Here is another story about how learning the Waterhole Rituals™ helped Lynn with her wild brumby when he escaped. It brought tears to my eyes and showed me just how much can be learnt in the virtual classroom....
What do you do when you lose a part of your family? You grieve, you don’t believe it and all those assorted feelings. This is exactly what happened last Sunday, when Sakima, my wild brumby, exited my life in dramatic circumstances.
My manager had become over-confident with him and assumed that he was so adjusted to life on our farm that he would not leave through our rainforest that leads to a National Park. With an open gate an invitation too inviting to ignore, Sakima was on his way to freedom last Sunday.
I went up in the afternoon, only to find no horse and an open gate that led to thousands of hectares of wild bush and rugged mountain ridges. I knew immediately he had gone.
Calmness in a crisis is important and business had well equipped me to contain my emotions and the feeling of dread that enveloped my body. This is a wild horse that won’t allow anyone to catch him and has only just started to let me touch his head and allow some human contact. Even if we found him how did I get him back to the farm?
Questions for later. Let’s find him first.
My manager, Clarrie, sprang into action heading straight up the mountain, running on foot. I took Zippin, my riding horse on a wild ride through the fire trails looking for Sakima.
I found Sakima’s tracks at the top of the mountain but lost them as he bush bashed his way through the forest. My manager on foot had more luck and tracked him over several ridges and valleys when night robbed him of success. Sakima had covered over 15 kms in his dash for freedom.
Up at 5.30 the next morning with the mist hiding any early chance of seeing Sakima we both headed for the last spot where Clarrie saw his tracks figuring he would camp there the night. Living with a brumby is anything but predictable and he was nowhere to be found. Worse still, there were no tracks to follow.
We were losing hope. As an animal communicator, it was time for me to talk to him. Not to make him come back but to ask where he was,
Sakima was having a wonderful time but said “I am heading back to home and am on the mountain overlooking the property but I am confused as to how to get down”. Now I knew where he was but how to tell my manager who did not know about my life as an animal communicator.
I blurted out it is a waste of time looking here; he has gone back to our mountain. Clarrie sceptically asked how you can know this. I said I will tell you later and started determinedly walking to the car. He had no choice: join me or walk home. He joined me on the frantic drive through the fire trails to the National Park above our property.
We went to the rock cliff where Sakima had made his way out of the property. Sure enough here were fresh droppings and his distinctive tracks with the gap in the front near side foot. We knew he was confused as they went back and forth so he was struggling with coming back down the cliff face he had so ably climbed the day before.
I sent him visual maps that he had to make his way further along the ridge and to follow the feral goat track.
We sped back to the property and we took the three horses up the back separating them so they would call and Sakima might just follow their call down. It was a long sorrowful wait and no Sakima. We saw the goats further along the ridge where I had told him to go but still no tri-coloured pinto was to come forth from the forest.
This was the second day of Sakima’s freedom and by night, my emotions were getting the better of me and my animal communication skills went with my rising emotions. I went home, crying all the way in the car.
Clarrie and I had agreed he would go early in the morning to track him and then later, I would go out on Zippin to see if we could find him.
My animal communication skills had totally deserted me. Next morning as I was sending a desperate email to my animal communicator coach in the USA, I received the best text message in the world. “I have found the brumby.”
I was in the car in a flash frantically texting back where are you exactly so I can find you in the forest? He had found his way to the ridge where I had asked him to go but still could not find his way down. Now the hard part; bringing him home through the forest and down the mountain.
Zippin was saddled and I was on my way up the mountain with time only for a quick sharing territory ritual. I said “this is an emergency and you and I need to get to Sakima before he leaves again”.
We climbed our way through the mountain rock pass and arriving on top could not see Sakima or Clarrie despite me being sure I was in the right place. I called, thinking we have come so close but now it seems so far.
Then out of the trees Sakima comes running stopping in the clearing. Head high with adrenalin pumping through his body this was no time to approach. Clarrie followed my lead dropping to his knees and this is where I stayed for the next 40 minutes calmly sharing territory with Zippin by my side and Sakima watching.
Only when his head dropped did I change my position and start to lead Zippin down the trail hoping Sakima would follow.
