I know that I have written on the subject of names before, but as I continue my journey of animal communication and The Waterhole Rituals, the significance of an animal’s name has become more and more evident.  Regardless of whether your horse already had a name or you have chosen one for him, names are very important.  You might like your horse's name but he may not (or vice versa).  In my last blog about names, I expressed that I had wanted to change my horse Shadow's name to something else.  At that time, he clearly let me know that he liked his name and did not want it to be changed. Thus, I honored his request.  Horses are perfectly capable of expressing their opinions if we are only willing to listen.  Here is another example.  

Recently, Shadow's two front feet were sore from a mild bout of laminitis.  Although I had caught it in time, I was heartbroken because I am familiar with laminitis and the problems associated with it.  I had instructions concerning how to take care of his sore feet, which included soaking them in cold water.   Shadow has never allowed me to soak his feet, but I was determined to follow the doctor's orders to a tee. As I prepared ice water in a bucket, Shadow knocked over the bucket whenever I tried to put his hoof into the water.  After I had used 10 lbs of ice and had gone through every strategy I could come up with, Shadow still had no use for the bucket to soak his feet.  I was now reaching my wit's end!  I got so frustrated and angry with Shadow that I had to walk away because I could feel my temper escalating.  I felt an overwhelming sense of defeat and broke into tears from the frustration that I felt for not being able to help Shadow.  Since I had no more ice, there was no point in making any further attempts to soak Shadow’s feet.  I was quite angry with him.  Didn't he know I was trying to help him get better?  

In this moment, Shadow revealed my own "shadow" to me.  My definition of a shadow isanything about yourself that has not been evident to you whether it be good or bad.  My horse took the opportunity to reveal something more important to me than soaking his feet.  Shadow revealed that when I feel helpless, I tend to "come unglued".  He showed me that feeling helpless is one of my biggest fears and he was absolutely correct.  I am generally a very composed and collected person but feeling helpless can make me unravel.  Shadow opened my eyes to the truth of how my fears can cause me to lose both my composure and my ability to listen.

This realization will have a huge impact on how I go forward in life.  Whenever I start to feel uneasy about a challenge with my horse and feel that my composure is on shaky ground,  I’ll know to take a deep breath and look within for those pesky feelings of helplessness.  By doing so, I will allow my horse to guide me in the moment.  I know one thing for sure; if my horse named Shadow is smart enough to shine his light on my "shadow" to reveal my fear(s), he is also smart enough to know whether or not his feet need to be soaked!  


As an update, Shadow is healthy again and his feet are fine.  The fact that my own shadow has come to light may have a huge impact should I need to soak Shadow's feet again in the future.  If I maintain my composure, Shadow might just get the message that his fears are baseless as well!  Time will tell.  It always does!

Take care when selecting a name for your horse and examine what it means to you.  Ask your horse if he likes the name as well. Your horse might reveal to you just how important a name can be.  Shadow certainly did for me!  

Hippity hop, down the trail and into the rabbit hole we go.  Have a great rest of the week. 

Me, my shadow, and Shadow!!!




Linda Salinas14 Comments