Hi, my fabulous listeners; today, I am excited to tell you about mares.
A mare is a female horse. A mare is often the horse who holds the whole kit and kaboodle, a.k.a. her herd together. A mare is often opinionated. But not because she is a know-it-all, well, sometimes she is, but usually, she is opinionated because she simply knows.
I am not 100% sure why mares are so good at leading and supporting the herd. But I have a theory.
Girl horses stay intact.
Boy horses get fixed. Castrating a horse is called gelding. A Gelding - the name for a castrated boy horse - no longer has access to testosterone, which mellows out the horse’s behavior.
Back to the mares.
Mares have all their inners intact and, therefore, use of their hormones.
Yes, there are hormonal mares out there. I know that life with a hormonal mare can get interesting. I am lucky that my girls were never too hormonal. But, even if a mare is hormonal, there is a reason for it, and we can help them by finding out. Just saying!
I have been very lucky to have had several mares in my life, and I am indeed the luckiest to have my absolute dream horse and truth keeper, my mare Shana, with me right now. Shana and I have been together for almost twenty years. We are tighter than I ever imagined being with a horse.
Shana knows me through and through.
She reaches out to me when I veer off my path.
She has put her life on the line for her family, furry and human.
She has done that since she was young, and I can’t wait to share her story in an upcoming audiobook she and I are writing together.
Shana teaches me so much about mares. How clever, loyal, and strong they are.
And that leads me to speak about another mare.
Her name is Regal. Regal is a stunning Chestnut colored Warmblood mare.
When I met Regal about four years ago, she was about thirteen. I remember walking down the barn aisle, and Regal’s stall was on the left. As I approached the stall, slowly and deliberately to see if I was invited into her space, Regal made it clear that I was not.
Her ears were back, and she had a stern face.
Clearly expressing, “Don't you come barging into my bubble.”
And I didn’t. I stopped where she showed me the edge of her bubble began and relaxed. Took a few nice deep breaths. And then, I took my focus off Regal and turned to the other horse, also a mare, Sophie, who I was also here to visit.
As I said ‘hi’ to Sophie, I felt Regal's eyes on my back. She watched my interaction with Sophie to decide how she felt about me.
Sophie and I engaged for a little while. I offered her a Chakra Balance and let her smell the oils she picked. That got Regal interested. She put her nose over the threshold of her stall into the barn aisle. So I reached across the aisle and offered her the scent, which she took in and processed, lick chew, lick chew. Well, that was wonderful. We had an opening.
Once Sophie and I completed our session, I turned back to Regal, and her personal bubble had decreased. I could stand in the middle of the barn aisle in front of her stall while her face and ears were relaxed.
I did not face her directly. I turned to the right to speak with her person. My left side was facing Regal’s stall door. There was only a stall guard, meaning a bar across the door opening.
That meant Regal had the liberty to stick her head out or stay more toward the back of the stall.
While speaking with her person, I opened my left side toward Regal. I allowed energy to flow her way while I was conscious of her response. I kept my sensors toward her to catch a reaction to my energy. If it was too much, I could pull my energy further back.
While navigating my invisible interaction with Regal and listening to her person, I suddenly felt Regal was opening up a little. I could see, hear, feel, and sense she was ready to jump into the conversation. Until then, she had been quiet, only asked for the oil.
But now, as her person talked about things she would like to better understand about Regal, the mare told me about her body. She mentioned that her hind end is not as strong as she wished. She showed me that she didn’t feel safe with people. She didn’t want to make waves. She was worried about what might happen next.
I understood that those were old issues. Had nothing to do with her new and current person. As I expressed these memories and concerns for Regal, she blew out through the nose again and again.
In her case, it felt like the exhales were part release and part relief. By verbalizing the information for her, I brought her feelings and experiences out into the open. By us listening to Regal, she was heard.
The verbalizing was the release. It’s coming out, blow, blow, blow.
Just like you and I feel when we can speak our truth and go, phew, I said it.
