Category: Featured

Rosie

Rosie

Rosie

 

Recently we asked Pam to help us with one of the girls. That’s what we call our two 10 year old litter mates, Rosie and Mahalia.

We often affectionately scratch the girls’ backs, which they love. Suddenly one day we went to give Rosie a scratch on her rump and she yelped in excruciating pain, cowered and began shivering. We had never seen Rosie behave this way or experience pain this intense. The curly, happy, alert tail we knew and loved was no longer wagging nor standing at attention.

Immediately we went to the vet covering the clinic that day and were prescribed medication which we were concerned about administering, especially when the vet was unsure of what ailed Rosie.

We decided that we had to get in touch with Pam to see if she could do anything to help.  Pam responded almost immediately to my email and asked for a photo of Rosie.  Pam had no prior knowledge of what was causing Rosie so much pain but she was able to tell us that Rosie had nerve pain in one of her hind legs and lower back.

Rosie had 3 Neuromuscular Retraining sessions at a distance with Pam and after the first one, the happy tail hesitantly returned.  Within days of her second session a week later we were trying to stop Rosie from doing the “helicopter” in our backyard and from wrestling with her sister.  One month later and we have our Rosie back.  We are so grateful!

Thank you Pam for sharing your gift to help our precious Rosie.

  – Aisha Noble, Chicago

 

 

Declan

Declan

Declan 3

I have always been one to be open minded and try different methods of keeping my horse healthy and happy, and why not—he is my partner after all.

My friend Marcia sent me to websites of the names of two exceptional women.

WingedHorseHealing.com  (Pam Sourelis) and Patricia Holman Milwaukeefeldenkrais.com.

After viewing both websites I decided to have neuromuscular retraining for my horse Declan and I would visit Patricia and have Feldenkrais work done to myself.

The first visit with Pam was awesome, just by very light and gentle touch she released a huge knot in Declan’s back. After the lesson Declan was walking more relaxed, his head stretched down and forward.

The second lesson was from a distance. Yes I was a little hesitant at first, but when I rode Declan the next time I felt that his rib cage had expanded, and he moved more freely through his shoulders and back.

I could hardly wait for my session with Patricia.

My session with Patricia was amazing. I never knew how really heavy and tight the left side of my body was, hence putting more weight on the left side of my body in the saddle was hindering Declan from using his left inside hind. I too had issues with my rib cage and tightness in my shoulders. After my Feldenkrais session with Pat I could hardly wait to ride again; what a difference it made! I was able to shift my balance point to the right and keep my right leg on the side of my horse! Yea! I have signed up for 3 more sessions with Patricia.

After the final session with Pam I felt a horse that I hadn’t felt in a long time. He moved much more fluently and relaxed.

I must admit that I have done chiropractic, message and acupuncture both to my horse and with myself; these methods of Pam and Patricia are so much more relaxing and helpful. I am totally hooked.

  – Mary Ann Collins, Caledonia, WI

 

Pam’s note: The Neuromuscular Retraining sessions that I do with animals are based on the principles of the Feldenkrais Method for humans. I received two years of training from a certified Feldenkrais practitioner who developed a method for four-legged creatures. I am always thrilled when the human rider is working with a Feldenkrais practitioner at the same time I am working with the horse.

 

 

Reiki & Chemotherapy: Mia’s Story

Reiki & Chemotherapy: Mia’s Story

Mia1In March of 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I began chemotherapy treatments in April of 2014 and received regular Reiki sessions from Pam, from a distance, throughout and alongside my drug therapy.

We experimented with how to time the sessions in relation to when I received the chemo. In most instances, I received a Reiki session that same evening. But when I went from bi-weekly AC meds to weekly Taxol meds, the side effects—primarily fatigue and body aches–intensified. Pam suggested we add a session the night before the chemo. That meant I was receiving a session the night before and the night of the chemotherapy.
This was tremendously helpful in alleviating the side effects!

At one point, we had some scheduling conflicts and I was not able to receive Reiki the night before chemo. Pam texted me while I was in the chemo chair asking if I wanted to have a session then. Having the session while I was in the chair made a huge difference! There was a vast reduction in my side effects and no need for a session that night. I even fell asleep in the chair, I was so relaxed! We continued with this method and timing for the remainder of my treatments.

I suffered from anxiety and depression throughout treatment, but I always felt calmer and more centered after Reiki.

Mia, Minneapolis

 

Pam’s Note: I also shared Reiki sessions with Mia after her surgery (which followed chemotherapy) and occasionally during her six-week course of radiation. But the bulk of our sessions were concentrated around her chemotherapy treatment, which is when she expressed the most need and found the sessions most helpful.

Goodbye Sweet Ace

Goodbye Sweet Ace

 

Our First Session

I met Ace Flyer last June, when he was just a couple of months shy of 18 years old. Ace had had a stroke and was unable to walk or even to stand. The vet had suggested euthanasia, and his human (I’ll call her Carol), who was in a terrible state of grief at the thought of losing him, wanted me to talk to Ace before he was put down.

October 8, 1993 to January 20, 2011

 

When I spoke to Ace (from a distance), on a Friday afternoon, he was still at the vet’s office, where he had been for several days. Surprised at the message I shared, he told me that he was not ready to pass, that he wanted to go home, that he wanted to spend the weekend with Carol, and that he would want assistance in passing on Monday.

He showed me pictures of himself when he was younger, running up and down the stairs with another dog. He told me how much he loved Carol and how good his life had been. He said that he forgave her for being impatient and a bit rough  with him (which she’d said that she, sick with grief, had been in response to his loss of independence after the stroke). He also said he wished that Carol would work a little less, play a little more, that she was stressed and that he wanted her to find balance in her life.

 

Then he said that he wanted her to buy him some soft, chewy treats.

After Ace and I spoke, I shared a Reiki treatment with him. I could feel his strength increasing while I worked, and I wondered if he might not change his mind about leaving by the time Monday came.

 

 

Carol’s Response

When I shared our conversation with Carol, she said that the dog running on the stairs with Ace was Lucy, another of Carol’s dogs, who had passed a year and a half earlier. She said this had been a favorite activity of theirs, and she wondered if Ace was preparing to meet his friend on the other side.

Carol didn’t like the idea of spending the weekend with Ace. She said, in a grief-stricken voice, that if Ace was going to leave her in a few days anyway, it would be easier for her if the vet just helped him to pass now. Bringing him home would be too painful, and she couldn’t bear the thought of spending the whole weekend with him only to have him leave when it was over.

Although I told her that he might very well change his mind come Monday and, if not, this was his final wish, she simply did not think she had the strength to do what Ace was asking.

But after we’d talked for awhile, she agreed to try. She went to the vet’s office and brought her beloved Ace Flyer home. She bought him the chewy treats he’d asked for, and he ate for the first time in several days. They hung out together, snuggled and talked. Although Carol had to briefly leave Ace several times because of obligations she had to respect, when she came back home he was not distressed, just happy to see her.

They had a beautiful weekend together. And Carol discovered the strength she didn’t know she had.

 

When Monday Came

Carol had made arrangements for Ace to be humanely euthanized on Tuesday morning. So on Monday morning, I spoke with him again.

I explained the arrangements Carol had made. I explained that Carol was no longer frantic and scared, that she wanted him to leave when he was ready, that she would be OK.

Ace said to me, in a sweet, calm voice, “If it’s not too much trouble, I would like to stay a bit longer.”