No such luck and he turned and went away and with Carolyn’s words ringing in my ears, I continued to walk away from him. Just as Carolyn says, he stopped and turned and faced us and this was to go on several times.
Then I went back to sharing territory and thought what have I learnt from Carolyn? Change what I was doing. After his head dropped, I took my cue and circle around to Sakima’s front leaving Zippin tied to a tree. Feeling deserted, Zippin started whinnying and for the first time in my life with Sakima, I heard him whinny back . A deep soft whinny. However, to save Zippin’s rising stress, I chose to go back to him and calm him.
More sharing territory and then I stood up and circled around again saying I am going to say hello Sakima and telling him what I was going to do. He stood watching and not taking any steps back and I slowly took several steps then stopped and then continued to approach. Zippin was silent this time.
Then the best feeling as I came within 10 feet of our brumby and he took steps forward to meet me. I dropped to the ground and handed him his feed. For the next 15 minutes, he fed from my hand as I wanted the saliva juices to get going as Carolyn had taught me.
Now the test. Would he leave the shadows of the forest and the security that the dappled light gave him to follow me through the open area to the cliff face.
I started to ask him to companion walk as Carolyn had had me practicing with him for the last month. Sakima took a few tentative steps to me and ate his reward. This slow journey took over half an hour and then we were in close proximity to Zippin.
Here was the next hurdle. Zippin as the dominant horse would not provide comfort for Sakima to pass. I called to Clarrie to circle around and to take Zippin and lead him towards the rock cliff face. Sakima’s quick flight response kicked in and he turned and fled as Clarrie moved pass.
I had to keep my head here and thanks to the repetitive training of Carolyn that if your horse leaves you, leave him this is what I did. Yet again, Sakima stopped, spinning around to face me, not stopping to look this time but advancing back to me.
It was then I knew we would be able to get him to leave the trees and cross the open area to the rocks.
What happened next, happened rapidly. Clarrie was in the rhythm now and when Sakima moved he moved Zippin so just as we came out of the dappled forest shade he led Zippin down the rocky path. With Zippin’s rump disappearing from view, Sakima seemed to recognise that Zippin was showing him the way down.
Sakima threw caution to the wind, trotting past me to catch up to Zippin and within seconds was on the rocky path down the cliff face.
So the little caravan of man, horse, horse and woman trailing made its way down the rocky cliff. When we reached the bottom of the cliff, Sakima’s elation penetrated the air. He wildly cantered past Zippin and Clarrie determined to find the farm quickly. But of course his enthusiasm lead him the wrong way and Clarrie and Zippin continued in the opposite direction to him.
He stopped, obviously wondering and this gave me time to cut through the bush and down to track we wanted him to come down on. I called him to come to me and gave him the non verbal signals we had practiced so often to join me or follow me. His training kicked in and he came trotting following me down the track.
As we manoeuvred the hair pin bends, his enthusiasm took over again and he took short cuts straight down the mountain. Arriving well before the three of us but he was home and now on our farm. As we watched him arrive at the bottom of the mountain, Clarrie, Zippin and I hugged each other. Sakima was home and had made the biggest choice of his life. He had chosen life with me and my herd, not freedom roaming the National Park.
Without the Waterhole Rituals, Sakima would not be home on our farm tonight.
This is a truly wild horse who has an immense fear of people and to choose to follow me down the mountain is an amazing experience. My work in the Waterhole Rituals has brought him so far into the human world. Slow progress by traditional training methods yes but what brought Sakima home was my relationship with him and the fact that I have worked to have the heart strings with him.
He has always had a choice when I work with him at liberty just as he had a choice today to come down with me or stay on the Mountain and be a wild horse again.
Today, the magic of Carolyn Resnick saved my brumby’s life as had he made the choice to remain on the mountain in a National Park he would have been shot.
It is a dramatic three days that will remain with me forever and the amazing feeling that came over me as Sakima followed me down the mountain cannot be described.
Thank you Lynn for your wonderful story. Does anybody else have a story they would like to share? Remember, please write a summary in the comments box below and send a full version by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Speak to you on Thursday