2017  Sheilagh Mercer

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Just In Time

August 12, 2017

 

“Just In Time”, Is the name of the painting above I painted the night of November 19th, the day I found Justin. It is not just a painting of him, it is, as if I rolled him and Xanadu up together, as I went to find one horse and came back with two.

This is a true story that gave me a renewed sense of life, knowing that the unseen world is very real. I have truly felt that presence before, with the love that surpasses understanding and having these experiences. The one I wish to share is my mystical story about my horse Justin. He passed on, at some point, many years ago. I believe that is when Justin began coming to me in my dreams as he did a few times every year.  I thought he only existed in my dreams, yet, he became real for me last November 19th. That day, I stayed up all night and painted the picture above in honour of finding my dear friend Justin. This is about my experience with a reincarnation of my first and only horse, being the same Justin. He came into my life for the first time, when he was 14 and I was 24 years old. Now he is back in my life again; this time he is 18 years old and I am 61.

 

JUSTIN THE THOROUGHBRED

The first time round with Justin, is when my husband Doug, bought Justin for me. I already, had a great relationship with this equine friend, as I was hired to ride him while his owner was expecting their first baby. Then, Justin’s guardian decided to sell him, because she and her husband moved out west with their new baby.  Next to marriage having Justin was a high point in my life and then another high point when our very own wee babe, Kerri Lee, was born.

The English riding lessons paid off and I am sure, as I think back to that time with what I know now, that our mutual aversion to the use of the bit bonded Justin and me so well. Justin was over 16 hands, a thoroughbred quarter horse, cross, a lovely chestnut with a white blaze down his face, four white socks and in his prime. He was stunning as far as I was concerned.  We meshed right off because of some synchronic set of patterns that were happening. One is, I noticed Justin tossed his head a lot. The second was the fact (I was told by my trainers) I had soft hands, meaning I held the bit lightly. I had this empathic feeling that made me not like the bit in the horses’ mouths, however, at that time, I did not know much about empathy or intuition, let alone learning to ride. Justin had a sensitive tooth that the bit rubbed on. I did not know that until I sold him, when the new people had a vet remove that sensitive tooth. He had experienced no problem with his tooth in the four years that he was in my life. I felt he just encouraged more soft hands.

I had the most amazing four years with Justin. He took care of me. I rode western because I could hold onto the horn, as simple as that. I felt more secure in the western saddle than in the English one, after all I was out to just enjoy my horse. I had a growing relationship with my friend Sandy and her horse Red who happened to be Justin’s stable mate. So, we rode a lot together and all four of us simply had the time of our lives hacking all over north Burlington, Milton and Waterdown.

Sometimes we would head up to #2 side road between Brant Street and Guelph Line here in Burlington, and go swimming bare-back in Fishers pond. Red and Justin loved this too, every bit as much as my friend Sandy and I did. Our Horses would be swishing their heads happily in the water while waiting patiently for their tack to come off. We then hopped on their backs for the time of our lives, swimming with these horses.

 

On the way home Sandy and Red took off at a gallop and naturally, Justin and I followed. She already knew the way but it was all new to me. It was scary and so much fun, all at the same time. Scary because suddenly we were running down a hill and then I saw it…. oh no! There was a creek at the bottom this hill.  Well, these two horses had no fear of jumping across and jump they did, with me laughing and screaming all at once.  It had been a while since my jumping days – in English style, not in western tack!  The hilarious part is that during the jump I leaning forward, which I did automatically from my English riding lessons, yet ah … I forgot about the horn. It was a rather high horn too, from an old Arabian second hand saddle, to clear Justin’s high withers. Perhaps, now I have set the stage for a visual – with not only my jacket getting hung up on that horn, yet ah, heavens, my front loading bra…gone! It was one of those funniest moments that I find myself laughing about, even now. We finally stopped and rolled to the ground with gut wrenching laughter that I feel to this day, ha ha ha! I had no bra left, no buttons on my coat, and no blouse. The horses so looked amused as well. At least my lumber jacket was big enough for me to hold closed, I think? Sandy rolling in laughter with tears streaming down her face and of course, I did too.

