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Joker aka Joker's Tyree, J, Hay Girlie, Monkey, Sweetness and My BFF was a gray mare given to me by my parents for my 30th birthday. My mom wrapped her registration papers in a shirt box and added a kitchen butter knife to throw me off when I shook it. Joker was 6 months old.

She was the first horse I put under saddle, did ground work with, gave my whole heart to and began my journey of alternative therapies. At 7 years old, a couple of bumps showed up on the left side of her neck. Unknowingly, we had these biopsied only to discover they were melanomas and that by biopsing them would lead to matastasizing. I chose to call them her "love bumps"

We tried Tagamet to no improvement. I was asked if she could be used for experimental drugs. I was told a drug that helps sea turtles in Hawaii would dissolve the tumors, if she lived through the 4 surgeries. I was told to "tie a knot in the end of my rope and hang on" and although that seemed like insensitive advice at the time, it turned out to be some of the best.

Joker's journey led me to complementary/adjunct therapies of Reiki, Essential Oils, CranialSacral Therapy, Acupuncture, Chakra Balancing, Auto-Sanguis Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Gemstones, Crystals, Herbs, Animal Communication, Shamanism, Muscle Testing and Photonic Light Therapy.

Of all of these therapies her favorite was the oils. Frankincense and Lavender for her headaches especially during barometric pressure changes. Eucalyptus when she had trouble breathing. Helichrysum for her aching heart. Sage when her surroundings became intense. Valor on days when she felt she needed an energy body boost. White Angelica for Protection of the Angels. And Bergamot to sooth her whole body. Each day was a muscle test to see what she asked for.

She received chakra balancing Reiki sessions using gemstones and crystals. CranialSacral Therapy to assist in releasing and realigning the bone sutures in her head where the tumors were most visibly located. Acupuncture, Auto-Sanguis Hemotherapy, Homeopathy, Chiropractic and Photonic Light Therapy every 4 months to keep her immune system boosted. And lots and lots and lots of love...and carrots. My favorite of all of these was just being with her, especially lying in the pasture and listening to her graze.

J lived to be 17. It seemed that a colic is what ultimately shut her little body down. I am grateful to have been able to spend the last 3 full around the clock days of her life with her as well as the 17 wonderful years we had together. She was and still is an amazing teacher.

The sprays I have developed are in her honor. She still speaks to me in spirit and the recipe is ultimately hers. I miss her everyday and I am thankful to God that she let me borrow her. If only for a little will be forever to me.

Painting courtesy of Kristi Hays

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