“Midnight Sand: Essay on Horse” by Sonne; August 2006

Publicly viewable essays on prey animal therianthropy seem rather rare, from what I’ve discovered, yet it’s a shame to not see such experiences expressed more often, and though feline and canine experience-writings I still find wonderful to read, there’s also a vast amount of many other animal-type experiences beyond that. I have come across typical questions for those therians who have both a predator *and* prey theriotype, including people wondering if it’s “more difficult” or such similar things to live that way. I can just speak for my own self, and the answer is that it isn’t more ‘difficult’, it’s not as though I have some ongoing battle for food and survival going on in my head between my theriotypes, yet some people seem to imply or even bluntly state that’s what they’d expect to be happening; I can only look at them in my own confusion of that idea, though I can also somewhat understand why they might think it would always or often be like that scenario. No, neither my feline or canine sides are interested in making a ‘meal’ of my horse side, they are all integral parts of me (to some significant extent), and how those sides come into play in my life and self has little to do with their “food chain status”, although instinctual level (thusly resultant in part by their statuses in the food chain, evolutionarily) does play a more noticeable part, but there isn’t a blatant battle or such things between them based on that. Personally, to me, it sounds about as silly as saying that my human self has the relationship with my horse self of, in my mind’s eye, “going around riding, feeding, caring for, etc. the horse”, or saying that my canid self should be greatly afraid of my human self in order to protect its life and better ensure it’s survival. Whatever and however many theriotypes/animal aspects I have (as in the possibility of my discoveries so far being inaccurate), they aren’t so separate that they can’t “get along” with each other, and any so-called “battling” that goes on between them comes from my human mind either rationalizing those aspects of me or trying to keep them pushed back in order to function better or more appropriately at some given time in my, obviously, human life. To be honest, me as my human mind, before recognizing my therianthropy as such, would force my theriosides in uncomfortable, painful, and other such negative states and ‘conditions’ in order for me to supposedly live a more “balanced” human life, and that’s proven to be a mistake on my behalf. I don’t have to deny or shut away those aspects of me to the extent I did, and because they are me, any inappropriate desires, shifts, and so forth that may come up at a bad time, I can find some way to keep them under control instead of trying to manage them in ways I did before, which sometimes could make matters worse later on during those times; I’ve learned to accept, enjoy, manage, and embrace them to allow me to live more balanced overall.

Horse isn’t my only therioside, therefore figuring out and even putting into words where she begins and ends is actually rather futile to attempt, so instead I focus on figuring out and describing what I can about her, rather than try to squeeze that part of myself into a perfect, pretty box where everything fits in it with no flaws, no blending, no overlaps. Like all of my theriosides, Horse encompasses various aspects of my overall self which include things that could be seen as “human”, but that I don’t view as exclusive to humans, and that she manifests in me in some ways that aren’t so much just ‘human’ and are notably horse-like instead; beyond that is understanding and feelings, ones which I may never be able to describe. Unlike my feline and canine sides, Horse doesn’t usually relate the concept of humans being “other horses” or complete strangers being the unfamiliar-to-me members of ‘the herd’, because Horse views humans as just that, humans, not horses, and that horses, to her, are just that…horses. Seems like a simple (in which it is) and understandable concept, yet as I mentioned, my canine mindset, human mindset, and to a lesser extent my feline mindset, don’t tend to function that way (take, for example, the human tendency of “anthropomorphizing” so many animals and us trying to view them, also, as humans, to varying extents). Horse knows that she’s a horse, and because of the higher instinct level, and less complexity of the mindset, I think that’s transferred over to my conscious human understanding better than my other theriotypes. She knows she belongs amongst other horses, she knows well what life as a horse was like (in a past life) for her and instinctually how she feels life as a horse typically *should* be, as in, out in the wild, even though it’s certainly more dangerous.

