Photography provided by Devin Begley
Listen To The Horses is dedicated to protecting and rehabbing horses in need since 1996. We are committed to providing horses with the best care in the their most natural environment as possible. As well as providing humans a safe place to grieve, heal and learn to restore peace in their life with these mystical creatures.
Natalie and Grief
It is often said that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. In fact, some may even go so far as to say that suffering is a deliberate choice. However, this is often said by someone who is not currently going through the misery and sadness that often comes with loss.
Natalie is no stranger to loss. By the simple virtue of being a member of the human race, she has, like all of us, experienced loss. Loss of finances, loss of property, loss in relationships, and the list goes on. However, fourteen years ago, the stage was set for a traumatic experience from which recovery would require every ounce of strength she had. In 2003, Natalie was introduced to a young filly. She was black, she was beautiful, but more importantly, she spoke to Natalie in a voice that only Natalie could hear. Her name was Uma, and the message was til death do us part.
Uma and Natalie were inseparable for the next decade and a half. They traveled all around the country together living in Ohio, Florida, Colorado and California. During this entire time, Natalie and Uma grew with each other; over time, becoming two completely different yet complementary personalities, all the while experiencing the love, loss, heartbreak, and joy that life brings.
In 2017, tragedy struck them both. It was clearly Uma's time and in a horrific accident of catastrophic proportions, Uma was struck down in her prime. Through an unavoidable collision with a car, both lives were shattered in an instant. Uma was no more of the flesh and although her spirit lives on, the sadness and sense of irreplaceable loss has touched everyone who knew her. Devastation cannot describe what Natalie has had to endure in processing this experience. Yes, pain is inevitable and suffering a choice, but no one would choose this kind of suffering. And yet, in the face of this experience, what other choice was there?
It was then that all the insightful quotes, the wisdom of the internet, and the well meaning ministrations of family and friends rang hollow. "You're strong, you will get over it." "These things take time." "It could have been worse." Phrases like these permeated the air and she even tried to say a few of them to herself. But the real answer was not an answer or an insight. It was a process. And Natalie discovered that our society is grossly unprepared to provide the kind of environment that will enable us to heal our soul. But as she slowly drew upon her experiences as an iRest practitioner, she realized that she was at least fortunate enough to be able to access the tools to rebuild her spirit. It was also during this time that she discovered a passion for providing what worked for her for everyone.
Listen to the Horses is a place where people can come to grieve, to learn, and to heal. The tools of iRest, and the serenity of horses has something for everyone. You need no agenda, nor goals, nor measurable progress. Everyone's grief is different. Every process is individual. No two are the same nor is there any expectation for commonalities. Come listen to the horses. Come rest, recuperate, and grow.
Ultimately, Listen to the Horses is Uma's gift. She is the inspiration, the spirit, and the guiding force behind a place where anyone can learn to rebuild what was broken, and one day, become stronger in the broken places.
What We've Achieved
- Healing from grief, loss, trauma and PTSD.
- Healing horses back to their best health.
- Providing people with tools for a meditation practice.
- A safe space.
- Resting in beingness.
- Beautiful memories.
- Raising money to give to those grieving or healing from trauma. As well as horses healing from the same struggles.
- Deep rest and peace