I told him I didn’t think that would be a problem at all.

We spoke a bit more, and then I shared another Reiki treatment with him and a Neuromuscular Retraining session, in the hope that he would be able to get up without assistance and move around more comfortably.

A few days later, Carol told me that Ace was eating well, that he could get up without assistance, that he could walk by himself and was roaming around the house and yard. He was a bit slower than he’d been before the stroke, but he was mobile and happy, and they were now spending a lot more time in each other’s company.

 

Two Months Later: The New Plan

For the next two months, Carol periodically emailed to let me know that Ace, the miracle dog, was doing well. But near the end of August, she called to say that he was again having a bit of difficulty getting up, that he was losing his sight, and that he sometimes became confused and disoriented.

I suggested that I work with him once or twice a month (a good idea for all geriatric animals) sharing both Reiki (to help alleviate any pain he might be in, help keep his system in balance, and help alleviate the mental confusion) and Neuromuscular Retraining (to help him to move around more easily and comfortably).

For the next four months, I worked with Ace twice a month, always sharing Reiki sessions, sometimes sharing Neuromuscular Retraining sessions, and always getting a sense of how he was feeling about life, which, despite his physical limitations, he relished. Even on days when his energy was a bit low, his spirits were high. Working with him was a joy.

Equally rewarding was the change in Carol. No longer in a state of panic and grief, she was fully enjoying Ace’s company in ways she had found difficult immediately after his stroke. She was now a able to love him fully for who he was at any given moment, cherishing whatever time they might have left together.

 

Ace’s Final Days

Several weeks ago, Carol called me for an additional session with Ace (I was still working with him twice a month) because she felt he was getting ready to leave. He was lying motionless on the couch, and she could not rouse him. She feared he’d had another stroke. She had syringed water into his mouth but could not feed him.

She said she had made an appointment with the vet for the next morning, which I assumed was for an exam.

I shared a Reiki treatment with Ace and asked him what he would like to do.

He said,  “I would like to sleep. Right now, I am not interested in waking up.”

I said, “OK. But if you decide you would like to stay in this life, you will need to drink some water.”

He said OK. When I told him about the vet appointment, he told me he was not in any pain and that he was definitely not ready to leave. It had not occurred to me that the appointment was for euthanasia; Ace was more tuned into that than I was.

That evening when Carol got home from work, Ace was awake, howling on the couch. He was still unable to walk on his own, but when she brought him into the kitchen, he eagerly drank and then ate a large dinner. She said she would cancel the vet appointment, the purpose of which had been, as Ace suspected, euthanasia.

The following day, I shared a Neuromuscular Retraining session with Ace. Afterwards, although he was still tilted a bit to the left, he could sit up on his own and was eager to go into the back yard with a little bit of assistance.

It seemed the miracle dog was back.

I worked with Ace four more times over the next week and a half, his strength slowly returning. One day, he told me that he was very tired, but that he was content. He said he didn’t know how completely he would be able to recover. “I’m an old man,” he said. All he wanted, he said, was to spend time with his beloved Carol.

Six days later, he said that he was very tired, that he might be ready for assistance with passing. He knew that he would not pass on his own because there was nothing wrong with his organs. But the quality of his life was no longer good.

He asked to spend time with Carol that weekend, that a decision be made in three days, on Monday.

We had come full circle. This was the very message he had given me the first time we’d met.

 

Message from Carol

My sweet Ace passed with assistance this morning.  Oct 8 1993 to Jan 20 2012 – 18 1/4 – what a great run!

When I got home last night he had been bleeding slightly from several spots on his paws.  Looks like he thrashed so much trying to get up that he created sores.  He couldn’t walk at all, couldn’t stand, when I would help him stand then let go, he would fall.

We spent the evening together. He seemed a little agitated and very tired. He woke several times thrashing during the night, nipping at me a few times during the night. This morning he couldn’t stand. I sat him at his food that he picked at.  He kept falling over from the sitting position. He yelped and groaned and howled several times. I sat on the floor with him to hand feed him. I told him that if it was time, to let me know.

I tried to put him on my lap while on the kitchen floor. I must have caught him where he was hurting. He bit my left arm, didn’t let go. As I pried his jaws open he then bit my right hand. He didn’t break my skin, but I have a big bruise and lump on my arm. I know he didn’t mean to do this, but he was in pain. I didn’t let him go, I steadied him and held him. I did tell him that while I’d asked him to let me know, his biting me wasn’t what I meant!  He gave me “the look” – I knew it was time.  So we sat and cried and laughed and remembered until the vet’s office opened at 7:30.  Dr Jon was due in at 8:30.

I carried him around the house and sat with him at various places, reminiscing.  We looked at the patio and the fence line that he so carefully guarded all these years. I warmed up the car, put his travel blanket in the dryer so he would have a warm place to lie while we went to the vet. I fed him chicken pieces on the way, until he didn’t want any more.

The house is so quiet and empty tonight.

Thank you for all you did to help him these last months.  I’m so blessed to have had 6 extra months with him.  I’ll miss him terribly.  But I think he is running with Lucy (she died 2 years ago), having a great time.

Be well, ”Carol”

 

Lessons from Carol and Ace

While I never met either Carol or Ace in person (all of our sessions were from a distance), they both hold a place in my heart. Working with an elder—animal or human—is a sacred gift. I will always remember Ace’s strong spirit, his clear intention, his love of life.

To me, Carol and Ace’s journey beautifully illustrates:

* That while fear can choke our hearts, acceptance can set us free

* That we can move from a state of grief to a state of grace

* That despite our disabilities, life is to be cherished

* That while cure is not always assured, healing is always possible

 

 

Pam & Chulo

Pam & Chulo

When this picture was taken, Chulo was living at a rescue in Woodstock, IL. I volunteered there from time to time, giving the dogs Reiki.

When the director brought Chulo out onto this small patio, she warned me not to touch him, that he was “a biter.” So I shared my Reiki hands with him from a distance, while he investigated the patio. He grumbled the whole time, telling me that both times he had snapped at someone at the shelter, the person (two different ones) had come up behind him and grabbed him. He’d just been frightened. “Stupid people,” he said.

I agreed and kept sharing my Reiki hands from a distance. Next thing I knew, he’d jumped up on the bench beside me and placed himself between my hands.

Just at that moment, the director rounded the corner with her camera. I had no idea Chulo was grinning until I got a copy of the photo several weeks later.

Chulo passed away several years ago. He was still a resident at the shelter. For liability reasons, they couldn’t place him in a home because he’d bitten. This didn’t bother him at all. When I’d asked him about finding a home, he’d cheerfully said, “This is my home.”

Rest in peace sweet man.

Ollie’s Story

Ollie’s Story

[Note: These sessions were conducted from a distance]

I found my way to Pam out of sheer desperation. My four-year-old Morgan gelding, Ollie, had always been a bit of a mystery to me, and felt beyond my reach. His training had a series of fits and starts for a variety of reasons, and the only time someone had actually mounted him was a disaster, filled with rearing and panic. His new trainer (in whom I had great faith) had just sat me down to tell me that she was concerned Ollie would not turn out to be an appropriate horse for me due to his strong fear reflex, and that I should consider whether I wanted to invest more in his training. Although I was saddened, none of this surprised me, as she wasn’t the first to suggest this thought. But I was not ready to give up on Ollie yet.

