A year and a half ago, I came home after weekend away to a story about a horse that was rescued from the British Columbia wildfire in need of a home.
He was a big, grey Percheron who had been seized from the fire with his herdmate. He was now looking for his forever home.
Immediately, I felt a connection to this horse and his story and we gave him a home.
I named this big, beautiful, grey horse, Malachi and welcomed him into our herd.
Malachi’s journey here was bittersweet. He found a forever home but was separated from his herdmate, Poppy.
As fate would have it, these two horses would one day be reunited here.
A little back story…
I grew up with a love and passion for horses. After spending a few years in the horse breeding industry, I discovered a darker side to the equine industry that spurred a mission and purpose for me and these amazing animals.
What many people don’t know is many, many horses get discarded, sent to slaughter after they are no longer deemed useful.
Years ago, when I began my journey to one day having my own property, a piece of it was to be able to give homes to horses that were in need.
The majority of our herd that calls our retreat center home are “rescues,” horses that were in need of a home, and a second purpose because they were not deemed rideable.
For most horses, if they are not able to be ridden, they are not seen as valuable or worth being supported so they are often sent to slaughter or to be euthanized.
The work I do with horses here is about introducing people to a different way of being in relationship with horses, and being introduced to them as a teacher and a guide for us to create greater self awareness of our impact, ourselves, and how we are operating in the world.
The horses that come here are able to step into having another purpose and find a home that supports their own healing along with the incredible positive effect they have on those who come to experience their wisdom.
In March of this year, we got an email from the woman who adopted Poppy asking if we could give her a home and reunite her with her herdmate Malachi at our center.
When Malachi and Poppy were seized during the 2017 wildfires, Poppy was taken on by a woman in the Lower Mainland who (with her veterinarian and farrier) was able to provide individual care to Poppy to help her recover. As an effort to provide the best outcome for Poppy, after her long journey to recovery, she reached out me knowing that it would be a beautiful ending for these two horses to be reunited once more.
When I meet a horse for the first time, I like to give them a medicine name, something that will capture the essence of who they are and what they bring to the new purpose they will now step into at our center.
Sometimes I get a name that pops into my head, or a symbolism when I see a horse. Poppy is a beautiful, spotted draft mare that instantly evoked a connection to Native American tradition with her paint color. I gave her the new name Aponi, meaning butterfly in Native American, their symbol of transformation.
I believe this mare in her journey is a beautiful symbolism of the transformation we meet in life. Sometimes we go through challenging times that are often difficult for us to understand, not knowing that the road to transformation often leads to a positive ending.
For Malachi, he has always carried a sense of loss around him, not fully bonding with our herd and always running to the fence when another horse has arrived. I believe perhaps he has been waiting for this reunion and to be back with his herdmate once again.
In connection to Poppy, now Aponi, arriving at our center, I am creating an opportunity for sponsoring this mare in her new home and purpose here with us.
Sponsorship of the horses allows me to continue giving homes to horses in need and supporting them having a forever home and doing meaningful work in the world.
For those in our community who often feel connected to our horses and wonder what they can do to support the mission, sponsorship is a perfect opportunity to do so.
Aponi’s arrival at our center allows me to continue to share about the mission of our space with these horses and introduce more people to connecting with horses in a new way.
I have created sponsorship opportunities for all of our horses, and for those who are called to sponsoring Aponi here at our retreat space, here are some ways you can do that:
Sponsorship includes supporting the horses feed and care that encompasses, hay, vet care and farrier.
1 Month Sponsorship: $250 CDN
The 1 month sponsorship comes with pictures and videos of Aponi in her new environment and check-ins of how she is doing at the ranch.
3 Month Sponsorship: $750 CDN
The 3 month sponsorship includes an equine guided session (in person or virtual) pictures and videos of Aponi and an in-person visit if you live locally.
6 Month Sponsorship: $1500 CDN
The 6 month sponsorship includes an equine guided coaching session (in person or virtual), pictures and videos, a 2 night stay in one of our cabins and opportunity to come and meet Aponi in person.
If none of these options are available to you right now but you would still like to contribute to Aponi’s arrival here, you can customize a sponsorship with this link and choose the amount you would like to contribute.
If you are curious about learning more about our herd and sponsoring another one of our horses, you can follow this link.
I look forward to being able to reunite these two horses and allowing Aponi to step into her new role as equine teacher with our programs. I look forward to being able to share her medicine and teachings more deeply with you as she begins her new role in our herd.