However, I tend to automatically keep my horse side in check more than the other two because her prey animal instincts have a higher potential of causing impracticalities and problems in my life if I don’t keep a particular balance between human and horse. It’s, of course, not to say I don’t have shifts, for good or bad, to Horse, or have general times when I feel more horse-like, but instead it’s more along the lines of me keeping the strong, very instinctual aspects of the mindset blended or overlapped by human, feline, or canine aspects, otherwise I could potentially end up in rather stressful and mentally or emotionally harmful situations. Living the human life of mine with such an anxious, always on edge, watching out for danger almost constantly, and also focusing so much on consuming food while still watching for threats, just would be a horrendous life for me and my human mind, nor is this modern human life cut out for that; and add on the part where I would be in such distress over the fact that my body is so “wrong” and that I wouldn’t be able to flee appropriately to safety, among other physical problems. Just because I don’t allow my horse self full or even mostly full reign doesn’t mean I’m not accepting and even embracing that part of myself, because in actuality, I’d likely be much worse off if I did allow it full/partially full reign.

Through Body:

What do I actually *feel* as Horse? That involves a very extensive answer, and I won’t be able to go into it in full depth and extent here, but I shall cover many notable, major, and even some not so major, parts of that. I’ve come to know Horse as wearing the desert sand on her body with legs, mane, and tail dipped in the black of midnight, as a strip of that ebony runs down her back; and yet, I don’t visualize her as this, not in any conscious or dream state, I just simply understand myself, in part, as being this through my searches. That means she is a, sand and black, buckskin coloration, though her mindset is the part of her that manifests itself in my life now, not her coloration, but I do find the knowledge of the colors a nice addition to my overall knowledge of that part of myself. Her face is adorned with split forelocks, divided so there are two parts, one hanging on each side and at times partially over the eyes, and the remaining mane is straight and usually well groomed—these are parts and preferences of my human body that reflect, in part, mild aspects of Horse. My neck, as with my other theriosides and the avian manifestings I get, it is held and feels differently than it should as a human neck, as though it should be longer, held at a different angle, and my vertebrae connecting to my skull at the back, rather than the bottom. So I often times hold my neck in strange positions that, during those times, feel more comfortable and ‘appropriate’ in reflection of Horse, or whatever animal side/aspect is in the current forefront. I toss my head at times, which is also sometimes accompanied by a brief ‘snort’ outwards, and/or a pawing hoof being gently pressed onto the ground. My human legs can sometimes be horse hindlegs, as they can also be, more often, my horse forelegs, as I use them to paw at or stamp the ground, or to impulsively push into a gallop beginning with one foreleg [human leg] stamping forward and down with the other following accordingly. I suppose the knee joint and vertical size proportions of my body assist in giving me a more ‘accurate’ seeming body to correlate to the phantom shift of the front of a horse body and the movements that result from such shifts.

I find myself having a preference for somewhat heavy, thick platform shoes, because I feel a sort of reflection of them being like “hooves” to me, since I don’t feel phantom hooves well, and thus the shoes tend to provoke that feeling for me sometimes. It feels, in a sense, comforting and appropriate to have that kind of weight on the end of my legs, even though it happens to be present on my entire foot, rather than just the toes, but it still translates as ‘correct’ to me, although these hoof sensations aren’t actually common in comparison to the amount of time and how often I wear shoes. My other theriosides, Cat and Canid, and even my avian aspects, much prefer for me to be barefoot, when my feet are lightweight, and my toes can splay out and move and bend in more comfortable positions; but not with Horse. Those kind of feelings, of toes, are a foreign idea to Horse, and for good reason, and the heavy sole of a platform shoe, with heel elevated, and toe-area covered and rounded, is about the closest as I can comfortably get to feeling like my feet are hooves, because the phantom shifts without the shoes just don’t seem to identify the feeling of hooves, which is actually understandable giving that I wouldn’t expect them to be “felt” like soft tissue is anymore than a fingernail or hair is. However, it is the weight, the sensation of having that hoof and how it is shaped, that really gives me the ‘memory-like’ sensations of hooves—an important aspect to horses.