But the other piece is the relief that it landed. That is her person, and I heard and acknowledged her. We said, “Ahhh, yes, no wonder you are keeping people out of your bubble until you get a feel for who they are and what intentions they bring.” When we said those words, the exhales were longer, and the licking and chewing showed Regal's satisfaction with how her messages had landed with us.
She was seen and heard!
By the end of our session, Regal allowed me into her stall, and I could put my hand on her hind end to assess the energy in her body and offer her some support to release some of the old issues stuck in her tissues.
When I returned a few weeks later, our warm-up period was shorter. I again focused on Sophie first but noticed that Regal was already more curious about what we were doing.
As I came to see them regularly, Regal allowed me to touch and work with her entire body, not just the hind end. And she also became more talkative. Here is one of those you can't make that shit up moments. At one point, I changed my greeting pattern and said hello to Regal first.
I asked her, “How are you doing today?” She looked across the aisle to Sophie and said, “How are we feeling today?”
Whaaaat? That was amazing. She was asking Sophie how they were feeling today.
Of course, I took THAT opportunity to help Regal feel into herself instead of relying on Sophie.
A few months later, the horses moved to a new barn. On my first visit to the new barn, Sophie made a statement. She said, pointing to Regal, “It’s time for her to put her big girl boots on.”
With her statement came the visual that Regal had changed a lot over the last six months: she was less skittish, she felt better in her body, she was more confident with ground exercises, and she was calmer when ridden. So, in Sophie’s opinion, it was time to own it. Step into it and own it.
And as if the new barn was a new beginning, Regal did step into herself more and more.
Instead of having only one way of expressing herself, with ears back and a stern face, Regal began to communicate with more discernment. She still pinned her ears at random people but recognized the ones who came to help her, like the holistic vet or me.
When before Regal tried to evade any equipment, especially the halter, she took us up on the invitation to stick her muzzle into the nose band of the halter or bridle. Often happily.
These days, Regal often nickers when her person and I approach her, inside the barn or outside in her paddock. Also, and this is super cute, often when we girls hang out, and her person or I translate her ideas correctly, she gives us a little nudge on the hand to confirm we got it right. And it is incredible to see how embodied she is. Regal is balanced and filled with vibrant energy. Once she felt good about herself, she co-facilitated Chakra Balances with me for the horses and people at her barn. She releases with, and for the other beings, she picks oils or points to body parts that need attention. She is an incredible conduit of good mojo.
She grounds and supports the other horses at her barn, just like Sophie once did for her. Regal is now one of the cornerstone mares at the facility.
I am always amazed at how similar Regal and Shana are. Both mares hold down the fort for their herd, furry and human.
And both mares share ideas and concepts with us that are life-changing.
Shana was always treated well and had very few hang-ups.
Regal had a trunk full of stories and beliefs that needed to be sorted through and dissolved.
Regal's life took on a new meaning by respecting her space and allowing her to extend an invitation for me to enter her bubble.
Meeting an animal where she or he is can transform their life.
Let me say it again.
When you meet the mare where she is, it will transform her life.
As a yearling, Shana was confident, curious, and courageous. I had only worked with older, often despondent horses. I had to step out of my caretaker role and meet Shana, where she was to create the relationship we have today.
Regal came with history. She needed a tribe around her that helped her find her way back to being curious, courageous, and confident. Her person, her holistic veterinarian, and I created the space, stimulation, and reflection she needed to see herself again.
Mares are incredibly smart, loyal, and good for you if you like a partner with ideas and suggestions. I remember someone referring to Shana, saying, “She is too smart for her own good.” To which I said, am I smart enough for her? A mare will always want to teach you something. And mares remind us every day how clever, loyal, and strong they are.
A great mirror for us to look at.
I hope you felt affirmed in your love for mares in this episode or are inspired to engage with a mare. In a new and different way. If you know a fellow mare lover, send them the link to this episode. And if someone needs help with a mare, send it too.
And, if you want to hear from your mare … hop over to my website and book a session right away. I can’t to have a chat!
Bis bald und auf Wiedersehen!