Justin felt like a push button horse I had so little tension on his reins. I placed a martingale on him as I did not know why he tossed his head and he taught me how little the bit really did for him. I rode with very loose reins and more neck reining. The less tension I had on his bit, the better we meshed together. A teacher once told me I had soft hands, meaning I held the reins and treated the bit lightly. I did not like bits. I swear, I felt the pain of the bit in the school horses I rode. Now in retrospect and learning from Celina Fawcett, Tina Marie Barnes, and Anna Mae Gold, to name a few, that research proves that the bit is harmful. As it turns out I felt that, even back then, and was not aware of the fact I was actually a budding Animal Communicator.

What I did know was that Justin tossed his head a lot, and I got the martingale, not that the martingale was the definitive answer, yet he kept his head down better and I slacked off the reins completely. I know he was happy as I remember he was so sensitive with his head and what I did relieve it somehow.

 

I am kind of proud of this aspect of the empathy and intuition; I must have had for Justin. I know he taught me how to treat him.  He was easier to understand than my human counterparts, on how he needed me to treat him, if that makes sense. Yet, Justin came through, somehow communicating, clearly and simple.

 

Doug and I decided that it was time to start a family as I was now 28 years old. The sad thing was I could not have both the horse and a baby. It was a really hard decision to find Justin an owner, and my preference was someone with a place of their own to have Justin right there with them. Doug had to lead the way, as I was truly torn as having both was my answer, yet logically not possible. So I sold Justin to a retiring school teacher. I visited him until the owner asked me not to, because it caused Justin to be upset for days. It was so hard to let go of my beloved horse. Yet, when I had Kerri my mother instinct took over and I was totally devoted to this miracle of life and precious wee babe.

 

“JUSTIN THE SPIRIT HORSE”

Now fast forward and I am 61 with an amazing story to unfold the best way I know how.

Since the time when I no longer saw Justin and he started coming to me in my dreams. At first it was often. And then it settled into a few times a year until four years ago, when he came in a dream for the last time.

 

These dreams where wonderful, feeling my connection with him.  He took me for rides in the country.  He talked to me like as if he were a human. Not moving his lips kind of thing yet he talked to me and I to him; we had simple conversations. I told him how much I loved him. He would tell me to get on his back and then surprise me with the places he would take me and we would have so much fun riding out in nature. I was always a little sad as I got down from his back to say goodbye, until next time we would meet.  And I’d hug him goodbye, happy from the dream, when I awoke.  I did not know then, what I do know now, that Justin was visiting me in my dreams, all those years, for real. So the last time I had a dream with Justin was in 2009. In that last dream I had asked him if my health would ever improve and Justin answered saying “Just In Time”. That phrase burned into my memory for some reason, as I pondered its meaning.

 

In 2011 I met a Medicine Horse called Boss and his partner Marnie.  My path as an Animal Communicator took a new direction, a return to my Art and learning more about partnering with Horses. I took an Animal Communication course with Jill Robinson who said I was already there and so close to realizing it. Jill gave me some homework and Marnie allowed me to have Boss as my homework partner for my graduating class. Jill teased and she laughed happily for me saying I was sooooooo ready. And it was true, and very exciting for me as, Boss, a wonderful retired police horse – I believe part percheron – along with Marnie’s help  and Jill’s encouragement activated something in me so that I could actually hear Boss.  I heard it from within!   Marnie led me through a series of questions for me to ask Boss.  At some point in all this, Boss started giving ‘yes’ answers by waving his head up and down. That wowed me!

 

Can you just imagine, I was so glad to have Marnie there not only my witness, yet she knew about him nodding the ‘yes’ answers! Yup he waved his head up and down and I teased him that he was a regular Mr. Ed!  He also communicated with my daughter once as she asked him to nudge her for any yes answers. She told me she only asked him quietly, within. He nudged her so much she began to cry. Marnie and I wondered why Boss nudged my daughter Kerri, so much.

