In “Saddle Solace,” a great article on equines helping combat veterans, the Marine Matt Littrell, who rode across American on his Mustang Crow, gave his take on why horses help rehabilitate veterans. “Combat is the world’s greatest high,” he says in the Western Horseman article. “You’ll never feel more alive that when you’re about to die. You hear and see everything. When guys get back, they chase that level of high. They drive fast cars, party hard and do drugs. But horses give you a different kind of lasting high. The reward doesn’t come from going fast and crazy. It’s from getting a horse to soften and relax.”
That was the Splendid High moment I had tonight, thanks be to a Power greater than ourselves. I have said before that one of the greatest thrills in life for me is to get an ex-racehorse to relax with a rider on him. I am very grateful Linda Tellington-Jones for her invention of the TTouch Balance Rein, which helps equines relax and lift their backs. Tonight we had what for me is an ultimate reward: after liberty work on the ground beforehand where he trotted next to me as I ran beside him with no coercion, he then relaxed with me astride as he lifted his back and stretched his neck down.
As the song says, I was “16 hands closer to Heaven”–on a horse appropriately named Splendid High, who is the best medicine ever for post-traumatic stress disorder. I am grateful to the Creator of this force of nature, in whom the Great Spirit resides and teaches me what the real prize in life is. To us, riding for the Prince of Peace and striving to be centered in His Peace is all…and He helps us as I ride praying the holy rosary recorded on my phone.
I had a midsummer night’s dream-come-true of becoming a “stable nun” who finds Him in the manger of our hearts at peace with Him. Thank You, O Holy Ghost, for teaching us tonight and bringing all things to our remembrance whatsoever He taught us. You are indeed the Great Spirit in Nature who can train us and is…Thank You, and thank you St. Kateri, whom I believe has interceded for us, as well, as the patron saint of horsewomen and a devotee of the holy rosary also. We are grateful! May we ride to glorify Him always…