Slow Down and Listen

IMG_0576Many people are surprised to learn that I got thrown from a horse. Yes, me, a sensitive energy worker, thrown from my horse. Guess what? I was going too fast. I wasn’t listening. And I wasn’t listening to that niggly little sense of fear, which was my intuition telling me something was off, and I disregarded it as “just fear”, since my horse had run off on me recently. (there is a very subtle difference between the two) Its humbling to admit how much I screwed up that day, and while I initially reeled in shock for a few weeks, with a sense of betrayal of how could my beloved baby horse break my trust like that, I have come to a deeper understanding of both myself, my horse, and our relationship together.

I have moved through a whole range of emotions and have arrived at a place of accepting my teacher who has shown up for me. This is a tough teacher. He’s 1,200 lbs and is more sensitive to energy than I am, a natural born empath. That’s how horses operate, all by energy. When I got home early enough one evening I thought I could squeeze a riding practice in before the end of the day, and saw my horse was disgruntled at the idea. I usually let him out to graze when I get home and instead I was asking him to work (lesson #1: don’t set your horse up to be a creature of habit).  I could see he was annoyed. And guess what? I was annoyed too, from experiences happening in my life, but I pushed my unsettled feelings aside to “work with my horse”.

Being a green broke rider – I had not yet learned,  if there is incongruous energy in a person, they can feel it, they don’t like it, and want to get away from it. I set aside my mixed-bag of energy to focus on the time with my horse, but he still felt it. He expressed it to me. In an attempt to finish on my terms (we’ve been working on shifting our relationship – for safety) after a nice ride around, I pushed my luck and asked for a little too much. Its not really the horse’s fault for being a baby horse, overwhelmed with the mixed emotions of what he and I were feeling that day, in addition to not being used to me asking so firmly from him. He got rid of the discomfort the only way he knew how.  And, taking the metaphor forward, he grounded me.

Getting seriously injured with fractured bones (a new one on me) is a whole new level of grounding I hadn’t experienced before. I admit to having a lot of drive with all the wonderful things I’m creating in this world and helping people with – healing work, art work, creative expression – and at times, too caught up in my work and visions.  I wasn’t giving myself enough down time to rest and balance.  I ignored my intuition about getting on my horse that day. My drive said “here’s a window, let’s take it, he needs the work” and my intuition said “he’s in a grumpy mood don’t get on.” I thought we could get past it by working on the ground first. Lesson learned, I hope I remember this for life, and don’t need to repeat it.

The tendency for many, and I had the thought myself, is to run away from this horse. Get a calmer horse, choose an easier path. It can be so daunting to confront our own shadow material when it seems life-threatening. For me, its the edge of love and respect, and holding a firm boundary every step of the way, while remaining acutely aware. With so many thoughts swirling through my head, I consulted a horse communicator, who shared with me what I already knew – seeing as I teach this about relationships – I drew in the perfect horse to mirror my shadow material. I could run from this, or I can choose to work this. Working my shadow material has the potential to shift the relationship with my horse, and the way I am in this world. Walking away and choosing another horse is just asking the cosmos for the lesson to come in a different package. Its up to me to learn and work with the lesson that is presenting. This is the horse I drew in. I am aware of what in my shadow I’m being invited to work with here. Whether I stay or not with this high energy horse forever isn’t the point as much as learning everything I can from the gift of his presence in my life. Instead of avoiding what my soul came here to learn, I’m entering into difficult waters to face it. I’m taking a deep breath and meeting the energy.

And, one of the invitations is to listen more closely to myself each day and each moment, and be aware of the energy I enter into collaborative space with. When we’re both having a grumpy day, its time to just hang out for a nice brushing and cookies.


Mardi Storm is a healing arts practitioner, bridging the spirit realms in every day reality, there is no separation between there and here, helping to heal others both living and non-living, multi-dimensional traveler, and visual artist expressing these energies, spirits and dreams. She is more recently a farmer, moving into deep relationship with the teachings from the world of animals, nature, and the souls of animals, plants, and all beings part of this Earth. She learns every day from the grace of the divine and the lessons given to make her a more conscious soul.

By Mardi Storm

Healer, therapist, artist, supporting others professionally since 2002. Working in community settings and private practice, offering private and group work. My art has been published and is on public display.


  1. It’s deeply moving to me to hear the story told in this way, here…

    I’m feeling a nudge to reflect what I’ve been invited to learn through it all and love the way I hear you sharing these helpful “road-tested” gleanings here Mardi, thanks for sharing with us so candidly and artfully <3

  2. Mardi, I am so glad that you are OK, and that you didn’t give up on your horse! I have been wondering how you were doing with him and would love to hear more about how you have spent the last couple years with him as he was growing up. Did you start him under saddle, or did you have some help? He is an amazing creature. I am glad to know that you are open to the lessons he has to teach. I think the reason that people say horses are great teachers is that they very directly tell us when we have pushed past what is safe.

    1. Hi Jennifer- wonderful to hear from you!! Amulet is a wonderful soul, he is too smart for his own good so he is both easy to teach but has me challenged right out of the gate. My trainers have all conferred this horse is sharp! He learns so quick. He is very kind in nature and eager to please. He’s had terrific training, and I continue to have some of the best trainers work with him. Its not him, its me being green. At this point I have as much to learn about riding this young horse as he does about learning to be ridden. I’ve actually been up on him riding for about two years, in the round pen. I learned the finer points of asking for not too much more, when he says he’s done. He is a teenager still! There were a few things that day that were off – another aspect is he needed dental work that the bosal may have been agitating him. I cannot blame him for much of anything that day its really my not knowing, and my not listening. Working with an animal communicator she agreed how important it is to listen and when something seems just a little off, to not get on the horse. She will turn around on a trail ride and go home if she gets a funny feeling about it. Instead of simply trusting my horse would never act up, I will be honoring that “funny feeling” in my own relationship with him. We do have a great relationship and he really is teaching me so much!! This experience has opened up a whole series of lessons, and for that I am grateful. I hope things are going well for you and your farm!!

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