There used to be a very intelligent, sensitive and kind horse at the riding school that I was having riding lessons. No, not all horses are intelligent and sensitive and most of them are very un-kind especially if they are horses of a riding school. They are faced with very hard conditions, too much work, too little freedom and unhealthy living conditions. This makes them either a nasty horse with habits like kicking or trying to throw people over, or makes them a horse ‘shutdown’, doing everything that they are asked to do but with their minds and spirits far far away. Maya was different though. People being unjust to her haven’t gotten to her yet. She took good care of me, I truly loved her and enjoyed riding her. One day, I noticed that she got tired way too soon and her breathing became hard so I called it a day and took her back to her stable. After that whenever I asked about her they told me she was not feeling well, so she could not be ridden that day. I asked one of the veterinarians who had come for another horse to examine her as well but he muttered something about payment and since I was just a student there, I did not want to interfere with the school’s business.
After a month, one day I went to the riding school only to find out that she had died. I cried a lot and felt guilty for not stepping in and having her examined, maybe if I had bought her medicines or just did something, anything, as long as it was more than I did. You see, guilt was my the theme of my life at those times for my brother had committed suicide some 6 months ago. They say that the stages of mourning are denial, guilt, bargaining, anger and depression and I was at the guilt phase. Or so I thought I was, but actually I learned that you never go through these stages one after the other, with them being so clearly defined like climbing the steps of a ladder. You might go through the phases all at once or go back to phase one again in the middle of the process. I also learned that they never come to an end, they just become lighter.
A year passed. One day my riding instructor told me that he had some good and bad news for me. God, I hate those good and bad news. He told me that Maya actually was not dead, she was just given away to somebody from a village nearby and he had seen her the other day looking all fine. I immediately went to the village, asked around and a man took me to a place in the forest where they kept her. It was her all right. I remembered how she looked of course but I was sure when I remembered her smell. They were keeping their herd in the forest and at the weekends when people came to have picnics there, they offered rides to them. I went home thinking that she was better off living out in the open land and her workload only consisted of 15 minute rides on the weekends.
But I could not get her out of my mind. I tried to figure out a way of taking her and searched for boarding alternatives that I could afford. I was still running through the alternatives in my head when I asked my guides, angels, God or whoever’s listening to send me a sign to make up my mind. Taking responsibility of a horse is a big deal, especially if you are not financially well off. Just as I finished asking I came across a horse on the road. I looked up to see that it was Maya, standing in the middle of the road with her two friends, while the cars were honking and drivers swearing to drive past them. That was a sign all right so I parked the car, called my husband and after that called the owner of a ranch that I was thinking of placing her. My husband came with a borrowed halter and I put it on Maya. We walked for about 5 miles to the ranch on the side of the road where there was a busy traffic with my husband following us slowly in the car behind. All that time I was shaking with excitement and fear for I have not seen her for a year and I actually did not know the 1000 pound animal walking beside me. She used to be calm but during that year she might have been faced with dangers in the forest, gotten defensive or edgy, she might have been abused and became a horse that is afraid of every sharp sound and movement. If she were to become scared and reared for example, my choices would be between being run over by her or by a car driving past us. But we made it to the ranch and I placed her in her new stall. She was so dehydrated that she drank water for 30 minutes without stopping after we arrived.
I did not care for the whole world who has seen me walking her, labeling me a horse thief and I was determined to rescue her from those men who left her and her friends without food or water. They were so desperate that they had come down from the hills to eat the grass by the road. I learned that this is what these men were used to do, leaving the animals out in the open without feeding them and coming to fetch them on the weekends when there was money to be made out of their backs.
We met with the so called owner the other day. I thought that we had a strong case, since he was the one who left her on the road and I was sure that he would accept our offer to buy her although it wasn’t much, since I knew that he had taken the horse for free. But he did not accept. Upon hearing that some town folks were interested in the animal, he had raised his hopes and was expecting a much greater amount for the price. He sent in for the horse and got her back from the ranch.
I could not believe that I was not able to save her. I had done everything that I could have this time. I had not been afraid to move out of my comfort zone for her, I had had the courage to put my hand under the so called rock, but still I could not save her. The bad guys have won and it wasn’t fair. I had thought that I had grown up after facing my brother’s death but it seemed that I still had a little girl in me believing in the happy endings.
About three months after that, a psychic whom I had met in a coaching with horses training that I was attending, told me that the reason for my not being able to save Maya was for me to learn that no matter what you do, sometimes you cannot save that someone. I had not asked for a reading and had not even mentioned the details of the incident to her. She told me that things happened the way they had so that I would learn this and stop feeling guilty for not being able to save my brother as well.
If that is so, I truly don’t understand the world we live in. My brother had come to be with us during the birth of my baby the last time I saw him and after staying with us for a week had to go back to school before the baby had decided to come. One night we were sitting at the balcony, chatting, when all of a sudden he asked “What is the meaning of life do you think?”. I was having mild contractions which turned out to be false alarm but at the time I did not know and I said “This is. I am in pain here, waiting to give birth to a baby and you ask me about the meaning of life?” Just like that I had dismissed the question and a month after my baby was born, he committed suicide.