My “Google-ing” led me to Pam’s site, and I thought: “Why not?” When Pam indicated in our first conversation that Ollie’s problems sounded physical, I told her I was sure she was wrong—she should see him move out in the field! He looked like every other Morgan I had ever seen, and he was fine, thank you very much. I was sure the problem was in his head.

How wrong I was! Pam worked for a long time with Ollie that first session, using both the Neuromuscular Retraining and Reiki. Her summary note indicated that Ollie projected a strong physical imbalance and needed substantial work to loosen him up, his back end in particular. When she asked him what was going on, he indicated that he was terribly sorry for everything, but was so very uncomfortable that he simply couldn’t help himself. She told me she was sure he would now feel much better.

What an understatement! When I next saw Ollie, he was excited to tell me (and anyone who would listen) just how much better he felt! A gregarious fellow, he kept flapping his lips (a sure sign that he’s happy) and nuzzling me—over-the-top affection, even for him. He had to stop at every stall to flap his lips to tell all of his friends. He was—I swear—a different shape: his whole back end looked different, like it had sort of shifted, somehow. And for the first time ever, the skin over his back end moved when I brushed him—I never realized how tight of a muscle mass had been back there!

But the real kicker was when I put him back in his stall, and he planted himself as if to say: “Watch this, Mom!” and he lifted a hind leg, looked back and scratched his nose with it, replanted himself and looked at me as if to say: “Did you know you can do that?!” It was like he wanted to show me that he could now move, and just how amazing it was.

Amazing, indeed. Pam did a series of three sessions with Ollie, and he’s had a couple of tune-ups/check-ins since. The results have been simply amazing—just ask his trainer! Training has progressed, and he has made slow, but steady and consistent progress. He simply LOVES his new work. He is happy, eager to please, and just so funny and personable. He has come to trust, and he is grateful. So am I.

This had been a horse that I simply felt was beyond my reach. I just couldn’t “get” him—couldn’t connect. I have always made strong, lasting connections with animals, but—try as I might—I couldn’t reach Ollie, and I simply didn’t know why.

Now I do. Ollie had been behind a veil of discomfort and pain that I didn’t see. Pam lifted that veil, and let a beautiful soul shine through. Thank you so much, Pam.

Judy, Minneapolis, MN

Reiki & Dementia: Dorothy’s Story

Reiki & Dementia: Dorothy’s Story

I met Pam through a mutual friend when I needed assistance with my little Boston terrier, Georgia Annabella Leigh. Little did I know then what a marvelous connection this would turn out to be for my mother, Dorothy, and myself.

Mom suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was living in a nursing home. Her first encounter with Pam and Reiki healing took place in the summer of 2005. Mom had been hospitalized for urosepsis (a condition where bacteria gets into the blood stream from a urinary tract infection, causing generalized infection). Urosepsis is very serious, especially in the elderly, and can cause death. Needless to say, my mother was very, very ill. After hospitalization, my mother returned to her nursing home, where she continued to be monitored. However, she was not bouncing back and looked to be slowly declining.

My mother was a devout Catholic and had been a Eucharistic minister, a long-standing member of the Legion of Mary and other Catholic organizations, and was well versed in Catholic tradition and belief. So, given her serious condition, I called a priest to administer the Sacrament of the Sick. The priest told me as he left, “It will only be a couple of days now.”

My mother continued to be agitated, and because I had experienced Reiki healing myself, I asked her if she would like to have a “meditation” and explained a little about Reiki to her. (Although Reiki is not usually described in this way, my mother had difficulty understanding at this stage of her Alzheimer’s, and I knew that because of her Catholic background she identified with the concept of meditation associated with healing.) She immediately said yes and said that this would be comforting to her. So I called on Pam to provide a distance healing for my mother.

After the Reiki session, Pam called me and we discussed what had transpired during the healing session. Pam told me that when asked about her impending death my mother had said, “Are they all crazy? I am not going anywhere. I still have work to do here and I am not going until I am finished.”

I went to see Mom the next day and, astonishingly, she was peaceful, cogent, talkative, and happy, despite her physical condition and Alzheimer’s with its associated dementia. I asked her if she remembered having her meditation the evening before and she said, “Yes, it was beautiful, and I am fine.”

As Mom had said, she wasn’t going anywhere, and she continued to progress and recover.

One beautiful warm fall day the following year (2006), I was visiting my mother at the nursing home. We were outside in the nursing home park and I was giving my mother her customary wheel chair ride, which she loved. When we stopped to chat, Mom asked me, “Are you here to help me get into heaven?” I was stopped short for a moment. What do you say to a question like that? I asked Mom what was bothering her, and she said, “I don’t know what to say to God to get into heaven.” My response was, “Tell Him you’re Dorothy and that you did the best you could.” That seemed to make sense to her initially, but throughout the afternoon she kept bringing up the topic again and again. Obviously my simplistic response was not going to satisfy her.

So I asked my mother if she would like to have another meditation and healing session. Her eyes opened wide, and she enthusiastically said yes. Pam shared Reiki with mother that evening.

Pam’s note: During the session, which was conducted from a distance, Dorothy asked me what to do, what to say, in order to enter heaven. I told her to just open her heart.

I went to visit Mom the next day, and she was a happy and changed person from the previous day. I asked her if she remembered her meditation the evening before, and without any other prompting she immediately said to me, “Everything is fine. Everything is in God’s hands.”

Like many others with Alzheimer’s disease, my mother manifested the symptom of repeating questions and forgetting past events, especially those most recent. What struck me about my mother’s Reiki healing is that she not only remembered the Reiki event (recent experience) but that she also stopped asking the repetitive questions that had prompted the Reiki healing.

After this Reiki session, she never again raised the topic of getting into heaven.

About two weeks before her death, on each of my almost daily visits, Mom would say to me that she wanted to go home but that she was reluctant to go because she would really miss me. Her insistence about “going home” made me believe that she was trying to prepare for this journey, but at the same time I knew that she was conflicted about this desire and about leaving me. On each of my visits, I would tell Mom that it was okay for her to go home, that even though she would miss me she had other things that she needed to be doing. Because of Mom’s consistent worry and confliction, I decided again to call on Pam for assistance.

I asked Mom if she would like to have a meditation, and again her response was joy. On the appointed evening, Pam did a Reiki distance healing with Mom.

Here are Pam’s notes from the session:

Prior to the session, Merida explained to me that her mother had been a professional woman when Merida was a child. She had always respected her mother’s choices, as well as her independence and courage, but felt that the family had not voiced their support of Dorothy as much as they could have. While Dorothy was hospitalized with Alzheimer’s, Merida would often tell her mother how proud of her she was, what a wonderful mother and role model she had been. But Merida was concerned that her mother might not be hearing or understanding what she was telling her.

When I began the Reiki session, your mother immediately said that she would be leaving soon. I felt it in my heart, and it brought a tear to my throat. I told her that her leaving was both sweet and sad.

As I shared Reiki with your mother, I told her all of the things that you had asked me to share: how proud you were of her independence, courage, and spirit.

Your mother’s energy was quite low to begin with, but it brightened as the session went on. Her energy was still very quiet, of course, but clearer, lighter. At one point, I saw a golden halo around her head.

As her energy lightened, she said that she loves you, that you have always been a good daughter. She said that, while you may think she doesn’t understand you—because of her confused mind—she does understand you; her spirit understands. She said that it’s OK for her to be softer now. She can shed her rough exterior.

