Margo Forstrom owns Hunter Valley Farm in Graham, Washington, and currently cares for six horses, three of her own and three boarders. Louie has treated her horses for over thirteen years and in the course of that time she has watched him work on about a dozen horses.
Louie had been recommended to her for a mare that Margo perceived as simply “too much horse” for her, especially after her conventional veterinarians determined the mare was “sound.” Just as she was about to give up, Louie came out and worked with the horse – explaining what he was doing while he did it. Margo wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about, but watched both Louie and how her mare responded as he helped the horse to release its pain, fear and emotion. Margo realized that what she had originally interpreted as “too much horse” turned out to be behavior symptoms directly related to the horse being in pain. She was overcome. “I’ve been blind my whole life. Why hadn’t I seen this before?”
After the session, Margo found that she could easily ride her horse, and eventually competed with her in both dressage and jumping. That mare is now twenty-eight years old, is still ridden and is in perfect condition.
By watching Louie work, Margo claims that she has learned to appreciate what her horses had been telling her all along. “Horses just give you who they are in the moment. By comparison, we fill our brains up with all these thoughts that interfere with staying present with the horse – like where we think things should be, or how things need to be today because we have to do this tomorrow and so on. But a horse just doesn’t think and respond that way; they simply tell us where they are. I have learned to listen to my horses and that has carried through into a lot of other areas of my life.”
She has also learned to be a better rider. “I am more aware of my own self, my emotions as well as my physical self, and how I come to my partnership with the horse. I’ve learned how to look at animals and I can see a lot more because now I am observing – I observe how the horse is standing or expressing itself. It’s a huge world of all this awareness and I have come to realize that before I began working with Louie, I had had blinders on and didn’t see. The magic of working with Louie is in learning about the horse’s neuro-net, how the horse holds and releases emotions, and watching a horse begin to use its body again – something that I had never seen before or seen anyone else do.”
For Margo, Louie has changed her life, how she rides, how she looks at horses and how she interacts with them. “I wish more people would allow themselves to become aware that this level of partnership is possible with every horse. It’s amazing.”
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