He was barely two weeks old. The colt with no name. He had a sort of air of expectation about him. Like he thought maybe someone would be taking him back home soon. And he would be able to see his mother again. He was starting to get hungry; and I suspect he wanted very much to be able to taste and smell and feel his mother’s warmth.
But this was not to be. Instead, he was being looked after by a group of humans who cared a great deal about him. Cared about his needs and happiness. Had, in fact, probably saved his life and were doing everything they could to bring him into a relationship with a surrogate mom who would not only nurse him, but would teach him all about being a horse. And, when he was ready, they would find a new, permanent home for him, where he would be valued and loved for the rest of his life. All of this was being done for him under the auspices of the not-for-profit group Dream Equine Therapy Center.
This afternoon, however, the colt with no name could not foresee any of that. All he knew was that he was among strangers, and he was getting hungry and tired and a bit afraid. He was so very young. So very unsure. And he didn’t even have a name that I could whisper to him.
I sat in his stall on clean, thick wood shavings. There were three of us with him at first. We waited while the mare was being readied for introduction to him by her foster caregiver, Gina Greer.
The owner of the farm where we were – Christy Douglas – was there. So was photographer Shelly Marshall Schmidt, ready to document the anticipated moments of acceptance and bonding between adopted mother and son. But each of the women had stepped away for a moment. And it was just the colt and I.
We watched each other in silence. He became extremely busy doing important colt stuff … like licking everything in his stall, and tipping buckets over with his feet. Trying to step into his water trough. Walking past me, just out of reach. Testing me. Asking me questions.
Due to one of those coincidences of the universe – which always occurs for a reason yet surprises us all the same – I had just been reading about study results published by the Institute of HeartMath announcing recently acknowledged attributes of the human heart. Perhaps applicable to the hearts and energies of all living beings.
The report identifies a measurable electromagnetic “heart field” that can be detected several feet away from the individual. And it suggests that we can learn to enhance this heart field intentionally, with focus and technique. With no more knowledge or understanding of it than that, I opened my arms toward the foal, and whispered to him: “Can you hear my heart? Listen to my heart.” With not a hint of hesitation, he immediately turned toward me, walked into my openness, and pressed his nose against my heart – filling me with innocent, infinite, acceptance.
Less than an hour later, he was also embraced by his new equine mother.
Without benefit of research or reports or science or data, the mare engaged her own “heart field” – and reached out to the foal with love and understanding, compassion and generosity. Through the ancient wisdom I have found inherent in all animals, she simply whispered her own messages of the heart to him. And, I suspect, she called him by name.