She said that she will be with you always, “dear one.” She will light your way, like a candle on a dark path.
She is very excited about where she is going, but she will never leave you. She understands now, is remembering, that she can be many places at once.

She has loved her life in the body, but the idea of being free from her body is exciting now.
She loves that you have your own business. She is very proud of your accomplishments. She thinks you are a magnificent woman. She wishes you every happiness.

She wants you to remember that life is a game. It can be very hard at times, but you can never take it too seriously.
I continued to share Reiki with your mother for a bit longer. Then we bid each other good-bye.

Pam also told me that Mom was in transition and that it would only be a few more days before she went home.

The next day I went to visit Mom, as usual. I asked Mom, “Do you remember the meditation that you had last night? Mom looked at me with those bright blue eyes and a bit of a frown on her face and said very positively and directly, “Of course I remember. And you should know, too, because it was all about you.”

I had the privilege of being with Mom when she passed away a few days later, in December of 2006, just three months short of her 100th birthday. I was supported in my grief knowing that Mom not only passed away peacefully physically, but spiritually as well. And I have been comforted ever since in the knowledge that she is truly my guide, helping me every day to find my right path.

Post Script: Mom had the funeral she had always wished for. She had a high funeral mass and the Knights of Columbus as her pallbearers. As the priest led her coffin down the aisle of the church in which she was married almost eighty years before, the choir broke out in the most marvelous hymn with the repeating lyrics “Welcome Home.”

Merida Johns, Woodstock, IL

Sharky’s Story

Sharky’s Story

When I adopted Sharky, my 6 yr. old OTTB from the Equine Rescue, I had to use my heart more than my eyes, as the horse presented to me was not the picture of my dream horse. He ran his last race just 10 months prior to me adopting him, and had been turned out on a farm for awhile before coming to the rescue. He was in horrible condition, practically emaciated, full of parasites and had rain rot from withers to tail, but there was something about the bright chestnut gelding that made him the one to come home with us that day. Perhaps it was the look of determination and spirit in his eyes, or maybe the fact that as we stood in the field amongst 20 other horses and he physically placed himself between us and them, but it was clear that he was our guy. My husband claims that he chose Sharky, but I truly feel that Sharky chose us.

We had to leave him that day, as we had “just come to look” and not brought the trailer with us. We made plans to pick him up the following Saturday, and arrived with a trailer full of feed for his enjoyment on the ride home. For just that reason, this poor horse had to endure yet more suffering, as he must have bolted the feed in his hunger, and when we got him home, we discovered he was choked. So then it was off to the vet right away, and over the next 24 hours we were not sure what the outcome would be. By Sunday afternoon, we had good news, he was unblocked. I brought him home Monday, and he was on a strict diet of soaked feed and alfalfa cubes. His first few days were pretty uncomfortable for him, and he was depressed. A small dose of Banamine took away some discomfort and he perked up and started eating well. Medicated baths every other day began to make the skin condition disappear, and his true sweet personality and gentle but playful nature emerged.

I started him on groundwork, learning to supple and give to pressure from the lead rope and my hands imitating leg pressure on his sides. I could tell that he was very stiff and wasn’t used to flexing, but expected that from an ex-racehorse that was never taught to bend. In his lunging work I could tell that he had basically good movement, but he was still pretty “off,” not moving very fluidly or smoothly. As he gained weight and his muscles developed, he began to get better, but still seemed a bit stiff to me.

About six weeks after I brought him home, he had gained enough weight for me to be able to ride him. He still needed more, but he had a good covering over his ribs, and his topline had filled out tremendously. We started out slow and small, and worked our way gradually to faster gaits. I worked him quite a bit on flexing and suppling, but always seemed to meet with some resistance. When I would give him a leg cue, he would swish his tail, and lateral movements were very clumsy and choppy. Considering his past training, I simply assumed that it would just take some time for him to learn to soften and supple.

At the trot, he would have very brief moments where his frame would be soft and round, but otherwise his back was hollowed, head up, and his gait very choppy. Each time I would ask for the canter, he would throw his head up and also buck a little with ears pinned and tail swishing. It seemed impossible for him to pick up his right lead, and even on the left lead, which was more comfortable for him, his canter felt like his whole body was disarticulated and the movement was far from smooth at all.

I began taking him to my riding lessons, hoping that an experienced trainer who had worked with lots of OTTB’s could help me. Exercises over poles only seemed to make him worse, and my instructor suggested that he might have an issue with his right stifle. The last two lessons I had we had to cut short because he just was not moving right at all.

Over the months, he gained weight and filled out, becoming more beautiful every day. However, his schooling was not progressing at all, and I became discouraged, and my dreams of flying over cross-country courses and long, relaxing trail rides seemed to fade into impossibility.

I did research. I contacted every trainer from his racing past to see if he had encountered any severe injuries that would explain these issues. He wasn’t necessarily lame, just “off” in his movement, and he felt terribly uncomfortable to ride. The trainers reported nothing, not even a stubbed toe.

One thing I did look at was my saddle. Now a year after I adopted him, he had gained nearly 400 pounds and his body musculature was very different due to the work he was getting. I tested my saddle and examined it closely and thought that might be part of the problem, so I began my search for a new, better fitting saddle for the horse he was now.

As I was searching the internet (there are no tack stores in my local area that stock English saddles), I ran across an email that was posted on one of my lists for a saddle sale. That email happened to be posted by Pam Sourelis, who was an animal communicator, Reiki practitioner, and practitioner of Neuromuscular Retraining.

I checked out her website, as I am familiar with animal communication and Reiki, having used services like these in the past with other animals of mine. I thought to myself, I really wish I could just ask Sharky what’s wrong; that would be so much easier.

So I contacted Pam about a communication with Sharky, and she suggested we try the Neuromuscular Retraining. Pam explained to me what NMR was and how it worked. [Pam’s note: Neuromuscular Retraining is movement reeducation based on the Feldenkrais Method of movement reeducation for humans.] At first, I had my doubts that such a thing was even possible from a distance, and how could it work? It sounded far-fetched, but I had exhausted as many traditional veterinary treatments as I could afford. The rate that Pam charges is very reasonable, so I decided it couldn’t hurt, and if it worked, it would be worth every dollar spent, and ultimately be less expensive, and less traumatic for Sharky, than what I had already spent on bute, steroids, corrective shoeing, etc, and losing the use of my horse. In the end, I am so glad we did this. The results have been amazing and I fully believe that Pam’s work made a huge difference. I would highly recommend Pam’s services to anyone.

Pam did three sessions with Sharky, one session a week for three weeks. Since his case seemed so severe to me, I waited until all three sessions were completed and his nervous system had time to process the new information and his body to respond before I asked him for some work. We did do some hand-walking a few times, though.

About four days after his last session, I did a formal lunging session. I asked for all three gaits, and it was like I had a totally different horse! His movement seemed so free, unrestricted and fluid, I could hardly believe my eyes! I was almost mesmerized, just watching him float around on the lungeline, I could have watched him move like that forever. I asked him for a canter, and the transition was so smooth it was so beautiful to see. I could see him rounding his back and lowering his head, even on the lunge, and that was something he’d never done before. I asked him to move his rear end, and then his front end; I asked him to sidepass and back up. All these movements he did with the most beautiful fluidity and softness, and there was no resistance or tail swishing or ear pinning at all.

