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This blog is a collection of my thoughts and observations. For more information about my practice, click HERE.

A Mystical Team Approach to Healing Grief

By Susan Crimmins, May 12 2017 11:44PM

When co-facilitating healing sessions with horses and humans, I never know what to expect, but a recent session traveled outside of the box that I have come to regard as “familiar.” As always, I mentioned to the horses that a human was coming, who was having some challenges with a devastating loss. As such, a client requested assistance in moving through his grief regarding the sudden and untimely passing of a loved one with whom he had a special bond. Before entering with the horses, the ***client expressed confusion as to whether his loved one was still around and whether his heart would ever mend from this sudden and inexplicable loss. I explained that I had no answers, however, the questions were good ones and so, I encouraged the client to bring the questions to the horses who stepped forward to do the work.

When we came to introductions with the herd, an opportunity for both human and horse to meet and to decide where most of the energy is present for a healing connection, the horses took a different path. Five of the nine horses stepped forward with a very curious and persistent energy that was reflective of their having something to convey to the human. While I have seen this often, I never have witnessed what came next.

Not one horse elected to leave the paddock to come forward with the client in either the round pen or the arena as was typical for healing sessions. Never had this occurred before. I felt my breath go shallow and wondered what to do. Oh geez, a non-session? So I took a few deep breaths, and decided to ask one of the herd members what he recommended I do in this situation. Immediately, an answer arrived into my consciousness that more than one horse would respond to this client’s needs. Once I received this message, a tag-teaming sequence then revealed itself, as if the Herd had consulted and conspired as to how they would address this particular loss.


From inside of his stall, Pirate, a feisty Mustang, purposefully began exploring with his mouth the nearby client’s head in a circular motion that initially appeared to be grooming. Upon further notice, however, it clearly appeared that Pirate was intent upon opening the person’s crown chakra. The client immediately recognized what was occurring when he exclaimed, “he’s opening my chakra,” as we previously had discussed portals to what exists in non-physical form and he then mentioned that Pirate brought him laughter—something that had been missing since his loved one had passed.


The next horse, Beau, a thoroughbred, was instrumental in inviting the client into his paddock with his high whinny and allowing him to be nuzzled while the client asked whether his loved one was present. “Is she here?” and the answer came as a clear, loud yes as Beau suddenly stared over the client’s shoulder to where the loved one hovered ever so gently, as evidenced by a “cold spot.” The client began to cry and Beau bowed his head, almost in reverence to what was occurring. I stood a healthy distance away, offering deep breaths as we witnessed this poignant moment of facilitated connection between the worlds.

After leaving Beau’s paddock we moved over to the paddock where El Nuki and his female companion, Gracie, reside. At first Nuki seemed a bit disinterested in the client, however, when the person stepped away from Nuki and moved over across the chasm (a small dry gutter that appeared ravine or bridge-like), Nuki quickly stepped forward with a curiosity that indicated something was ready to occur. Gracie soon joined him at the back of the corral facing the human, while both hanging their heads over the fence. Just on the other side of the bridge, stood AJ, a stately thoroughbred, who was quite vocal in his calling to the human. The man literally stood on the bridge and expressed that he did not know which side was calling to him more, Gracie and Nuki, or AJ, and therefore, did not know in which direction to turn.

Bridge Area
Bridge Area

As I stood at a distance observing the horses’ behavior, I received a download of information that suggested the posturing of the man seemed to be a clear gateway stance between heaven and earth. As a result, I encouraged the man to take his time in sensing what was occurring in his body and to trust his heart in deciding what wants to happen next. His tears then flowed as he said, “I MUST be with AJ right now. He has something important to show me.”


We then entered AJ’s paddock and I witnessed a most remarkable exchange between AJ and this man. AJ immediately approached and nuzzled him with great vigor as if he recognized him from somewhere. The two were eagerly greeting each other and the client reached in to hug AJ, who allowed it for a minute, then abruptly disengaged and walked away. At this moment, the client burst into tears claiming, “That is HER; she is HERE! He is showing me that! She never liked me to hug her for more than a moment. She only liked brief amounts of touch.” I stood, I watched, I listened, fascinated to see what would happen next. Once the client received the message, AJ then decided to roll and then shook it all off when he stood, as he continued to lick and chew (a sign of release in horses.) He then came back over to the client as I heard Gracie and Nuki beginning to nicker where they once so silently stood to watch, never averting their gaze from what AJ and the man were doing.


The man realized that his loved one had not left him as he had thought. “That was DEFINITELY her! I know it!” I also know I have to leave now to go back to my life, as he pointed to Gracie and Nuki. Those two are still on earth and I have to continue loving them and allowing them to love me.” He thanked AJ for showing him what is real and apologized out loud for doubting that connection remains even when physical form leaves.



The client then left AJ and hurried down the walkway to join Nuki and Gracie, as they waited to meet him at the gate. When he entered, both horses lovingly circled him, and once again, he was unsure which horse to turn to first. I suggested that he might want to stay in the middle and soak up all the love coming toward him from all angles, left, right, front, back and above. He agreed and they all spent the remaining time together in a silent group huddle with audible tears emanating from the man.

Mystical team healings of grief, nothing I ever could have thought of in my wildest dreams. Demonstrated evidence of self care among the herd, as they parceled out the healing, so that no one horse did too much, and/or perhaps their collective wisdom that messages from several of them might be more convincing to the human than just one of them? Invaluable lessons here: to remain open to the mystery, the importance of having a community/tribe upon which we can rely for shared responsibility/support, and a reminder that while death is a loss of physical form, the essence of those we love, lives on in spirit form.

***Note: All client identifiers have been changed to protect anonymity and confidentiality.

May 17 2017 04:39PM by Sandra Sell-Lee

Thank you SO MUCH for chronicling this session. Your observations are especially meaningful to me at this time, as I am engaged in once again sadness (Master of Sadness), (Depression) as ingenious stagnation, (The False Self) discovery of what is old and ready for release, (Believe) trusting the unknown and unformed, (Promise) giving birth to new sense of myself, and the final prompting from the horse ancestors, (Close to Shore) where the mare sees both sides and is at a crossroads of old age, when I am called to share hard-won wisdom and surrender to a higher will. (Horse cards pulled yesterday affirming my decision to intentionally enter the Akashic Records!)

For now, I do not know the WHY of the significance, only the hit I got. The mystery will unfold in the right time.

Blessings on you and your your individual Herd each are a profound gift to our planet.
With a deep bow,
And much love,

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