This encounter led to a summer workshop in 2011 called “The way of the Medicine Horse” with Tina Marie Barnes who is a mentor of Marnie’s and also my dear friend Celina. Tina presented “The way of the Medicine Horse” and “Mares Speak”. That year, after Tina’s workshop I partnered with four mares, one of which was a Medicine horse, who talked to me a lot and easily.  She taught me some life lessons.  Because of my love for her, I stayed to learn what I needed to in order to understand these life long patterns that had sabotaged me over and over again. Had I run away from my fears too early I would have missed out on these revelations. I stayed and faced my fears.

I wished for more training from Tina.  However she was in B.C. And I thought, inaccessible for me.  So, it was last June 2012, I went on another Medicine Horse Program, close by. This is where I experienced the Shamanic Journey. The totem animal that showed up was not what I had expected. It was Justin and he was my Spirit horse. The journey is mostly personal, yet I can share this last part – that, as I got off Justin’s back from our journey, he told me he was making his way back to me. Well cry, yes I sure did.  It was very real and totally true for me. When I came out of the barn, two horses were waiting to make this even more real. I was all by myself with no one to witness these two horses talking to me. In my head silently I said, “Do you two want me to come over?”, and they both nodded their heads up and down, as ‘yes’, they wanted me to come over, and so I did.  They nudged me as if they too were excited about this news and Justin coming back.  It was a really cool moment of real connection and camaraderie, no space between our minds, totally experiencing this news with me.  As from my experience with Boss I knew horses can nod ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. Yet I cannot easily tell people this is true, they would need to experience it for themselves.  I know for myself that this can only be known through the experience of it, to have this awareness be true. For me it was true,  “Justin was making his way back”.

 

JUSTIN THE MORGAN

All summer long I felt Justin’s energy near Simcoe, while visiting a friend. My friend knew me well, so was not surprised when I muscle tested up and down roads near Simcoe, because I felt Justin’s energy.

I kept feeling that Justin was somewhere close to Delhi Ontario.

If I had not gone to visit my friend Gordon I would not have found Justin.

I had to share this and wanted my friends to know, so when it came true, I had witnesses, that I was not crazy. I knew I was getting information from someone, a guide, Justin, something within, guiding me to where Justin was.  Most likely it was Justin himself manifesting.

I had made friends with Kara Burrows who has Bella Misty Meadows Animal Sanctuary in St. Williams Ontario (near the county of Delhi) all summer and fall, I still felt Justin’s energy. My friend Celina and I would go off and see Kara, a truly amazing, woman with her, animal rescue. Not knowing Justin might find me through Kara, yet I hoped for that. Then the week leading up to November 19 th feeling his energy so strongly was more than I could stand.  I drove out to Kara’s by myself, that day on November 19th and talking out loud, now in the car, saying “Justin,  tell me where you are?” . I drove into Kara’s driveway saying,  ” hi Kara “and in the next breath, saying, “Did you get another horse?”   Well, she said no and asked, what this is about. I said how I felt Justin’s energy so strong. Kara asked what name, again, and I said “Justin”, “I feel Justin so strongly, Kara”. Then, she said she had Chills, we jumped in her truck as she took me to a farm she had visited the day before and said there were two horses there and one named Justin. I met the owner, that day who took me up to introduce me to his horse, saying “this is my Justin, he is a Morgan and his registered name is. Get this! — “Just In Time”— well blow me over!!! , this is the message in my dream, from Justin, himself. There were lots of messages as flowers on the way LOL. Yet this name topped the cake.

 

Well, I held the back tears. I asked Justin if he remembered me and he began licking and chewing exaggerating it. I have known three trainers now, who all say, licking and chewing is a confirmation, a yes answer, of what you are thinking. So I knew Justin remembered me.    Justin was not a well horse, I did not know this. As I saw him in his magnificence and blinded to anything else.

 

However, I could see this sweet Arabian Mare, Zena, that was with him, she was very underweight and I knew instinctively she would not last the winter, and had others seeing this too, as it validated my own feelings. Their guardian loved these horses. I no longer judge as we as humans have taken the freedom away from horses and allot of conditions result from that.

