role there was one I think his soul was truly made for. Absolutely the helper. The facilitator to healing. A therapy horse like him you have never seen before. Indy has a way of looking at who ever is walking towards him, looking right in to the core of their being, knowing what they need, and being that. Whether it’s a black horse who needs to be shinier for a girl with big OCD issues, or a horse with big listening ears, for a mute girl who had secrets abound, or a mirror of yourself, he helped. And facilitated deep, deep healing.

And then he was the one who needed help. And our debts, well, I hope they were repaid. In September 2010 while in England for my sister’s wedding, flood waters and loose fencing meant that Indy ended up on a 100kmh road and was hit by a car. He took out the windscreen, bounced over the top of the car, and landed on the road behind it. I wasn’t there. The phone call I got in the middle of that night was one of the worst phone calls I have ever received. He’d been in an accident. But his eyes said he wasn’t ready to go. So he stayed. And I flew back, not knowing if my horse would still be here by the time I landed. He was! And I spent hours every day visiting him in hospital,  talking to him, brushing him gently, giving him reiki, massaging his legs. He had broken ribs, a fractured face, nerve damage in his face paralysing his lips, huge risk of pneumonia and other secondary infections, but he wanted to be there. The outlook I was given for him was grim but I was there for him and he got everything he needed and wanted. 3 months in a stable and he was ready to go outside for a few hours a day. And he has NEVER LOOKED BACK. I was told I would never ride him again and that was absolutely fine. If he was happy and safe and well, that was all that mattered. He owed the world nothing. Just be a horse and a happy horse, and all is well in my world….

But a year and a half later, he wasnt happy. He was grumpy and bad tempered and kept standing by the tack room door looking at me with purpose. Did he want to work again? Well, yes he did! And as soon as I was back on his back (gently obviously and slowly), he was a happier man again. We had this. He was right as rain! We worked on building his fitness very slowly. And despite being told he would die,  that his chances of recovery were slim, that he would never be ridden again, in October 2013, Indy and I joined in with a hundred or so other horses and riders, and did the Big October Ride. He pulled like a train the whole way round and had a blast! The pride I felt in him as we rode down the main street of Dayboro was immense, and huge and tearful! My Indy

Its 2018 now and his riding years are long behind him. His body, for all the work he has done and the trials and tribulations he has been through, doesn’t do quite so well anymore.

This horse….this gorgeous boy, who has the wisdom of a hundred lifetimes, and has lived a hundred different roles in this one, has my heart so tightly held.
A few years back, I was at odds with the world. I can’t remember why. I went to see my Indy boy to have a cuddle and tell his big old ears what was going on in my world. The only time I think this horse has ever been anything other than peaceful and placid was this day. He came at me, full speed, ears flat back on his head, teeth bared, ready for me. I fell back on the floor (there was a fence between us), got up and walked away in tears. There was something very wrong with my boy. I sat and worked out how i could afford the vet bill to get a full blood work up done and get whatever problem he had, fixed…..but he didn’t fixing. I did. There was nothing wrong with him. He was simply doing what Indy so valiantly does – he was being what I needed at that moment, and at that particular moment, I needed a mirror. Something to reflect back to me what I was putting out to the world. And boy he did it oh so very, very well.

There was a time I thought that I saved him. Saved him from the life with that girl and the journey she was likely to send him on. Saved him from being put down after his car accident. Saved him (with much veterinary help) when he had liver damage. Saved him from all those things. But I didn’t and haven’t saved him at all. He has been my saviour. He has been a saviour to all the troubled girls he helped as a therapy horse. He has lived through all his different roles and played them out so incredibly well.

And for all those horses that you have been, all those things that you were to so many, many people, right now, at the end of this long life, however near or far the end may be away, in your 27th trip around the sun that shines on your glorious back, in this time, you are simply a horse. A horse who is so very loved. Loved by a girl who had your back 9 years ago. Loved by a girl who misses being on your back. Loved by a girl who has your back now still. Loved for all the roles you’ve played, and all the lives you’ve lived, and all the wisdom you possess. A horse whose troubled girls called Grandpa, a horse whose vet calls my Old Faithful.

And for all the other horses I have helped, and lost and mourn, I will always, love the horses that are here xxxxx

The last bit about loving the ones that are here is in relation to a poem that I love “Don’t Cry For The Horses”

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