My Story

What my horses taught me …


By Trish Andros Carlo….”dedicated to the little girl in every woman who always wanted a horse or her own…”


Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
– Psalm 37:4


As a child I was timid and shy and scared of being with people. At school I had few friends and was the brunt of many jokes. At a time when most kids were thin, I was the fattest child in the school. I couldn’t do sports because my co-ordination was terrible, I really couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. Everyone would laugh when I tried to run a relay race because I was miles behind the rest of the class. So I studied and read and became an honor student in of all my courses but that made them bully me more, because I was the ‘browner’, the teacher’s pet. My teenage crushes went unnoticed by boys who only looked at the prettiest girls. So I ate more cakes and cookies to make up for my unhappiness and I hid from people.

Trish & Moonshadow 1974

At the age of fourteen, my life changed. I found a friend who accepted me just the way I was. He didn’t care what I looked like, how fast I could run or how smart I was. He was kind and gentle and gave me his undivided attention. He was tall and golden with a white mane and tail. His name was Moonshadow and he was my first horse. I would spend hours with him each day after school, brushing his silky coat and talking to him about everything that was important to a teenager. When I climbed into the saddle, we became one with each other. As we galloped over the green hills of Canada with the roar of the wind in my hair and the thunder of his pounding hooves, I could feel his strength and his power with each stride. Nothing could stop us, we were flying. We were free.

Over the next few years, we spent every possible moment together. Our communication was completely without words. When I rode him, he would respond to my thoughts before I asked him with my legs. I understood him, and he understood me. It was like we were connected in mind, body and spirit. We spent many hours in the sunshine amongst the birds and the trees either riding for hours over the trails or with me just sitting on the ground reading a book while Moonshadow grazed beside me. His calm, rhythmic munching was a comfort to my soul. There was nothing I couldn’t tell him. He was eager to hear my every secret and story. He would nudge me when I cried and play with me when I laughed. He was truly my best friend.

The lessons Moonshadow taught me would stay with me for a lifetime. He taught me how to conquer my fears as we sailed over four foot jumps. He taught me how to be confident each time we entered the show ring. He taught me how to celebrate when we won our first blue ribbon. He taught me who my real friends were, when the kids at the barn accepted me as part of their team. He taught me about partnership and how to give and take. He taught me to be a good leader because he only followed me when I got it right. He taught me to be responsible as I fed him and cleaned his stall each day. He taught me how to solve problems when I needed to figure something out. He taught me about patience and persistence when I had trouble training him. He taught me about laughter when he would act silly and we played games. He taught me about commitment because I knew I’d keep him forever. He taught me about compassion, when he was sick one cold winter’s night and I stayed with him until the morning. He taught me about weight loss, and that physical exercise helped me get thin. He showed me that I ate less when we stayed busy and had lots of fun. He showed me how to build muscles as I stacked bales of hay into the loft each summer. He taught me that girls could do any job that guys could do as I dug post holes, built fences and drove a backhoe. He taught me how to say NO when I needed to set boundaries. He let me know when I was angry that he didn’t want to be around me. He taught me that jealousy was a wasted emotion and something he never felt.

Moonshadow at 31 years old, Trish & niece in 1993

He taught me to ask for affection as he nudged me when he wanted some loving. He taught me how to make decisions about the rest of my life. He taught me how to pray when he was injured and the vet said the infection may kill him. He taught me how to be thankful when God saved his life. He bolted out of fear one day and as I was falling off his back, he introduced me to my Guardian Angel who put me safely back in the saddle and saved me from a bad fall. Moonshadow taught me about a mother’s unselfish love as she drove me to the stables and waited hours while I rode on a cold snowy day. He taught me about a father’s unending generosity as Dad paid for all of his expenses. Moonshadow taught me to follow my heart because he always followed his. He never judged me or called me names and he taught me I could do anything I put my mind to. He taught me how to work hard and he taught me how to be still. He taught me how to be caring as he became older and in pain with arthritis in his joints. He taught me about honesty because horses NEVER lie. He taught me about integrity and I learned to do what’s right. He taught me not to worry about what others thought of me but to love myself because I was special. He taught me to show what I was feeling because horses are authentic. He taught me how to love unconditionally because he was an expert at forgiveness. He showed me what courage looked like, as he battled disease in his body. And after 39 years of life, with his final lesson, he taught me how to grieve. When I buried Moonshadow on my farm, I was sad for a moment, but in my mind I could see him galloping over the hills once more, and in my heart I knew his spirit would be forever in heaven with Jesus. We’d been partners for 28 years and he taught me how to celebrate life.

When I had left my teenage years behind and those carefree days at the farm became fewer, the lessons Moonshadow had taught me were embedded in my soul and would carry me through my life journey. Those lessons helped me start my own business at the age of 22. As a fashion consultant, I helped others find confidence in themselves. I was able to stand in front of a roomful of people and speak publicly, no longer terrified. When I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship, I knew enough to leave because I’d learned I deserved better. After college, I became the general manager of my father’s manufacturing company, taking control of the company with ease and determination. Although I still owned Moonshadow and a few other horses during my years in business, my heart was missing the connection of our spirits. So after ten years in the daily grind of corporate business, I moved to Ocala, Florida and bought a 125 acre farm. It was a strange country and a town where I knew no one but I thought of it as an adventure. I was soon to find there was another mixture of lessons that I would learn from my four legged friends. From breaking and training young horses to racing thoroughbreds, I operated a 40 horse thoroughbred farm. As I started breeding and foaling mares, the lessons continued. I learned from each age group of horses more and more about communication and the wisdom they could impart to me.

Moonshadow at 38 years of age in 2000

I learned about relationships because horses are the experts on relational harmony. I learned someone would always be in control, but it didn’t always have to be me. I watched foals with their mothers and learned how to discipline. I watched weanlings playing in the pasture and learned how to schedule fun into my day. I watched yearlings grow into adults and start their own careers and how determination and repetition had them winning at their game. I learned about second chances when my racehorse won a race after recovering from an injury that was supposed to be career ending. I learned that as long as I did my best I could accept whatever happened. I learned from my herd of horses how to get along with others and what acceptable behavior looked like. I learned it doesn’t matter what others think of me, but what I think of myself will guide my destiny. I learned I could choose who I wanted to spend time with and who I should walk away from. I learned to be direct and to ask for what I wanted. I learned to find balance in my life because that was the only way to thrive. I learned to be kind to others because we need each other to survive. I learned to hear without words and to look at the heart because it is wiser. I learned to love God’s creation and to spend time in nature every day. I learned that faith isn’t just a word, but the substance of what dreams are made of. I learned that love is a choice as the herd accepted a new member. I learned that peace comes from within as I watched the herd graze at sunset. I thought about the 40 years I’ve spent with my horses and realized they had been my teachers and my coaches.

Finally I knew it was time to follow my passion of helping others learn the lessons of life from horses too. Today I’ve become a Certified Life Coach and Equine Specialist and teamed up with my horses on our beautiful ranch to offer everyone the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of the herd. They taught me that I’m creating my life story by the actions I choose each day. Our coaching programs are for teens, women, couples, families, business teams and leaders.

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