I put him back on the circle, lunging, and asked for the canter one more time, just because I wanted to see it again. I asked him, and he let out the biggest episode of bucking, farting, snorting and cavorting….for about 10 seconds, and then settled into a beautiful smooth BALANCED canter to the right, and on the correct lead. The look in his eyes was like he was saying, “Hey, I can MOVE like that and it doesn’t hurt; it feels GOOD!”

Two days later we had our first ride after Pam’s three sessions with Sharky. I had my new saddle and had fitted and re-fitted it several times to make sure it was right.

I mounted and we walked off. So far, so good. He was relaxed and soft. Then I asked for a trot. He still felt relaxed and soft, and was keeping a nice round frame for much longer than I remembered him able to do before. His strides were longer and smoother and he was really engaging his hindquarters. This was so great, I almost stopped right there. However, I just wanted to see what his canter felt like, I could hardly contain myself. So I asked for the canter.

There was no bucking. There was no tail-swishing. There was no ear-pinning, and there was no feeling like I was rolling down a hill inside a barrel on an unfolded lawn chair. It was smooth. It was rhythmical. And he had picked up his right lead. I truly wish I could remember every detail of those few minutes of that canter, but honestly all I could see was a white light and it felt like I was floating on air. I could sense the horse under me, with the steady three-beats of a canter, but the feeling was so exhilarating, it’s really hard to focus on what it felt like in the physical sense.

Since that first ride, post-Pam, we have ridden twice more. Our riding time is limited right now due to extreme heat and humidity here in the South. Each of those rides has been as good, if not better than the last. Sharky is continuing to improve. We still have a long way to go, as he is still a green horse, and we have lots of work to do. But now, I feel hope where before I felt despair. I was very upset over the thought of this horse, whom I have totally given my heart to, might be only suited as a pasture ornament. I wanted so much to enrich his world by sharing with him the beautiful wooded trails and open fields that truly make riding fun for a horse. We have been on a few trail rides and I know he really enjoys it. He has a wonderful intelligent mind and a competitive spirit and so I wanted to present him with challenges so that we both can have something to look forward to. I had visions of jumping again, which is my passion, and maybe trying to delve deeper into dressage training and perhaps competition. I could almost feel the wind in my face as we galloped across the fields over fences and perhaps with a hunt. I also could see the ribbons that we might win together at some local shows for some friendly competition. All this can only be accomplished with a willing and trusting and capable partner, which I feel he has it in him to be, and I also to him. All those visions evaporated when it looked like Sharky’s vague but definite lameness wasn’t getting better. I wasn’t sure that traditional medicine would be able to cure him, as it had produced no results with extensive treatments and simple rest. Sharky is my first horse after a span of 15 horseless years, after my beloved friend and childhood partner died in 1994. I think we chose each other to share the journey into the next phase of both our lives.

Thanks to Pam and her exceptional work, I feel like the journey will be long and fruitful.

Michelle, Cabot, Arkansas

Sinatra’s Story

Sinatra’s Story

I first heard of Pam Sourelis more than six years ago when my cousin called Pam to see if she could do anything for her beloved sweetheart Poco, little white bichon frise, who was diagnosed by two veterinarians, and both recommended euthanization. Poco had Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and was urinating blood and very sick and uncomfortable. A friend gave Pam’s number to my cousin, and she called. After the remote treatment, Pam called my cousin and told her things that ONLY Poco could have known! The next day, Poco was taken off of the intravenous tubes, began to rapidly recover, his disease went into remission, and he lived another five years! The rapid recovery was truly miraculous. I was very intrigued with Pam’s great work.

A few years ago, another friend was very upset – her young poodle was diagnosed with something serious, and was in the hospital on intravenous, and the vet recommended euthanization. I told my friend about Pam and she called her. The rest of this story is similar to the previous story! Pam told my friend things that only her dog, Coco, could have known! Coco went into remission and is still healthy today. My friend took Pam’s Animal Communications class and loved it. I had not met Pam or talked to her myself, but I continued to recommend her healing work to people.

I finally called Pam myself this year when one of my feral cats, Sinatra, became deathly ill. Sinatra began eating less, then one day showed up with mucus all over his face, completely congested, gurgling, gagging, struggling to breathe, staring at the food dish (soft canned food) and then me, unable to eat even one drop of food or water. The neighbor and I watched in horror for seven full days as he lost his weight down to bones, fur knotted, and was so sick and weak and the congestion still building, and severely dehydrated, just staring at the food and too weak to walk. Tried to get him into a cage a few times but that just scared him away and traumatized him. I called Pam Sourelis on the eighth day, in tears with this urgent situation. Pam treated Sinatra and—within hours—he appeared with an almost clean face! He talked to me a bit and sounded better. By the next morning, less than 24 hours after treatment, he started eating and couldn’t get enough! We fed him every few hours for days, and he gobbled up food and water for almost a week, building his strength back up. In less than five days, he looked and acted shiny and new – we were all so happy and amazed by the very rapid recovery! Another miracle! Cats usually don’t recover from respiratory illnesses even if they go to a vet! The loving Reiki work is what healed Sinatra and allowed him to overcome his illness! I also learned valuable information about Sinatra through Pam’s communication with him, and he talks to us much more nowadays and I can pet him now! Reiki healing for a feral cat works like a miracle!

I went to Pam’s Level One Reiki class, and look forward to future classes. I feel healthier and better since taking the class. Her devotion to her work, extensive experience, and high success rate place Pam at the top of my list as a recommended healer of both humans and animals.

Thank you Pam!

Dana Marie, Chicago

Leroy

Leroy

from the eDiary of Michelle Ives of Oxford, Connecticut

Leroy is reported to have been an Amish workhorse, who was then sent to auction and bought as a hack horse. I have no idea for how long he had each job. For whatever reason, he then went to auction, and was bought by a broker, then sold to another broker, and on and on he was passed between brokers for a number of months.

On 10/18 I noticed him on the AC4H website under “broker owned” horses. My husband had been interested in a Belgian for awhile. He doesn’t ride and isn’t a horseperson, so he only wanted a Belgian to look at. An old fellow in need of retirement would be a perfect fit. Leroy caught my eye on the AC4H broker page. I sent the email over to my husband, but he didn’t get online until 10/21, a Sunday. The horses have until Monday, as the truck ships for slaughter on Mondays around 5:00. When my husband asked for more info, I inquired more about his personality, etc., and in a flurry of emails and telephone calls I was able to Paypal his ransom to AC4H at around noon on Monday, while AC4H was at New Holland with the Inside Edition camera crew shooting a story.

Photo from broker lot

Leroy made it by the skin of his teeth! He was quarantined at AC4H for 2 weeks, and finally arrived in Connecticut on Veterans Day, 11/12/07. How appropriate for this old, veteran workhorse.

11/12/07 — Drizzly, rainy and dark, and Leroy arrives. Thank you, Brogan, for bringing my boy!!! He unloads in the driveway and walks up the hill to his new paddock like a good boy, only calling once to the girls who were very interested in who the new arrival was. Leroy is famished! He dove his head right into the leaves before he even saw the hay about another 4 feet away from him. We settle him in with hay and water, and I lead him up to the shed because its raining, and my husband gives him a good looking over, and pets him while he’s eating.


Leroy, ready to load up

for the trip to CT

All loaded up and coming home! He settled right in to stealing his traveling partners hay, so I’m told.