Legs and the Gift of their Movement:

Horse has a lot of emphasis, actually, on her legs and movement with them, be it walking, galloping, running, or just playfully kicking them up in the air; legs are an essential attribute to horses, and not being able to use them is a true tragedy. And obviously, I don’t have any physical horse legs to use, so I must find ways to suffice with my own body, legs and arms, and the phantom sensations I get of horse legs and chest muscles. There are various ways that I can satiate or end up provoking that emphasis and those desires pertaining to leg movement as a horse, and sometimes it ends up being a more negative thing to do. Walking is a strong one that comes to mind, and when I actually had a regular walking regimen each week, there would be times when Horse would come to the fore and I was left, while still continuing my walking, feeling like I should just burst out into a run, instead of holding myself back with my brisk, yet so slow, human walking. My walking regimens can induce strong phantom shifts and a level of mental shift as I have that strong desire to burst out running. I feel and so deeply desire to just let go, to let my body run as I think it should at those times, and the sensations of powerful horse chest muscles appear in my chest, like I can feel that mass amount of potential strength and power built up in them, just waiting to be let out in a burst and the resulting run. But, of course, it doesn’t happen because it can’t, and thus I just keep walking, trying to stray my focus away from it until it goes away, but before it leaves I enter some sense of a state of confusion, per se, that in a somewhat horse mindset at the time, leaves me almost panicking on some level as I try to figure out why I can’t run. And although my human mind knows it’s because I’m in a human body, and thus I don’t have four legs to run on, there’s the partially blended-in horse mindset that something else is holding me back, like being restrained by something or someone, and to a horse that can be terrifying, and it screams of danger. It’s not, though, that I feel it to that extent, and therefore I don’t go into some full on panic or phobic state, instead it’s blended into me but not on a full level; I’m still in a mostly human mindset at the time, but I also have the horse mindset going on at the same time and I understand what it is like. It can feel rather bad while I’m going through it, but luckily it is a short-lived feeling overall, and the human mind wins with a calming thought and focus on continuing my walking; as also, sometimes I wonder if my memories of it are actually “amplified” compared to how it feels at the given time it is taking place, yet I haven’t felt it actively in a year, so I can’t know for sure right now.

Another time that emphasizes the legs and travel is when I perform “burdened walking”, which is when I either walk for a long time and become sore and tired from it, but need to keep going, or when I am carrying weight on me (such as a heavy backpack at college, among other things), whether on flat land or up an incline. Horse comes to the forefront to keep me walking, even when I feel too sore or tired to keep walking, but it being a scenario when I need to keep going, for whatever reason, so it allows me extra determination and perseverance, as I can feel and see myself pushing on, step after step, as a horse. And when carrying something heavy, especially on my back or pulling something heavy, Horse strongly kicks in, particularly with the determination and perseverance (a simplified way of putting it), and again, I can feel and see myself pushing onwards, usually snorting and tossing my head (in my mind’s eye if there are people around, but physically if no one else is around), pressing my hooves firmly into the ground and using my forelegs to push me forward. I suppose, it feels somewhat appropriate in some way, even though I don’t like having to do that burdened task, I know I need to and it seems more tolerable and understandable with Horse in the fore.

Horse also has an aspect of playfulness to her, which may also come from some blending with my canine aspects, though I’m not yet sure at this time. Nonetheless, I find that I get into mild shifts, possibly mental, sometimes when outside roaming around on the grass, usually with my dogs. My neck arches forward, head tosses in a more playful fashion, and I thrust myself gently off of the ground, swinging one foreleg in front of the other, as the first slides onto the ground, followed by the other, in an almost ‘dancing’, light-footed style, as I show my playfulness to the world around me, or to one of my dogs who is standing or walking beside me with the urge to play on its mind, also. It’s a joyous and wonderful part of myself as Horse that I wish I gave myself the opportunity to feel more often, but even when I do provide myself the opportunity, Horse isn’t always the one who shows it, or the playfulness in a more “human” manner ends up in the focus.

