Anam Cara Stables

Written by: Rev. Rhonda Schienle | Posted on: | Category:

Rhonda and Serenity

Anam Cara Stables is nestled in a country setting within LaPorte County, Indiana. These are not just any stables in a country setting, but an equine therapeutic facility where horses help with healing. This specialized modality has helped those whom have experienced brain injuries, PTSD or other emotional traumas.

Anam Cara literally means "Soul Friend." In the Celtic Tradition, Anam Cara is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide.

I had the privilege of accepting an invitation to visit and experience the healing and loving energy of these gentle soul friends. Stacey Garcelon, MEd, NCC, who is the founder and director, coordinated this experience with several other mutual friends.

As a result of being a Near Death Experiencer and survivor of stage 3 breast cancer, I have forms of PTSD. Just days prior to the arrival at Anam Cara, I had been attacked by 3 of my neighborhood dogs. My senses were so heightened and every quick movement startled me. Everyone was informed of this. What was about to happen as our visit unfolded, was beyond words.

We began with a beautiful story and meditation about the horses and how they came here to be with us humans. To hear this special meaning and feeling its purpose prepared us before we all entered into the stable with these gentle souls.

As we entered the stables, we were given a few minutes to connect with the horses. One of the horses, I would have given the name "Red" to because of his beautiful coloring. He came over and lovingly brushed up against my right shoulder. Gently, he put his face close to my right ear and neck. I slightly froze in place, not expecting that loving gesture. It wasn't until a few moments later, when it had dawned on me, that this was the side I had my breast cancer on. It felt as if "Red" was saying in a whisper, "It's alright kiddo, just go on being happy."

Then Stacey and the equine trainer, Sandy gave us a few exercises to do. As I walked in between two of the larger horses, they moved suddenly. I had a quick reaction and walked back to Sandy and Stacey. They were very prompt in observing this, asking me calmly, what took place. I asked, "Did I do something wrong?"

They assured me that I had not done anything wrong. The reaction was just my over heightened feelings since those dogs attacked me. I truly understood this intellectually, but my body obviously was still in flight or fight mode.

Toward the end of our gathering, we had one more exercise to do, which was to hug one of the horses. Stacey was so amazing and attentive as she accompanied me over to the horse I wanted to be with. The photo you see is where I am hugging the horse that I named, Serenity. I named her that as she was grazing further away from us and enjoying the serene view on the other side of the stable.

As I hugged Serenity, I began to cry. She allowed me to hug her without any hesitation. I thanked her for her love and allowing me to release my trauma, right then and there. Truth be told, I didn't want to leave. I simply wanted to stay in that moment.

Thank you Stacey, Soul Friends and Anam Cara for this healing and loving experience.

My hope is one day you get to visit Anam Cara!

Red and Friend

Rhonda and Flower

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