Live Each Day Part Two: Lessons from a Wild Mustang

Live Each Day Part Two: Lessons from a Wild Mustang


When  I wrote “Live Each Day” Two weeks ago, I didn’t know there would be a Part II. But there is more to tell about the beautiful mustang, Chloe.


A Little Background

For those of you who have not heard me tell of Chloe, she was born a wild mustang. She was taken from the range by our government, and adopted out—three times. In the first home, she suffered a broken pelvis; in the next, she was starved. The starvation severely damaged her kidneys.

When Sue, who runs a small horse and dog rescue in the Colorado mountains, adopted Chloe earlier this year, the vets didn’t hold out much hope that Chloe would recover. But Sue was determined to create a loving, supportive, joyful environment for Chloe and her filly, Snapdragon. For no matter how long she lived, Chloe would be safe and allowed to live with dignity.

In April, after learning about Chloe from a Facebook friend, I contacted Sue and offered a series of three Neuromuscular Retraining sessions for Chloe (from a distance), who was having difficulty moving freely as a result of the injury to her pelvis. Chloe responded to the work beautifully and moved much more freely as a result.

In addition to the movement lessons, I shared Reiki treatments with Chloe as well. In the first session, I was hit with a wave of grief from this beautiful creature, who longed so powerfully for her life in the wild. I apologized for the cruelty and stupidity of the humans who had captured her, for the humans who had done her harm. I explained that while she could not run free, she now had a forever home where she would be treated with dignity and respect.

Sue reported that after that session Chloe’s spirits lifted; she accepted her circumstances with not only dignity, but joy. I never again felt this grief from Chloe. She released it, and that was that.

When the three weeks of movement lessons were over, I asked Sue’s permission to continue giving Chloe weekly Reiki sessions to support her damaged kidneys. Chloe responded so well, that about a month ago, I reduced the sessions to every other week.


Long Walks

Sue lovingly referred to Chloe as “my wiiiild mustang.” To help Chloe deal with her domestic life, the theft of her freedom, Sue would take Chloe on long walks on trails through the mountain woods. Sue kindly shared with me Chloe’s joy on these excursions, how she would forage for the tastiest morsels of grass, how the two of them bonded, became sisters in spirit.

For several dreadful weeks this summer, they had to forego their walks because of news that a black bear was in the area. But soon enough, they got word that he had moved on, and they were able to resume their glorious excursions.



It gets cold in the mountains of Colorado. One of the biggest challenges facing Sue and Chloe was Chloe’s difficulty staying warm at night, when the temperature would drop below freezing. Sue told me that her first attempt at blanketing Chloe had resulted in several broken ribs for Sue.

During one of my sessions with Chloe, I spoke to her about her need for a blanket. I showed her a blanket (again, from a distance), visualized it being placed on her, and imagined the glorious warmth it would bring. After the session, I suggested to Sue that she get someone to help her with blanketing, that Chloe now understood what a blanket was for and would cooperate with the lesson.

A few days later, a wonderful trainer successfully blanketed Chloe. Now the problem was that Chloe was getting too warm in the daytime! But it didn’t take long for her to allow Sue to put the blanket on at night and take it off in the morning.

Winter comes early to the mountains. About a month ago, in August, Sue emailed that she had awakened in the middle of the night and instinctively gone to the barn. Chloe, who was wearing her blanket and who had a heat lamp in her stall, was shivering terribly. Sue had to put two more blankets on Chloe before she was warm.

In her email, Sue expressed her terrible sadness that Chloe would not make it through the winter. She didn’t want her dear friend to suffer. She did not know what to do.

In my next session with Chloe, on August 11, I tried to get a sense of what Chloe wanted to do. My sense was that she hadn’t made a decision. My notes for the session read:

She felt solid, balanced, happy (a little joyful bubble inside).

I asked, Do you have anything you want to tell Sue?

Chloe answered: “She is perfect. She is a jewel. She has made my life worth living. I was in such despair; I thought that the end of my freedom would end me, but I am happy now. All is as it should be. I am very grateful to her.”