11/13/07 — Photos from the next morning. Now I can see in the daylight that Leroy is VERY underweight. His spine and withers are protruding, you can count every rib, and he has absolutely no muscling to his hindquarters at all, he is just bones. He also has a big “wattle” of skin hanging off his neck, where its obvious he had a big, cresty draft neck at some point in his life.

Leroy also doesn’t have any use for humans. He won’t take his eyes off me, and he watches me everywhere I go, and everything I do. He doesn’t want to be caught or touched, at all. I can stretch my hand out to let him sniff my hand, but that’s it. I have attempted to gently stroke him, but he just walks away. He watches my every move, and never takes his eyes off me. So I just sit on a rock while he eats for 20 minutes or so. That night, I decided to measure him for a blanket. I had my husband hold him (he couldn’t catch him, but I was able to, eventually) and I tried to measure him. He danced around and did not want me to touch him with “that thing” (a weight tape). I did finally get a kind of estimate of his size, 94″, he’s a big boy (or was).

Wednesday 11/14, I started Leroy on grain today, 1/2 pound Vitaroyal 2x/day with 1/2 cup of oats, Probios and Ration Plus. Leroy let me brush him! But then I got greedy and decided to see if he would let me put a blanket on him. Nope. As soon as he saw “that thing” coming inside the gate, he left. So I gave up on that idea, and hung it over the big brush scratcher thingie so he could see it.

Thursday 11/15 I stretched my hand out for Leroy to sniff me like I do every day, and he seemed interested. I went to stroke his head, and he gave me that snarky lip thing like “If you touch me, I’ll nip you!” I told him that was rude, and let him be. But later on that night, I got a nicker when I came out with hay! 3/4 lb. VR w/Ration Plus and 1/2 cup Canola oil. It rained all day today, and is getting cold tonight, and Leroy did not go in his shed all day, so he’s wet. I hope he doesnt get cold tonight, I gave him a full bale of hay for the night, and he has a bunch more in his shed, if he just goes in it.

11/19/07 – Here are Leroy’s 1 week later photo’s. He still doesn’t want to be caught or touched, but he follows me along the fenceline when I feed the girls and clean manure, he greets me at the gate, and I even had a couple of nickers. He lets me move all around him and isn’t worried at all, I can shovel manure all around him with no worries. He wants to be friends, its just going to take him some time. Baby steps…..

11/25/07 — This week, Leroy finally laid down to sleep at one point, he had leaves in his tail and a bit of wet soil on his belly. Judging by the mud on his legs up to his knee, and his otherwise clean coat, I do not think he has laid down and had a good sleep for many, many weeks (or longer). He decided to use his run-in shed when we had a lot of very, very heavy rain followed by a big temperature drop, and I was pleased to see that, he is smart enough to know when he needs to stay dry, and also that he is confident enough now to be out of sight of the other horses.

I continue to spend time just sitting on a rock while he eats each day (weather permitting), and on Wednesday, I stood next to him in the afternoon sun while he ate his hay, and he ever so slowly took one half step sideways toward me (I was standing about 3 feet from him, at his shoulder). He had his head/neck curved toward me, and was choosing to eat the hay on the side of the tank in front of me, rather than directly in front of him. Then a few minutes later he took another half step toward me, then another, and another. The entire time he kept his head/neck curved toward me, and I could just feel his energy next to me. It was so nice! Then he shifted his hinds away from me, so he was standing more facing me. Baby steps, but its progress!

Then yesterday (Saturday) I stood next to him for awhile, and was able to stroke his shoulder! I immediately walked away to give him a big release, and stayed away for about 5 minutes.Then I came back for another gentle stroke of his right shoulder, and on the second stroke, he swung his head at me, not aggressively, but defensively. So he had enough, and I just stood with him for another few minutes, not moving, then left for the day. This morning (Sunday), my husband fed, and being a non-horsey person, he didn’t even think, just walked right up to him while he was eating, and was scratching his shoulders, rubbing under his mane! LOL! I didn’t try to pet him today, I decided to just back off a little, and tomorrow I’ll try to give him just a stroke while he’s eating, or perhaps I’ll just take hold of his halter then immediately let it go, and do that for awhile so he learns that being caught doesn’t = work/bad things.

Currently, he is eating 1 lb. VR 2x/day with 2 cups of oats, a 1/2 cup of Canola oil, a joint supplement, probiotic, and Nutrient Buffer (a gut buffer for ulcers/leaky gut). He has had 2 doses of Safeguard so far, 1 in quarantine, and one at the beginning of the week.


Here are some photos from this (Thanksgiving) weekend.


Mmmm, Vitaroyal is delicious!!!!

And so good for me!

Coming over to say hello

Hi there! I was waiting for

you to come visit!

Can we be buddies?

12/2/07 — This week has been very, very cold, we’ve had, snow, sleet, ice, then rain. Leroy is smart enough to go in the shed when it rains then gets colder, but when the storms get warmer, he doesn’t go inside. Smart boy. He knows how to break the ice on his tank, which I figured he would, considering the Amish don’t have electricity. I continue to just feed and talk to Leroy, and sit with him when the weather is OK. I tried increasing his grain this week, but he is refusing it, so I knocked it back down again, and he’s finishing it up. He is still on the VitaRoyal Untie (almost out), Nutrient Buffer, and joint supplement.

On 12/2 Sunday afternoon, Pam Sourelis contacted Leroy via distance for a Reiki healing session, communication, and Neuromuscular retraining. Pam is in Illinois, Leroy (and I) live in Connecticut.

Here is the email report she sent me

Pam’s Sessions with Leroy

Hi Michelle.

I had a wonderful session with Leroy. It was long, about 45 minutes. He was soaking it up 🙂

When he came into the room, I immediately felt his deep sadness, his tears. And the fear that his body was holding. I told him that this is his forever home. This is not a stop on the way to somewhere else. This is where he will live out his life. He melted into that news.

When I began to place my hands on him, he made it known that he wanted them on his left knee, which I held for quite awhile. I then sent Reiki energy up through his seat bones, along his spine, through his poll. I did not sense any specific problems in his spine. He just seemed to be tense overall.

I then gently rocked his body from sternum and hind end, one hand on each. (This is the beauty of distance work. My arms have the reach of a giant.) The sternum seemed tight, so I let it be. I took his left shoulder in very tiny half circles; it was too tight for a full circle.

I then went to the right side. When I touched his right shoulder, I realized that the entire right side of his body was very stiff. So I began by gently rocking his body–one hand on his right shoulder, one on his right hip. When he relaxed a bit, he led my hands to the mid-point of his underside, where I coaxed his ribcage in large, smooth circles. Having done that, I returned to his right shoulder, which was now free of tension and easily moved in a gentle circle. I then sent Reiki up through the base of his tail and along his spine, both with my hands and with three breaths. He said, “I feel so much better.”

I then returned to his left side. I briefly rocked him from shoulder and hip (briefly because the nervous system quickly transfers information from one side to the other, and I had spent quite a bit of time doing this on the right side). I also did the ribcage circles from his underside and then took his shoulder in a gentle circle, a complete circle this time.

He then presented his chest to me. I felt he was presenting his heart chakra rather than his physical chest. I sent Reiki to the area both with my hands and my breath. Again, he said, “I feel so much better.”

At this point, I asked him if he had anything he wanted to say. He was quiet. This was not a sullen or frightened silence, but a contented melted-butter silence. It was as though every ounce of anxiety had oozed out of him; it was as though he had completely let go of his ugly past. it was amazing. How fabulous if humans could learn to do that.