Music is also a wonderful way for me to embrace and satisfy some of my animal desires, including horse-based, and I can recall doing it since at least early middle school, if not before then. Back then, it used to mainly be me visualizing a horse outside the bus or car I was in, as it was running beside where I sat, in rhythm with the music from my CD player, and I imagined feeling myself running in its place, with legs (mainly forelegs) striding forward over and over in the running motion. Later on, the music visualizations became more creative, taking on almost entire ‘storylines’ for the duration of the song, and there was always a first person aspect to it when I felt like the main animal, feeling it’s actions within myself (I don’t have dream shifts, so I guess things like this would suffice for the creative parts of myself in conjunction with my theriosides, totem, and on rarer occasions, other animals or human characters), as I also viewed the main animal (that I was) from a third person perspective in many parts of the visuals. I don’t take these music-visuals as being “evidence” of any of my theriotypes, in and of themselves, but I feel they were a form of expression of my inner self, even if in a highly imaginative or creative way, and they allowed me a conscious chance to ‘live out’ actions as the animals of my theriotypes (or similar animals), in ways that I couldn’t do otherwise. And thus they have been enjoyable and comforting for me to have and experience, even though their vividness and occurrences have greatly reduced over the past couple of years. The horse ones were among my favorites, and even now I still have certain songs, depending on their beat and rhythm, that I attribute as being “horse songs” for me, so to speak, because even though the visuals are little to none, I still get the wonderful feeling of having horse legs that are running, jumping, and so forth. My legs step, one after the other in their own rhythm that matches the rhythm I think of in the particular song. Rammstein’s “Spieluhr” and E nomine’s “Die Schwarzen Reiter” [“The Black Rider”] were two of my most vivid horse-based visual “stories” from a few years ago, and I still remember key parts of them, how they played out, and the motions of me as the horse with the rider on my back, but unfortunately they don’t play back in as vivid and flowing of a manner anymore as they used to when I listen to the songs now. Yet, they still allow me some sense of freedom, and they continue to bring out the horse within me, especially every time I hear the horse neighing on “Die Schwarzen Reiter” because I find myself neighing right with it, in my own mind, as though I’m the one making the real horse vocals.

Herds Amongst the Grasslands:

There are preferences I have regarding the type of land I want to be on—those being open land, whether flat or even some soft rolling hills with some flat land mixed in, like vast fields or pastures, yet also with a lining forest. Some of those preferences may be attributed to Horse, as also to other things, but I do know as Horse, I desire to have vast open space in which to run, not closed in forest, although non-dense forest with much open space could be decent, but even then, I’d rather have more open spaces around me where I can run freely, with other horses in a herd, and not worry about having to dodge so many trees and obstacles. As also, mountains, especially steep ones, are far from my preference and at the least, Horse would rather be found in an open, fairly clear valley if needed to be within mountains. I don’t want to be cooped up in a forest, dense or not, I don’t want to be limited to a small corral, I don’t want to be trapped by steep mountains; I want to run freely, amongst other horses in open pastures, plains, fields, places like those. I belong in a forest-lined grassland with my herd, my kin.

The herd-instinct does thrive within me, although it gets mostly overshadowed and drown-out by my other theriosides and human self. My herd, for the most part, is other horses, not humans, as I have mentioned earlier. There are times in which I can treat other people, or rather strangers, like a “herd”, which are still rare times because the situations under which I would do so rarely arise. Cat also has tactics for keeping safe from potential threats and predators, which usually involves techniques of hiding behind objects, keeping a distance from other people, and staying very still when a person or car passes by, and those are the main tactics I use, and thusly because Cat ensures a “safer situation” many times, there is not need for Horse to jump into instinct mode of *needing* to be in a herd. Likely, I was with few, if any, other horses while I was owned in a past life as a horse, I really do not know and honestly don’t have an interest in knowing more confidently, yet point being that tamed horses can and do adjust to living in situations where there are either no, to only a few horses, although it is generally better for them to be with at least one other horse. They can also view humans as their “herd leaders” or other members of their herd, and maybe I do that to an extent with my family and friends without realizing it, but it’s difficult to say because I see those bonds as being more strongly attributed to my human self and Canid, though there is likely some attribution to Horse. Yet, I can understand how I could be content enough socially and in regards to staying “safe” (from an instinctual animal perspective), when in situations when I have gone the feline route of just keeping my distance and being more isolated, although I still don’t prefer to be entirely to myself in public places, but I can manage fine (Horse just automatically isn’t in the forefront at the time), and I prefer to be with either a family member, friend, or acquaintance. I have a tendency to mainly have acquaintances and few if any friends at a given point in my life, at least since high school, and this scenario includes online socialization. Whether this is another form of interacting with people through a “herd-perspective”, I don’t yet know, but I think it could have some viable attribution to that, even if just in small part.