Zena was 27 years old and Justin was seemingly fine at 18. I took Justin in and could not leave this Mare behind.  I took them to a farm that only Divine intervention I say happened, because Simone was happy to take us in, for the winter. Celina had invited me with Justin even before I found him. Yet, Celina’s pastures where not ready for us until spring. Ah, and I know, Simone would have us too. Simone saved my dear mare’s life. Plus Simone also helped me as a life / business coach as she recognized my autistic behaviour and my gifts. I did not have to mention it, she just knew. When we first met she said “I totally get you”. That brought tears. Simone was a help as I learned even more to accept myself, just as I am. So, my equine friends and I where here to connect to greater…..

 

“Health and wellness”, as that last dream I had with Justin and I asked, “would my health be better” and he answered, “Just In Time”.   Simone has a networking group and when I heard the name I sure knew why we are here, her net working group is called “Wild about Wellness” and Simone is also a Bowen Therapy Practitioner and instructor for humans and the horse equivalent she is certified in as well as certifying others is called Equi-Bow.

Xanadu was distant yet she came through loud and clear about her name, Zena . She told me she did not like her name. When I asked Sister, a Buddhist Nun, friend of mine, she said of course not, Zena means stranger and Xanadu means paradise, and I said “Sister, you just named my new horse!

Now with a few more months at Simone’s farm “Vintage Lane” and with hay 24/7 and extra mash, feeding and helping Xanadu in ways I could not know. Xanadu now looks great!  Here, I thought this old mare may pass on, even as I took her in.   She was not a gorgeous sight and she is now. She sure wowed me with the weight on and perkier disposition, go figure. While, my dear Justin so handsome, has had some life threatening ordeals and holding love in my heart allowing him freedom to choose to stay or leave. He has stayed. The vets and Simone’s expertise brought him

through. A cool thing, Simone did for Justin, was to place some slippers on his back hooves. She made them by cutting out some Styrofoam the shape of his hoof and duck taped them on. Yes an ingenuous act to make these silver slippers that noticeably helped to support his coffin bones and prevent further damage to his hoof from this bought of laminitis that he was having. Plus my friend Celina for having me look into another medicine to work along with an anti inflammatory called Butte that both would also work to save his feet from further damage this inflammation could have caused and arrest it. Now time will tell, to see, if Justin can walk, without pain.  The Colic is over with and Laminitis was Justin’s second life threatening hurtle to arrest. In fact it was because of his escalating painful hooves that prevented his desire to walk over to the trough to drink. He then became dehydrated and the hay impacted his bowels. I slept in the barn that night in case he got worse, thank goodness for this farms help because Justin went into distress and we needed a vet three times that early morning and later that afternoon.  Now a few weeks later he is not out of the woods yet. I will know soon as the milder weather comes and watch him walk. Plus, hopefully, he (and Xanadu) will make an easy transition over to Mystic Bask Farms in a few months from now for my courageous Justin and super sweet mare,  Xanadu. I will also miss their winter home, however Simone remains our, loving, friend always. She is a mentor and life/ business coach, to many of us, and very gifted healer for not only humans yet horses as well. And lots more as she is very humble, she keeps surprising me with her expertise. Simone saved my mare, and definitely contributed to Justin having Quality of life.

 

At first, I was a bit afraid of Justin. He is an in your face kind of horse, and concerned for my safety, as he was reactive at first when he came. Understandably, given this new place and people all new and must have been scary for him too. Now, I am less afraid and bonding more, to both him and Xanadu, with every day that passes. I have this feeling, once Justin settles he has more respect for humans and feel that homey feeling again; he will be one of those bomb proof horses. Xanadu my feelings is this horse is already so sweet and respectful to humans, my wish for her to have peace and contentment, and feel safe and connected with me as well, knowing I am willing to hear her, as well as Justin.

 

The next home is at Mystic Bask, home to a Medicine Horse Herd and gifted horse woman and healer, Celina Fawcett. More magic to come.

 

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