He then presented me with his face, which I took in my hands, channeling Reiki. After a few minutes, he said, “I plan on being around for quite awhile.”

I told him this was very good news, that everyone wants him to stay around for quite awhile.

He said, “I am good with children.”

I told him that he could just rest and recuperate this winter and then maybe next summer he could work with children. He seemed satisfied with this response (which I hope was an accurate response).

At this point, I thought we were finished, and so I swept his aura, but he showed me that he wanted Reiki up through his feet and legs, and so I did that.

What a gorgeous, sensitive, loving, fabulous creature. Thank you so much for allowing me to work with him. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

And here is part of my response to Pam’s email:

You know whats really, really interesting?  I went outside about 2:10/2:15ish, and Leroy was standing in his regular dozing spot.  He wasn’t sleeping, his eyes were half closed, but his ears were back (not pinned, but paying attention to behind him — I did come up behind him, but they were like that before he could see or hear me, and stayed that way even after I sat down).  I sat down on the sill of the door of my barn, where I could see him, but be sort of out of the way (damn, it was cold!! so I didn’t stay long). I sat there for a few minutes, and said to myself: “I don’t see a thing” (lol).  So I sat and just watched, and I SWEAR to you, I saw his body rocking!  When I focused my eyes on him, his body seemed to be rocking or swaying back and forth, or front to back, but I couldn’t discern when it changed, it was so subtle. But when I softened my eyes so that I could see him in relation to things around him (i.e., trees, the scratchy brush thing he was standing next to), I could tell that he wasn’t physically moving or swaying.  It was like an eye trick, when you focus on something to hard, it looks weird. I shifted my focus 2 or 3 times, with the same results.  So that’s what I thought it was, just my eyes being kinda weird from focusing too hard or something.  Obviously, I was wrong. How cool is that? A couple of times I saw his head sort of bob, he would bob his nose toward his chest then bounce it back up to neutral again.  He did this 2 or 3 times.  He definately had a very inward look, he was focusing and processing.

This stuff is fascinating!

That evening, I was able to pet Leroy briefly on his shoulder, and he did not make even a little grumpy face at all. I just gently stroked his shoulder while he was eating his grain, then left him alone.

The next morning (Monday), I gave him his VR, shoveled his soaking, frozen elephant manure. When he is finished with his grain/VR, he always comes to me to tell me he is ready for his hay. He came right up to me, stood squarely in front of me and blocked my path. He wanted to say hello! So he stood there looking at me for a good long while, probably a good 5 minutes. Then he walked over the gate where the hay is stacked. He stood blocking the gate, so I couldn’t get out. I came over and just stood in front of him, and his nose was probably a foot from me, he sniffed my hand, sighed, softened his expression. He was looking right at me, very softly. Then he squared up his feet/position and just planted himself there. He just wanted to stand with me for a bit and relax. So we did that for a bit, then I brought him his hay and he didn’t get worried when I had to squeeze by him (which is good). He followed me over, I put his hay in his tub, and fluffed it all up, with my head down by the hay while he ate, which he likes, I think it is like eating with you, when you are bent over with your head down like that.

Then I stroked his shoulder and rubbed his withers (as best I could with gloves on a wet horse), and he curved his head/neck around in my direction, instead of away. One of the things I’ve learned from Jocelyn and Dan ( Sumerel’s ) clinics I’ve attended is that everything a horse does means something. Every step, every half step, ever turn or shift of their weight, every glance, it is all a message, telling you what the horse is thinking.

Then at dinnertime, the girls were all wheeling around squealing at each other and bickering over who knows what at feed time (their regular habit)

I walked around the corner, and there was Leroy, lieing down! I panicked at first, because I’ve never seen him lie down, and it was 2 weeks before he had speck of (new) dirt on him or leaves in his tail. He slowly glanced over at me, had a little roll, groaned, took his time and slowly stood up, stretched, and looked at me like: “What???? What are you looking at ???”

=D

12/3 – Tuesday morning. Guess what I did this morning? After getting a HUGE (admittedly wet and drooly) nicker this morning, fed Leroy, then brushed him, head to toe, front to back!!!  He loved it, kept a soft eye and just soaked it up. I found the “magical” itchy spot, and he leaned in, stretched his neck and lip out. WAHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you just feel my excitement?  It was all I could do to not wrap my arms around him and give him a huge hug.

Oh, so I got up close/personal look feel, those shoulders definately are remodeled bone, its like a shelf there that the collar was against.  Left side worse than right.  I can’t imagine the constant, unremitting pain he must have endured.  And some skin greeblies it looks like, a few bald patches and lots of white flaky stuff.  VR should set that right in a couple of months.

After all this time, 3 weeks of spending time with him, and trying to pet him a couple of times a week, and after ONE session with Pam, via distance even, he has made leaps and bounds progress that would have taken many more months considering how far we were going. I am amazed, and thrilled, and overjoyed, like a kid at Christmas to have discovered a new, fabulous toy under the tree!

12/4/07

12/10/07 – Pam had another distance session with Leroy this afternoon. Here is what she had to say:

Here are the notes for Leroy’s second session.

When Leroy came to me last week, I was struck by his intense sadness. Today. I was struck by his intense joy. When he entered the room, I felt my heart chakra open and fill with love. I had this huge grin on my face. Leroy was emanating this glorious light. Pure joy.

He came very close to me; If he had been physically present, I would have felt his breath on my cheek. Last session, he was very attentive, but he was somewhat emotionally removed. Not today.

My plan had been to work with his body, going to the next level with the Neuromuscular Retraining work. This was not, however, his plan.

Still standing very close, he had me place one hand on his chest (heart chakra) and one on his withers. We stayed in this position for much of the session, gently rocking. He drew in large amounts of Reiki. At some point, I saw a yoke of light encircling his withers, shoulders, and chest. I remembered you saying that his shoulders have bony changes from the driving harness. Clearly, Leroy is interested in healing this–both physically and emotionally. (Healing often enters through “broken” or damaged places in us.)

Eventually, he allowed me to move my hands. I channelled Reiki to his left shoulder, which drew in a great deal, and then took the shoulder in circles. Last week, the circles were a bit creaky. Today, they were free and elegant. I then went to his right side. I channelled Reiki to his right shoulder. But he did not want me to move the shoulder. Then I placed my hands on his sternum and took it in fabulous, large, smooth circles. This is very important! He was very tight in this area last week, but now has greatly increased mobility. A smoothly moving sternum positively affects the movement of the entire body.

I then moved my hands down his body, briefly channelling Reiki to the other chakras. When I reached the hind end, I sent Reiki up through the seat bones and along his spine. He clearly was not very interested in body work today, but having spent so much time on his front end, I wanted to make sure he was somewhat balanced in his body. I also briefly sent Reiki along each diagonal.

At this point, he told me that he had had enough, that the session was over. But I asked for, and received, permission to send Reiki up through his feet. As I did this, he said, “I am very happy. Please tell Michelle I am very happy here. I never thought I could ever be this happy.” Then he said, “I am very lucky.” I replied, “She is, too.”

I swept his aura to end the session.

Thank you so much for allowing me to work with Leroy. He is an amazing, huge, light-filled spirit. He is a very powerful teacher.

When I went out for the evening feed tonight Leroy greeted me at the gate with a HUGE deep whicker (so cute).

