I love horses. No, I mean, I REALLY, REALLY LOVE horses. So, when I came upon the Canadian television series, Heartland, which actually began in 2007, I was instantly hooked. I found it on Netflix, and, at this writing, I just finished the 6th of the total 13 seasons. Tears here.
Based on Lauren Brooke’s +/- 26-novel series begun in 2000 (20 series and 5 extra special editions, according to equipepper.com), the story of Amy Fleming and an assortment of characters, especially family members, is based in Virginia, where she, her family, and friends, heal and help abused, mistreated, or “difficult” horses. At Heartland, “They attempt to help the abused horses by using psychologically based therapies instead of more traditional training methods.” Perhaps you’ve seen or read the series, as I’m a bit late in catching on.
I allow myself to watch one or two episodes in a sitting. Sometime I can’t help getting carried away and watching more because the focus on the horses brings me close to my dear, sweet pony (just barely big enough to be a horse), Easter.
Our meeting and ensuing relationship was quite magical, so much like some of those in the series. If you’ve never had the extraordinary experience of mutual love with a horse, let me assure you, there is no experience in the world like it. You see, meeting my Easter came from a situation much like many of the equine characters in the series. She was quite misunderstood and so was shuffled from rider to rider, getting them off her back in one way or another, until she was just locked away in a stall and ignored. One day, we met. We connected. I asked about her and was told “the story.” It was about to change.
It was at a summer camp in the mountains of Georgia where I had been a camper for a couple of years and then became a counselor. We were able to spend the rest of the summer together on trail rides. Of course, no one could believe I was riding Easter, as her reputation was far from stellar. But there we were, a team. Unfortunately, summers come to an end. I had to leave my beloved pony and return home. It was off to college and over two years before Easter was back in my life. One birthday morning, after a pretty wild night of partying with friends, I woke to a commotion outside the mobile home on the little farm my partner and I lived on. I staggered, literally, to the back door and a startled pony with a wide-eyed, shocked look on her face, which I know mirrored mine, was standing in front of me. No lie. Neither of us was believing it, but there we were. My partner had convinced the unfeeling woman who owned the camp, and refused to sell her to me two years earlier, to sell her, and had her shipped down for my birthday. Talk about magical. I won’t talk about the end. Just know we were together for many, many good years.
About Jan Schim
Jan is a singer, a songwriter, a licensed body worker specializing in CranioSacral Therapy, and a teacher. She is an advocate for the ethical treatment of ALL animals and a volunteer with several animal advocacy organizations. She is also a staunch believer in the need to promote environmental responsibility.
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