An important scenario I have noted, though, is that I don’t view people as my herd in the typical sense that many people would think a herd animal would do—as in, I should be a highly social, even highly outgoing person who loves to be in crowds of people, which is pretty much the opposite of me in actuality, although I must take into account Cat, Canid, and myself as human. If I’m in public, particularly at an unfamiliar place or event, that includes a large crowd of people that are all or mostly all strangers, I may take position inside of the crowd, instead of directly or notably outside of it. I am also likely to hang around the edge of the crowd, but still within it, where I can remain more aware of what’s going on outside of the crowd, yet with the benefit of not being pointed out so easily with me being away from the open, exposed area. If I so choose, depending on the situations, I can fall into a crowd of people and reduce how much attention I bring to myself, but feel I still need to remain aware of the area beyond the crowd because I am not the type that is trusting enough of the crowd to keep me protected if “danger” should arise—I want to make sure I’m aware of the instance myself, instead of just allowing on purely the reaction of other people (though the latter does happen sometimes). I can also more easily fall into being inside of a crowd if I have at least one other person I know as a family member, friend, or acquaintance, instead of them all being strangers. Yet this is never to say anymore that I’m interested in “following the crowd” when it comes to my own personal individuality, especially in how I dress, which is actually noticeable among the massive amount of drab same-style clothes around me, and yet the thought of me actually appearing so different rarely registers in my head during those times when I am actually within the crowd—although when I’m outside of it, I tend to be more aware that I am too noticeably different and can be spotted easily, and then it can help to have a few friends or acquaintances with me to lessen that background thought. Horse doesn’t bother thinking about appearing so physically different compared to the other people in a crowd, she only needs them for taking shelter, to reduce her chances of being targeted, like Cat hiding behind a tree or other object, except I can hide amongst other people, even if I look different in “coloration” (as in clothes and accessories) from most of them; for me, being within a crowd like that is for benefit that I feel I wouldn’t get if I went Cat’s route of being on the outside, rather than it being for a socialization technique.

Ever since I was a child, I recall having a profound connection to horses running, and at least since my middle schools years, if not before then, I have felt the need or strong desire to run with horses when I see them running on TV or movies. I haven’t had the opportunity to see a herd of horses, even a small herd, run in person, rather than just on film or TV. I do carry a desire to be amongst horses at times, though I have managed to adapt myself throughout my life to the fact that I don’t and have not had the opportunity to see them much in person. Yet, when I get the chance to see one or more horses, albeit on film, burst into flight (running), I get notable phantom shifts and the strong urge to run with them because in the mind of a horse, if your herd takes off running, you better do so, too, and to not run with them could put you in danger of being caught by a predator, as also separate you from the herd. It seems those times allow my horse instincts of “flight” to kick in, although I manage to keep them in check with my human mindset. For years, I have wanted to eventually see mustangs running free in the wild, and though I may, at some point, go to see mustangs, I have realized that I’m unlikely to actually see them run, yet if I could, it would be an amazing event for me to witness. However, with that realization, I also questioned why I wanted so much to see them specifically run, and discovered that it’s actually my human preference, as has been translated from the many years of me reacting to horses running on film, without me knowing consciously why I actually reacted that way. I only understood the deep desire, and that it brought out my horse side, so I believe I became attached to that kind of experience through means of feeling the need and desire to see horses running, in person, in my casual thoughts without Horse in the forefront. Simply, a herd in flight brings out my horse instincts to also take flight (even though I hold back on physically doing so), rather than wanting to see horses running for the sake of seeing them run, and through the misunderstanding of my conscious human mind, I managed to translate my horse-instinct reactions into a personal preference of longing to view horses in that particular action, beyond just seeing them at all.