After our next session, on August 25, I wrote:

She feels great. Is it sunny today? I can feel the warmth on her back. [I learned later that Chloe has been lying in the sun during the session.]

Last time, she felt good, but I wasn’t sure if it was a transient feeling. I wasn’t sure if she was going to choose to make it through the winter. But today, I felt that she has made a decision. And the decision is to stay. I reminded her that she has a nice warm blanket if she needs it.


In our session on September 8, Chloe still felt strong and balanced. I gave her a complete Reiki treatment, but my hands were no longer being drawn to her kidneys.



Several weeks ago, Sue contacted me to say she and her husband had decided to move themselves and their small herd of rescued horses from the mountains of Colorado to Southern California. They had been considering the move for some time but now felt compelled, because of Chloe, to move sooner rather than later.

The trainer was teaching Chloe about trailers. Fairly quickly, Chloe had begun walking into the trailer herself and taking naps. Still, Sue was concerned that the trailer ride might cause Chloe so much stress that she would once again fall ill.


On September 12, in my session with Chloe, before I could ask a question, Chloe said, “I’m  having fun!”

I said, “You like playing in the trailer?”

Her response was that she liked playing with her trainer!

I explained to Chloe the plans for moving, which was to happen no later than the first week of October. Chloe said that while she didn’t really like the idea of being closed into a small space, she was open to a new adventure.

She had a number of questions about the trip, which I shared with Sue in my notes. But, I added, “I think with preparation this is going to be a non-event. Chloe assured me she is going to be OK 🙂 ”

Sue was, of course, ecstatic at this news. She wrote: “Hi Pam! Your email made my heart flip with joy!! I will answer the questions later but just had to send back a quick THANK YOU!!!!!! Xoxo!


Free at Last

But I didn’t receive those answers. Instead on September 20, two days ago as I write this, I received this email from Sue with the subject line “Free at Last”:


Dear Pam,

I had the most blissful week I could have imagined with my sweet Chloe. She whinnied all week in her adorable teenaged girl high pitch whinny that I so love–demanding my presence and attention at all times. She grazed and gobbled grass and hay and last night even ate treats for the first time since May. I can honestly say she was the happiest she has ever been. We snuggled endlessly and laughed together at all of her silliness.

I went to bed with a smile deep in my heart.

This morning she was different as we walked out to graze. I watched carefully because I knew something was off but not sure what.

Then she had a seizure. It was time.

My vet came up and we let her go in the lower pasture, so peaceful and beautiful and perfect, and my dear friend moved her body gently to her grave. He laid little wildflowers on her and I said goodbye to my gorgeous girl–she looked as though she was galloping free, wind in her mane.

I am heartbroken but so grateful for all that she taught me and the love and trust she gave so sincerely.

Thank you for being a part of our lives. I feel so grateful for all of the friends who were there for us in so many ways.

Big hugs your way,



Thank you, Sue, for allowing me time with your beloved friend.

Thank you, Chloe, for all that you have taught us, all of us, about living each day.


Chloe the wiiild mustang


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2 Replies to “Live Each Day Part Two: Lessons from a Wild Mustang”

  1. Hi Pam,

    What a beautiful story albeit with more than a tinge of sadness for your friend Sue’s loss. How wonderful, though, that Sue was able to spend lots of quality time with Chloe and that Chloe had made peace with no longer being able to live in the wild.

    You’ve also highlighted a really important piece of information that many humans in their species-centric view of the world either don’t realize or would prefer not remember; namely, that rounding up wild and free creatures causes them immense distress and despair–all the more so if they ill-treated or not adequately cared for in their new surroundings.

    Thank you, Pam for all the great work you do with animals and, indirectly, with people.

    P.S. Sam Cat says “hello and thanks” to you, too.

    1. Thank you for reading, Sue, and for your kind words.

      Unfortunately the government of the United States seems hell bent on decimating the wild horse herds. They are in the process of doing what was done to the American Buffalo. It is heartbreaking.

      Many of the wild mustangs do not fare well once they have been ripped from their herds and their lives.

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