Herd of horses from Sky View Retreat Center, Michigan
I'm reaching out to you with a request and first felt that introductions are appropriate...
My first experience with horse healing was in September 2012 at an Equine Guided Learning Workshop in northern Michigan. The relief and healing I received was nothing short of life-altering for me. As I sobbed in the middle of the round pen, the beautiful mare, Dizzy, held space for me as I touched a deep part of my aching heart with her help. The next summer I attended another event with my mom, sister, and niece as well as a weekend event. In January 2014 I began my 6-month EGL facilitator training. After receiving my training, I opened Sky View Retreat Center out of our home in West Olive, Michigan, and have since educated and served over 400 people with our herd consisting of a Mule and 3 Belgian Drafts. Due to COVID and the repercussions on small businesses, my husband and I have made the difficult decision to close our business and move from our beautiful home and 51 acres.
I’m writing to you because I am looking for a suitable place to rehome, for free, the herd to a location where they will have a continued opportunity to socialize with the public in a loving environment and have working opportunities. In searching for Western Michigan horse therapy programs this morning, I came across your beautiful website and FB page. Based on what I've read about the programs and services you offer, you and I have offered similar programs and events. Therefore, I'm feeling that our herd may make a lovely addition to your crew of horse teacher healers and I’m curious if you would consider adding our herd to yours.
Here is a quick background for each horse. We purchased all of them from the same owner from Hudsonville.
Doc is a very tall Sorrel around 19 years old. We met him during Christmas, 2012 when he was pulling a sleigh at a Christmas Tree Farm. I was extremely interested in learning about horses and asked the owner if I could come to his farm and learn about drafts. I instantly fell in love with Doc the first time I met him because of his gentle spirit. We officially adopted him in 2015 when the owner was done using him in parades, sleigh rides, and weddings. He has a very strong masculine presence of protection, peace, and comfort. I have witnessed his comfort and encourage women who have lost their husbands, men who are overworked and fatigued, and moms whose children are away from home. His eyes are always aware and his spirit name is Hawkeye. He is exceedingly kind and well-mannered. He has been an excellent teacher and helper when working with people and is very sociable.
Sky just turned 8 in April 2020. She is a registered Light Sorrel Belgian mare out of Montgomery, Indiana. We adopted her in October 2013 after meeting her in the spring of that year. Her feminine energy has helped many women clients understand their grace, power, and ease when they embody who they are in the feminine. She has taught many about reclaiming and enforcing their boundaries through modeling her intention with her male co-worker herd. She is also a balancer within the feminine/masculine energies. She has no official training. All her work here has been done at liberty, but when we do put a halter on her, she is willing to comply with our requests. This was going to be the year that we started her official training program. She is a beautiful and friendly horse and was usually the first one to greet new clients. I named her Sky because she reminded me of the freedom that comes from the beauty of the connection to the sky and beyond.
Joey is from the Daviess County bloodline. He is 8 years old and is also Sorrel. The original owner purchased Sky, another filly, Joey, and another gelding at the Daviess County auction in September 2012. It was after I heard from the owner in May 2013 that the other filly died while pasturing at a vacant farm that I asked him if I could care for them for the summer. Donkey Kong, our mule, was also pasturing with them. Our family fell in love with all of them that summer. In the fall, 2013, the owner was going to bring Sky back to the auction to sell her. My husband and I discussed the idea of purchasing her (we had never owned horses before). The next day I was in the pasture with them, grooming them and I asked her if she wanted to be a part of our family. She was about ten feet away from me and she laid down, rolled, and continued laying there looking at me. Joey who wasn’t too far away from us also laid down. I knew instantly that she was saying yes and showing her willingness in trusting me with her heart. I felt that Joey was saying yes also, but I knew the owner wasn’t interested in parting with him yet. I let Joey know that someday he’d be reunited with us. In the Fall, 2017 his owner contacted me and told me that he was bringing Joey to the auction and wondered if I wanted to buy him instead. I revisited him at the owner’s home and asked him. I was surprised that the connection was still there between us and instantly noted his ‘licking and chewing’ and he even nodded yes. So, we got more hay for the winter, brought him home, and he quickly acclimated right back in with Sky and Donkey Kong. He is Amish trained in doing fieldwork. He is like a big friendly dog. We named him Joey because he is like a young kangaroo - friendly, curious, and delightful. He absolutely loves attention and is incredibly willing and trainable. He is amazingly easy to connect with and will follow my leads doing groundwork at liberty.
Donkey Kong is approximately 8. He is our sweet mule and is very wise. We don’t know his background other than the previous owner’s son purchased him as a pack mule for hunting. He is incredibly smart and fiercely loyal. He has touched numerous clients' hearts and spirits. I have heard from clients that after working with him here, he has shown up in their dreams to share his love with them again, offer healing, and remind them of their time together. Our highly sensitive son who just graduated from highschool bonded very quickly with Donkey Kong. He is very sensitive and I think this is why he likes kids. He definitely chooses his people to work with. He is the playful instigator with the big horses. He loves standing behind them and grabbing their tail as an invitation to play. He has been with Sky since we first met her in early 2013. We officially adopted him shortly after we purchased Sky. Our son named him Donkey Kong.
We have paid almost $11,000 for our herd and I’m looking for an environment where they can stay together. I’ve decided to give them away instead of selling them because in my heart it’s not about the money. It’s about honoring them. They have provided so much joy and healing for so many clients of ours as well as our families. As much as I feel sad to release them, I know it’s the right thing to do with us moving, our only child graduating from high school, and me starting a new chapter in my life later this summer. They deserve more love and socializing than we can give them. They are such beneficial teachers and have offered love and healing to so many. I have witnessed this time and time again and every time I marvel at their abilities and willingness to be teacher healers. I feel deeply honored that I was able to witness their wisdom and love for others on so many occasions.
Here is the Sky View Retreat Center Facebook page, you can see multiple pictures and videos of them. https://www.facebook.com/Skyviewretreatcenter/
Thank you for your time in reading my email and hearing my heart. If you are willing to consider receiving four personable, healthy and willing horses with lots of love, please let me know. If you feel that this would be a good step for you, I'd also love to talk with you regarding how I can help you or partner with you in continuing this highly beneficial style of healing opportunities to humanity. I believe that more and more people will seek these kinds of experiential healing opportunities needed to allow for a more heart-centered way of being. I still believe in and know the power in this kind of work.
In September 2018 we had our largest and last retreat with 80 people at our home for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was exhausted after working and planning it for months. My body went through adrenal fatigue after the event and in January 2019 I got very ill and was in bed for almost 5 months. Experiencing this prompted the awareness that I needed to go into hibernation and heal. I've slowly been coming out of the hibernation phase and knew in May of this year that it was time to shut our doors officially. It was two weeks later that a very strong knowing rose up from me that the time had also come to release the horses. After sobbing for about 4 days and moving through the grief, I understand that this is the best for them and I'm now at peace. My job now is to find them their next home that suits everyone involved to the highest degree possible.
In May we began purchasing round bales prior to the prompting that it was time to release them. You are welcome to have the 29 that we have if this would also make the decision easier for you.
I look forward to hearing from you. As we are putting our house on the market around the beginning of July, I’m thinking that I would need to have a home for them ready in July or August.
I appreciate your time and consideration.
May you continue to connect to The Great Mystery (Sky), allow your Wisdom to grow (View), find your Healer within (Retreat), and feel the support of All That Is Well (Center),
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