Emotions and Instincts:

Most of my experiences as horse are either neutral or positive, and I love having the opportunity to describe them, however, like much of anything, there are negatives and drawbacks for me to having a horse side. I don’t particularly like talking about them when I’m not experiencing them, anymore than I like talking about being in a depressed mood when I am not in one. Horse is, understandably, an edgy, anxious, and fearful creature, and sometimes I just can’t get around those fully, though I fortunately have enough understanding and control of myself to keep those times more balanced out and tolerable, without me acting on them physically or too much overall. I fail to find the words to describe those experiences well, yet some of the times, such as when I’m in public or at college, where I am keeping to myself at the time, those negative aspects and instincts, those emotions, may kick in, yet I do not usually feel them on all conscious levels, but it’s more like a profound “background noise” with my human mindset choosing to keep my overall emotions and thoughts more balanced by essentially remaining the more prominent and voluminous “sound”. The emotions are there, but I do not feel them entirely in my consciousness, which could be mildly similar to holding back depressive or sad emotions from others while appearing content or happy to those around you (and maybe feeling as such in some small level), when at least part of your mind knows you are experiencing negative emotions, also, just not expressing them outwards.

Horse “embodies” in part my anxiety, some of my fears, and some edginess, though I do not always feel or can realize those emotions/feelings are attributed to Horse, whether they are or aren’t. There’s little, if anything (other than phantom shifts) I experience regarding my theriosides that would seem to make me on some level “non-human”, per se, but instead my theriosides embody and are active aspects of me, consciously and subconsciously, and through those aspects I may tend to experience them in a way profoundly more similar to that of a particular animal (one of my theriotypes), rather than in a “human” way; and this includes taking on a more animal mindset sometimes, but it’s never entirely separate from my whole self (because it is part of it), which includes my human self. Therefore, parts of my anxiety, for example, may tend to manifest through Horse at a certain time, rather than entirely through my human mindset. I can get strange times, though luckily rare, in which that background-noise of anxiety manifests in a horse-like way, and I can understand and feel how it is more instinctual, and how it has the essence of “prey mind” within it. I know the predator mind, I know the human mind, and I know the prey mind just as well, all in regards to how I experience them and my understanding of which is which.

Thinking about these negative emotions of Horse tends to remind me of a symbolic image I would get numerous times throughout my years in high school, and it was always one that would strike me deeply during its occurrence, although it was always only a few seconds, and the image is still burned into my mind, just without the emotions and feeling attached to it actively. The image was of a dark area with a horse halfway or more submerged (its hind-half) in a tar-like liquid while trying to pull itself out with its forelegs only partially pulled out, and its head slung up and partially to the side, whinnying desperately with eyes almost rolling back from the terror—it was not an image I ever liked, especially on the account that I experienced the emotions along with it that the horse in the image felt. That image had a sense of pure helplessness, fear, and terror to it, even though I wasn’t actually experiencing those emotions consciously at the time, aside from the brief seconds in which the image lasted. Yet at the time I typically felt some level of anxiety, a low volume but still noticeable level, and I would desire at that time to break from the casual situation I was in, usually of being “trapped” in a classroom restricted to my desk, when I wanted to be out of the room, free to move around and be where I wanted, and especially to have the freedom to move and run as a horse. I know I can’t fulfill those desires, and I know not to attempt to act on them, so I have to try to overshadow them, push them back, or use some similar means to keep them in check. However, allowing myself to freely, to a comfortable extent, live as Horse on a daily basis, allows me to feel and be more balanced out and reduces the amount of the events in which I would have to reject, deny, or push away my equine instincts and desires.

