Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Horse Healer Sensations

Since its domestication 3000 years ago, the storied history of horse and man together exemplify special bonding---the loyalty of horse to man---the love of man for horse.


The cinematic prestige of movies like ''Seabiscuit,'' ''National Velvet'', ''War Horse'' and ''The Black Stallion'' treat of this deep esteem for the noble equine characteristic.

A less heralded yet equally deserving acclaim champions the horse as healing benefactor to mentally retarded people.

Patient at Empoderamiento Con Caballos

Marthy Ch, a nurse for The Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador, also works with therapeutic horses and those patients whom she calls her ''babies'' at Empoderamiento con Caballos, (Empowerment with Horses)--- an organization directed by clinical psychologist Christini Ring and located in the Cotacachi area of Imbabura Province in Ecuador.

''Horses generate a deep motivation,'' Ch says, ''they perceive who we really are.''
This equine sensitivity awakens healing of awareness in the patients.
''Being in the presence of horses takes us more to the present moment, we calm down, we concentrate more and more,'' said Ch. ''A transformation happens...personally I love this because I feel it in my soul.''

Marthy Ch with horse and patient

''It seems there is something special and mystical in connection with horses,'' said Ch. ''People of all ages are attracted to horses because of their majestic beauty, grace, stature and strength.''
What aspects thrive in those horses best suited for therapy to the intellectually disabled? Obvious but important to highlight---horses do not judge nor label and categorize as less in value compared to normal people---their mentally retarded riders, walkers and groomers.

Ch explains horses have unique personalities, physical capacities and individual limitations, just as do the people whom they help treat. The best of all, she says, is horses never lie and always give immediate and honest response.

Horse groomer at work

''Positive experiences with human-horse interactions have shown profound healing for those with emotional and mental challenges,'' said Ch. ''As a result, children with autism often begin to say new words or express themselves more frequently.''

Empoderamiento con Caballos hosts a celebration on August 3, which will include a horse kissing booth, carrot tossing, horse poop bingo and more, other fun games. The fiesta is from 12 pm to 3 pm at Finca Pluma Blanca, Cotacachi-Quiroga. More info is at telephone number 098 3591 568. All are invited and entrance is free. All proceeds go to the equine therapy program.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Time to Prepare for the Last Act?

Take notice about it. It's akin to when a dead blue jay bird is discovered in the front yard of his house by a five year old boy---nobody needs to teach that five year old what his instincts do. The temporal nature of life exemplified in the bird's corpse is sobering. The boy realizes he too will die.

Almost none of us talk about it---the subject of death. We hide it under a blanket named the cares and concerns of daily living. Undertaker cosmeticians meanwhile dress the deceased to appear as if in deep sleep. It is all of it understandable; yet so momentous the passage from life to death, is it not worthwhile to suggest it be afforded thoughtful and considerate preparation?

Wills put in order. Funeral arrangements made. If death is imminent, farewells extended to family and friends.

But is there a responsibility to prepare to die for the sake of oneself? Is there duty to contemplate the matter, to weigh the pounds and measure the feet of what is the last act of living? Is there value to ask oneself--- how does a person die well? Is there worth to evaluate an enigmatic question? How do I die with peace of mind even if in physical agony?

Decades ago, a friend had hurled himself out a four story window. He had approached near to successful suicide. An attending surgeon, at his hospital bed after the operation, reportedly said to him that after we doctors did everything medically possible to save you, you hovered between life and death for two hours.

This fellow experienced a lesson he tells me he will never forget. Yes, without emergency medical aid he'd have died, undoubtedly, but it was spiritual healing that saved his life.

Is living then as to cultivate the spirit of life--- as opposed to the spirit of death--- a beneficial method to prepare for death?

I say yes. Whether or not individual, personal consciousness exists after death is not so much the question at hand here. The question being asked is how can we die well if we have not lived well?

My friend who attempted suicide still lives. He learns. I can see the changes myself in this now much older man. He is learning to live to add rather than detract from life. He is learning to respond rather than react. He is learning how to distinguish, so to speak, between clever disguise and authentic apparition. His character development is more important to him than material accomplishment, yet he does accept the call to make the most of his talent. In fact, he believes he will live after he does die. Scientific absurdity. But to him, this personal belief is the most succinct ingredient in his recipe book on how best to prepare to meet death.