At 25 I was a working student under Gail Hoff Carmona, an FEI rider who bred Swedish Warmbloods. I loved their mischievous personalities, slow to respond, but once activated, things begin to move for real! Humor and honesty, beauty and athleticism, what could be more intriguing?
It was not until over twenty years later that I ran into my horse, Wisconsin. I was traveling a regular circuit from California to Oregon to do Equine Massage. He had been out on a trail and had stepped in a hole, hyperextended his left hock, and had had surgery and stem cell injections. He was in a 12X12 stall, sedated, but he was magnificent.
I did not see him again for months, and when I did, he had been at pasture, isolated, in recovery and was not easy to handle. As a body worker, I have a different relationship with horses than most people do. They sense that I am not going into their space wanting something from them, but willing to give.
Wisconsin is a bay Dutch Warmblood. His show name is Wonderfull M, born in 2003 out of San Remo X G.Pilatius. It was a bit dicey at first, to get ground manners back on him as he was so full of himself, but he was lonely! The guarded exterior hid a horse who is gregarious and loves to socialize. He was sold to me in the knowing that I could help him rehabilitate his injuries, and we did. We worked daily doing massage, acupressure, Feldenkrais, myofascial release and ground work until a level of trust was built that could not part us.
A few years later, when my daughter died of a drug overdose, the light at the end of the tunnel, was Wisconsin. We went back to where he came from, took dressage lessons five days a week. This horse literally pulled me out of the grave. He’s a good boy.