My “stable” is a wonderful place for me to comfortably allow myself to be Horse. I have come to realize that I view my home’s property, my house, and especially my bedroom, as my stable and pasture near my stable. There is no place I have ever felt more comfortable, and felt more allowance to just be myself, human aspects and especially animal aspects. I can and do manage outside of my property (besides, I’m not *only* a horse), but when doing so I tend to prefer being in places familiar to me, such as cities/parts of cities, stores, schools, and so forth where I have been multiple times. I prefer to be with another person I know, even if just as an acquaintance, when I am in a new, unfamiliar location, until I am there long enough or go to it enough times to become acquainted with the area. I had a bad experience with this last year when I started college, before which I had taken off a year after graduating high school in order to stay at home for a year. Fortunately, the college was a community college, though a place I had never been to and did not know anyone there, but at least I had the opportunity to return home to my stable. But, the unfortunate part is it took me about a month to get accustomed to the new surroundings and schedule (back in the limiting ways of sitting at desks in classrooms), and Horse was my primary therioside during that month. I recall the screams and whinnies of fear and anxiety, of wanting to get out of the unfamiliar surroundings and return to where I knew I could feel safe and free, to my stable where I could be myself and not have to show myself as “purely human” all of time (yet, it’s not as though I even felt negative about being at the school most of the time). It was a long transition stage, and it took some strong will to not give into my own desires sometimes to just neigh out loud and express how I felt, through equine words, but I made it through it well and I am accustomed to that college now, though because there are so many strangers there, and that I don’t personally know anyone there, even as acquaintances, I tend to allow Cat to take over in the “staying safe” actions. However, I have yet to experience what it will be like when I move out on my own, when I transfer to another college and live on my own, likely in an apartment by myself (no moderately large house, no fields and pastures) with one of my cats. The changes will be great and hard to adjust to, but I know I can manage and as I understand myself more, including my theriosides, the better I am at balancing my behavior, thoughts, and emotions.

Connections and Discoveries:

During my searches for better confirmation on Horse and some specifics pertaining to her, I pondered about whether I was a type of mustang, and even wanted that to be the answer. Yet, as the introspection continued, I came across the realization that the “wildness”, the desire to run and live freely, amongst other horses (likely in the wild), is probably not attributed to living a life as, or being, a mustang. Granted, I still find it a possibility that I may never actually know confidently, that I may have been a mustang but taken from the wild. However, from what I have discovered, I believe I was at least a “tamed” horse for all or most of my life as a horse. I understand and know the familiarity of a number of things related to being a tamed horse that was ridden, taken care of, lived in and out of a stable, and so forth. I can’t actually feel reigns, a saddle, or a harness or such things on me, but my body will have times when it reacts to certain scenarios and stimuli as though I’m experiencing something like that, although most particularly the reigns. As I know the feeling of having my head, led by my snout, being drawn back closer to my neck, when slowing down abruptly in a car (or feeling the driver should slow down), yet it oddly seems more closely related to “reigns”, in some sense, beyond my conscious understanding of why; it, and other similar experiences I have to that are not well within words for me yet, and I still struggle to explain them as I want to and as I understand them, yet I hope to eventually describe them. The simplest way I can explain this subject is that I continue to investigate at times and remain open to possibilities regarding whether I was “tamed” or not, and what impact that has on my life now, because I do not, nor desire to, have visual past life memories pertaining to my life as a horse or any other animal (theriotype or not).

I don’t recall ever desiring to own a horse, as a “pet”, and the idea of ever riding a horse has remained strange and foreign to me, to the extent that I haven’t, in my memory, desired in seriousness to ride one but to instead be able to run as one. That is, until this year, when the realization hit me that even though the thought of it is awkward and seemingly unsatisfying for me to actually ride a horse, I have decided that I would like to hopefully give myself the opportunity to ride one at some point later in my life. It’s the closest I will be able to get to physically moving as a horse, and it’s an opportunity that likely few types of therians could fulfill in such a way (to physically move or run with the animal, as though you are joined with it in part), beyond the astral realm, dreams, or meditations, although those can be just as efficient if not more so, yet I do none of those regarding my theriosides. Whether I ever actually ride a horse or not, and whatever the experience would be like, I can at least carry on through my life feeling and being a horse in part.

