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Kal and I
Credit: Amy Lizee

I have loved horses ever since I was a little girl. In fact, when I was two years old my aunt put me on my first horse and I fell in love. Over twenty years later, I really am your walking definition of a horse crazy girl so naturally, with Valentine's Day tomorrow, I can't think of a better Valentine than my horse.

Now before you all start thinking I really am horse "crazy" hear me out! I have a feeling many of you will agree with me.

When most people think of Valentine's Day they think of love and soul mates. Well, so do I. The only thing is, I don't believe that they necessarily have to be human.

According to Urban Dictionary, a soulmate is a "person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet -- a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. Your soulmate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them. You are also all that much aware of the beauty in life, because you have been given a great gift and will always be thankful".

Ignoring the "person" part of that definition, allow me to break it down for you.

I met my horse back in September 2011 when I was attending a horse auction with a rescue friend of mine who owns J&M Acres Horse Rescue. Like the auctions before this one, we strolled through the aisles looking at the various horses in the pens; reading their info, giving them a reassuring pet and writing down the numbers of those whom we thought might need saving. As we rounded one of the last corners in that auction yard, my heart caught in my chest. Standing in the pen in the corner with his buddy was my horse. I knew it the moment I saw him, though not entirely sure of what I was feeling. I walked over to his pen and rubbed his nose and I immediately fell in love. Opening the gate, hesitation gone, I stepped into the pen and hugged him.

Now several years later I can still remember the feeling; he stepped back, not quite sure of what I was offering, and then leaned into me too. A brief moment passed before I stepped back and took a really good look at him. He had big strong feet, thick legs and a look on his face that was something of a nightmare. He was so worried; his eyes pointed, lips taught, ears unsure. I told my friend that we just had to rescue him and so, when his turn came in the auction ring, we held up our card and bidded.

Then, just like that, he was mine.

Kal-ElAmy LizeeIt took him several days to settle in to his new home, to adjust to me and I began to become apprehensive. Was this really the right horse for me? There was so much anxiety and hurt in his heart and so much that he would need to overcome.

It didn't take me long to learn that he bucked like a banshee and that he had major anxiety issues about being ridden and was seriously herd bound.

There were lots of moments when I thought that I had made the wrong choice, that we weren't a good fit, but my stubbornness paid off and my horses issues are a long way behind him.

During my journey of healing my horse, my horse healed me. In ways I didn't even know that I was broken. They say that your soulmate is someone who tests you, someone who makes you see things in you that you didn't before and someone who accepts you as you are and makes you better at the same time.

My horse has done all of the above, and more.

In fact, this one horse has taught me more about myself and life than all the people that I have known and met in these twenty-odd years. You might think this is a stretch, but it is the truth. The partnership that I have with an animal who weighs near 1,200 pounds and certainly doesn't have to listen to me or be my friend if he doesn't want to, has shown me things that nothing in my years of people have. The biggest of which is that love is universal.

So, when I say my horse is my soulmate, it isn't because I am some horse crazy female. It is because my horse has taught me more about life, forgiveness, love, trust and friendship than anyone in this world.

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