“The Story of Spirit”
One cold, drizzly October day I stood in the mud at a Vermont farm, trying to find the right horse for a client. She wanted a small horse for her kids to ride. I had to keep my mind on my job, but something kept catching my eye.
So there I was, boots sinking in the mud, looking over the horses in the pen for my client. To my right was a shed. It was about five feet tall and flimsy looking. Nothing remarkable. Wait, what was that? The door was cracked open, and I could see a large eye peering out.
I looked away. Come on, Kamrie, I reminded myself, you’re here to find a horse for your client. Besides, I had enough going on. I didn’t need to take on anything else.
I turned to the farm’s owner to ask her more about the horses she’d shown me. But the image of the eye peering out from the shed wouldn’t leave me. “What’s in the shed?” I blurted out.
“A crazy horse!” Not only crazy but dangerous. Too dangerous to be handled or ridden. “It’s being sold for meat tomorrow,” she said. End of story.
Yet for some reason, I had to see that horse.
“If I let him out, you have to get him back in,” she warned. “And I won’t be responsible if anything happens to you.”
“Okay,” I said. Given the size of the shed, I was pretty sure it held only a small horse or a pony. Nothing I couldn’t handle.
The owner pulled the door open. A full-size horse came flying out, snorting, chest heaving, eyes rolling. His skinny chestnut-brown body was crisscrossed with long scars. He shook his black mane, and chunks of dried mud and manure flew to the ground. He stomped his feet and looked directly at me.
“That horse will kill you,” the owner muttered.
Then those big brown eyes locked on mine, and I saw a different story. “I have had a terrible life of pain and abuse. I’m scared,” his eyes seemed to say. “Won’t you give me a chance?”
I walked toward him. Slowly. I didn’t want to spook him. With each step I took, my worries faded a little further.
Now the horse was close enough to touch. I reached out and touched his body as it trembled under my hand. As his body began to relax, he lowered his head and gave himself to me. I felt completely safe with him. Something made me grab his thick mane and pull myself onto his back. He shot off like a bullet, spraying mud, we galloped wildly around the pen. The world around us began to disappear and his breath became my breath, and my heartbeat was matched to his. My soul seemed to say "Where have you been all my life? I have been looking for you".
Suddenly he slipped in the mud. We fell to the ground, his body pressing me into the mud. I expected him to jump up and run off, trampling me. But he didn’t. We lay there for what seemed like forever, neither of us hurt, neither of us moving. Finally, I slipped my leg out from under his body and got to my feet.
I looked down at the fallen horse and saw what he could become if only someone helped him.
“Get up,” I whispered. The words sent a strange energy surging through me. “Get up!”
He rose and faced me, then lowered his head, waiting for me to make the next move. He was not afraid, he was not angry...he was mine. I bought him that afternoon for the price of meat and took him home.
I continued to work with him, as he remained nameless to me. I tried to get into his head and help him overcome his deepest fears…”Man”. I saw such life in him and such a struggle with his past. It brought back such pain in my own life’s past, the abuse, the confusion, and the distrust that I too had in “Man”. The one constant in my life was horses. I’d been introduced to them on my grandmother’s ranch when I was only a small child. They became my only outlet and the quiet peace of riding kept me going.
This horse began to trust me. His wide eyes began to soften with each passing day and each gentle touch. But he still had no name. A name is in their eyes, but he’s eyes showed only fear and pain. His name had to be perfect, it had to fit who he was.
I called my sister and told her about the horse. “He doesn’t know how to trust,” I said. Kim said his story reminded her of me.
“I guess we are like kindred spirits,” I said.
“That’s it!” she said. “His name should be Kamrie’s Kindred Spirit.”
Thus, he had his name.
Over time Spirit became the best horse that ever crossed my path. He trusts me more than any horse can trust a person. I had turned my love of horses into a career as a professional trainer years ago and wanted to help save those horses that no one else could tame. Spirit is one of those horses. Now this horse had helped me choose a name for my business… “Spirited Horses”. I want to give all of these horses the same chance that I gave Spirit…and that Spirit gave me.
During my moments of emotional weakness in the trials of my life, my solace was Spirit. One day when we were out riding, I just broke down. I thought of Greg, our children. How much I loved them. I buried my face in Spirit’s soft neck. God, help me trust in love, I asked. Help me trust in you. Beneath me, Spirit stirred and nickered softly. A breeze ruffled his mane. And with it came an incredible peace I had not known before.
With each day, my trust grows, as does Spirit’s. Little did I know when I urged him to get up out of the mud that day, that it was a message I needed more than he did. But someone knew—the One who brought us kindred spirits together.
"I Needed You Today "
I needed you today as I have needed you so many times before,
And you were there to listen, to love, and to adore,
And I realize that no matter how much I give you, you always give me more.
We are Kindred Spirits in our past life of so much hatred and pain,
nothing to lose in this bond we have, only much to gain.
I know too well the hands that have hit you, the hands that scarred your body and soul,
Where your heart was once in pieces, we can now make it whole.
If I had one single wish, I would go back to that moment and take you from that space in time,
I would shelter you from storms to come, wrap you in these arms of mine.
Now my face buried in your neck, tears streaming down,
Falling past your mane and splashing to the ground,
Every beat of your heart and every breath you take in,
Becomes my breath, my heartbeat, our healing will begin.
I climb up on your back and into the fields we go,
Riding in the brisk breeze and pushing through the snow.
Running now, we become one in a moment,
Nothing left to fear, nothing left to hide,
Closing my eyes and trusting each other with every flying stride,
I stretch my arms out like I am reaching for the sky,
We heal each other, no questions of how or why.
There are no words, we don't have to make a sound,
The only beating now is your hooves upon the ground,
Even though your trust was broken, tattered, and torn,
And your heart bare the scars, your young body already worn,
You still trusted in me, and together we healed,
A beautiful friendship was suddenly revealed.
Thank you for this ride today and every ride from here on out,
I promise you will never hurt and never go without,
I could never wish for anything else, I could never ask of more,
You were there for me today, as you have been so many times before."