HOLISTIC ESSENCE 2014  © Beth Sabor E-mail:  bkmassage1@yahoo.com Phone: 847-366-0087

Boudewijn:  An Equine Journey of Healing


When I am asked to talk about my healing work with animals, every story is a reminder of how animals help us grow and move forward on our path. In some way, I have witnessed a healing experience with every animal encounter. I suppose animals just have that effect on us. The story of my friend, Boudewijn speaks well to this truth.


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One of my life long dreams became a reality in November 2008. There had been a terrible rollover trailer accident and many horses were injured. They had put 59 young draft horses in a double-decker trailer intended for shipping livestock. Freak accident, trailer rolled over, and horses died. Despite the horrific nature of this incident, a magnificent blessing came into my life in the form of a 4 month old Belgian draft horse. The stars aligned and my world changedforever when I heard that the horses had been turned over to HARPS, The Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society, and I had been approved to adopt!


My first wake up call occurred the day I actually picked him out and adopted him. Boude, short for Boudewijn (Dutch for “brave friend”) had never been handled. I, Beth (short for “naïve”) had never owned a horse. While I had all the experience in the world around horses, I had NO experience with the day-to-day life of ownership. I guess I never realized that someone actually had to train the horses; they don’t just come that way! It took two adults to convince Boude he should follow us into a round pen after about 3 hours of discussion. It took about a week for him to stand still in the presence of human beings. And it took about 3 weeks for him to trust that we really did want to be his friend. I promised Boude from the start that I was going to help him find his path. I was going to offer everything I had and trust that he would know what to do with it.


I remember the moment he first looked directly in my eyes. He hadn’t completely accepted me, and I had yet to touch him. I wanted contact to be on his terms and with free will.


I incorporated the use of essential oils, distance energy work, and good old-fashioned love. Every time I was with him, I sent the message that I wanted nothing from him; I simply wanted him to trust me. I would not force him into something he didn’t want to do. His presence was a dream come true for me, and I was blessed to be a part of his second chance at life.


One day I had just finished my daily routine of cleaning his round pen and throwing hay. Having placed a few carrots and apples in his feed bin, I was sending messages of love while drawing my own energies in. I told him that I loved him even if he didn’t want to be my friend yet.


He stopped munching his hay and looked at me with a simple measure of acknowledgement… a first step. I knew my journey with him was going to involve patience. Every day I continued to see improvements as he accepted the healing work. Once he took the first step towards trusting me, our hearts softened and we became synchronized on our journey together. Daily, he would tell me how he felt and what he needed. Some days he was sore from the accident and just wanted warm energy. Some days his head hurt and we would hold space for craniosacral shifts to occur. Every shift was an opportunity for continued healing.


I look back on our journey together, which seemed like forever, but in reality has been only two years. We made it through strangles and facial warts with essential oil blends of Exodus II, Melrose and Thieves. We conquered contracted tendons with massage therapy, craniosacral therapy for trauma release, and daily energy therapy for general well-being.

It took about 18 months for him to find a healthy state of being. But rather than rush, we simply created a space for the body, mind and spirit to find acceptance, balance, and harmony. It’s no wonder he whinnies every morning to say hello! I am his personal holistic pharmacy! More importantly, I am his trusted friend.


We don’t help to heal each other; rather we help each other to heal. When I reflect back on the accident and the emotions, Boude simply says, “The past is in the past and that’s where we will leave it. It doesn’t serve us to live in the past.” In the present, Boude is a happy, healthy gentle giant (17.3 hands, 1800 pounds) with a clear vision of fulfilling his life’s purpose.


Boude entered this world and thankfully we were brought together. I am blessed to offer these wonderful healing modalities and witness firsthand the profound effects it has had on his journey because there is no doubt in my mind about the effects it has had on mine.


Beth Sabor, LMT, RM, CESMT, HHP, RYT  is a licensed massage therapist incorporating craniosacral therapy, energy balancing, animal communication, and more to deepen our connection with animals and our selves.