When I came in with his bucket of grain, he was VERY excited for his dinner, I have not seen him this animated yet. He was very anxious for me to get that bucket put down so he could eat! He has never done this before, was always interested in mealtime, but very quiet and low-key about it. For the first time, he was trying to stuff his head in the bucket before I had it put down! Yes, sounds weird that I’m excited about this, but it is what NORMAL horses do! (Incidentally, I don’t allow this behavior, and I use the cue: “Wait”, with a hand held out like a stop signal, then when the horse stands quietly, not dancing around or trying to swing their head in, I remove my hand and give the cue “OK” while stepping back from the bucket to indicate it is OK for them to eat now. I do not hang the bucket and allow them to eat until they stand quietly, and I build on this until they stand quietly while I approach them, halter them, and place the bucket, but of course, baby steps first, and I “release” when they stand quietly for only a second at first).

He completely finished his VR, and licked his bucket clean, also a first. His feed was no different than it was this morning, or yesterday, or last week, but he licked that bucket clean, instead of leaving half or a bunch of mouthfuls in the bottom, which I then dump onto his hay in the hopes he finishes it.

I got another huge whicker when I started carrying his hay, and for the first time I was able to touch his right shoulder to guide him to turn away from me and walk on ahead of me to his hay tub. Before now, he would not walk on ahead of me at all, I would have to maneuver around him and get ahead of him, and he would follow me. He didn’t walk ahead of me the whole way, but he did halfway, and I’m assuming that this is an increase in trust on his part.

I’m excited to see what tomorrow will bring!

After this last session, I was able to get Leroy right up to the amount of feed he should be at, 2 pounds of VR and a quart of oats 2x/day (and his joint supplement — he is finished with his Nutrient Buffer, he was on it for a month, and so far I don’t see the drooling return). He is now excited for his bucket, and licks it clean, then eats up the bits he dropped. This was not so for the past month. He nickers when he sees me, a deep, throaty nicker, and comes sauntering over to say hello.

We have been working on “catching”. I take hold of his halter, and his first reaction was to brace, the raise his head and turn it slightly away. I just held on, applying only the pressure that is the weight of my hand, and waited for him to relax his neck muscles. Then I let go and give him a good scratch on the neck. We repeated this 3 times the first day, then on the second day we again did it 3 times (Leroy’s choice, he walks away when he’s done) and on this day, only the first time I took hold of his halter did he turn away, the 2nd and 3rd time he still braced. By the third day, I just hold out my hand, and he offers me his halter/face. How sweet….. His first reaction is still to brace, but now it is only for a second, then he remembers that when he softens, he gets a scratch.

On Monday, 12/17 Leroy had his third and final session with Pam. Here is her report:

Hi Michelle,

Here are the notes for Leroy’s session.

I channeled Reiki for a minute to connect with him, then began the body work I’d hoped he’d let me do.

I began by taking his sternum in small circles. It went smoothly in both directions, which is great. I then took his left shoulder (the one that had been very stiff before) in small circles. The movement here was smooth and effortless as well.

Then, still on his left side, I gently lifted his ribs towards his spine and gently slid them towards his head and towards his hind end. These were tiny, smooth movements. The intention was to show him that comfortable movement is possible in his ribcage.

I also wanted to show him the connection between various parts of his body. I began with one hand on his left shoulder, the other on his left hip. I channeled Reiki to these two areas and gently, rhythmically rocked his body. I did the same with one hand on his ribs, one on his hip. Then one hand on his hip, one on his greater trochanter. I then sent Reiki and movement up through his seat bones. The movement seemed to go through smoothly; I didn’t notice it catching anywhere.

I then moved to his right side and repeated what I had done on the left.

He then directed me to his neck. I channeled Reiki on the left side and then on the right.

He then presented his chest/heart chakra. I channeled Reiki to this area.

My sense of him throughout the session was that he is solid, centered.

I asked him if there was anything he wanted to say, and he responded (as he did last week), “I am so very happy.”

The rest of the “conversation” came to me as indirect dialog:

It is clear that he has fully accepted your home as his. There is no fear, no tension. He is open to learning and said he is ready for his new job. He is grateful for the three healing sessions but feels he is fine now, that he has “recovered,” and no longer needs my attention. He is concerned for you, Michelle, and would like to assist you in your healing. He sees himself as a source of power that you can draw from. He says he will not be depleted because he has been reconnected to “Source” and the energy is flowing freely.

He also said he would like a closer relationship with your children.

I’m going to miss working with this big, gorgeous guy, but I am thrilled that he doesn’t need me anymore.

Thank you again for allowing me to work with him. And thank your for taking him into your home and your heart.

I am SO THRILLED with his progress. Leroy has moved forward by leaps and bounds since Pam has worked with him. He is acting like a normal horse now. He gets excited for his dinner and dances waiting for it to be prepared, he is anticipating my movements in delivering the feed, so he is learning the “wait” signal, which he learns very fast. I am now able to somewhat influence his movement with just a wave of my hand, to have him move out of my way so I can deliver his hay (he likes to stand in front of me and block my path). I can pet him all over his body. I have not tried the legs yet, but I don’t expect much problem. I’ve scratched his forehead the last couple of days, and he liked it. This is new, he wouldn’t let me touch his head at all before.

My friend, Judith, stopped over to meet him yesterday. He was slightly standoffish to her, he didn’t really want her petting him, but he was polite, and sniffed her outstretched hand, and just moved out of the way when she asked to pet him (sound familiar?) So I hope to have people come visit him, and he can learn that I am not the exception, but his past humans were the exception, and other people are good, and kind, and friendly, and don’t hurt horses.

Oh, and Leroy let me put a little Christmas bow in his mane for my annual “torture the ponies for pictures” session. I also had a Christmas tablecloth in my bag, that I drape over their backs. I had no intention of doing so with Leroy, I actually only came into his paddock for a scratch and a “Hello, Handsome” (which is my nickname for him). But when I removed the tablecloth to dig out a bow, he got concerned when he saw that “big thing”, kinda gave it the hairy eyeball. So he still didn’t seem to want anything to do with tack/etc. on his body. We’ll get there. I did rub his shoulder and back with some baling twine I had in my hand, and I’ll start using different things like washcloths, etc.

August 6, 2008

Leroy passed away sometime this morning. He was his usual self this morning at 7:30 morning hay time, eager for his breakfast.

When I went back out at 9:30 for grain and mid-morning hay, he was gone. There was no sign of a struggle, it looks like he was gone before he hit the ground, likely dozing in the sun, or meandering to the next hay pile.

Leroy showed no signs of illness. He was happy and relaxed, sound, and ate well. He was here, busily munching hay one moment, and then gone the next.

I am grateful, however, that Leroy took the decision out of my hands, for once. He did not suffer, he was happy until he was gone. It appears as though he was gone before he hit the ground, there was no sign of struggle at all, not even a moved foot or tail. Just gone.

Leroy, you touched so many peoples hearts. I have received hundreds of emails, from people whom you have touched in some way. You opened many eyes to the life that workhorses lead. You bore your suffering in silence. I, however, could not be silent about it. You were a loving, gentle, sweet old soul. I will always treasure the 9 months that I had the pleasure of knowing and loving you.

I trust that you are back with Ana , keeping her company over the Bridge, and sharing her love and companionship again.

Goodbye, Leroy. I’ll never forget you, my sweet old man.

Articles”What I’m Learning from Leroy

Good-Bye, Leroy

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