Even though I have felt myself as Horse for so many years—since I was a child—I nevertheless found it best to give myself better confirmation that I have a horse therioside. Yet, it was never anything I’ve had to look into as extensively as Cat or Canid, or even the avian aspects, in order to confirm it’s what I originally believed; instead it came easily, with simplicity and without the daunting task and the failures and dishonesty. Sure, there maybe some specifics I have wrong, but so much of it I have been reassured of, time and again. Horse does not have the complexity of Cat or Canid, and she is more instinctual than them, and for me, those equine aspects, thoughts, instincts, and so forth, translate so much easier into words, into writing, and I can identify them confidently as being of horse origin. Upon my searching for better reassurance of a horse therioside, I read a section called “The Mind of the Horse” in a version of the Encyclopedia of the Horse, and the confirmation grew as I read on in that. I understood, first hand, what it described, not all aspects, but the key, deep aspects, and it resonated with me. I have never owned a horse in my life, nor ridden one, or even been around one for more than a few minutes, so I haven’t had much from that perspective to go off of in realizing what a horse is really like, in mind, beyond the little I get from TV documentaries, yet I know being able to observe a person’s therioside’s species in person or up close is not necessary for them to discover or confirm that is what they are. Horse seems much more “unmistakable” than Cat, Canid, or even Avian, and maybe that is because of that simplistic and more instinctual mindset. My deep, extensive discoveries pertaining to Horse haven’t come from struggling to narrow down what she is, but rather the myriad of ways in which I experience being horse, especially in conjunction with being human, as also how I experience Horse in conjunction with my other theriosides. This, however, does not make Horse “more true” than Cat or Canid, it’s just I have more effort and time to put forth into figuring them out more, but that doesn’t stop me from also knowing how I experience them, even if I can’t yet sort those experiences out as well as I have with Horse; eventually, though, I will be able to do that.

Beyond my direct experiences as Horse, there are connections, particularly spiritually, to me that have a strong basis in my horse side. Each of my theriosides, plus the avian aspects or Crow, have a particular Element (water, air, fire, earth) that is drawn to them, individually, although these Elements do not encompass, nor define even close to the entirety of each therioside. Instead, through the way in which each therioside manifests, in general, certain Element-based energies tend to be drawn toward me and thusly those energies manifest more strongly within my life when the particular therioside is prominent. The Earth Element’s energies are drawn to Horse, most especially the aspect of “grounding”. Horse’s strong emphasis on legs and movement, while staying bound to the ground, seem to have some of the links in Earth being the one connected to Horse, although much of the connection is just simply understood by me without me having words in which to describe it, as of yet.Another strong connection I have is with cervines (deer family) and antelope, which has been present to varying levels since I was a child, yet the bond has become more noticeable and profound within the past year. There have even been times when I have wondered if I actually have a therioside that is cervine or an antelope, but have confirmed further that the ungulate part of me is a horse, as I have believed and known on some level for longer than I have consciously thought of the concept. However, just because I don’t have a therianthropic connection to those types of ungulates, does not mean the bond is not profound, or that it is not noteworthy. I have yet to discover the full depth of this bond, and the possible source of it (as in possibly spirit guides or life totems), yet nevertheless, I am thankful and appreciative of this wonderful connection. The strongest I have felt it before was when I saw an elk for the first time in person, as it was a young bull elk on its own that had come across my property and stayed for about a week. He was a wonderful, and spiritually uplifting, visitor to have, and for weeks after he first arrived, I had elk shifts (phantom shifts mainly, but also others) and numerous times when I felt notably elk-like; though I always knew that it was from Elk being such a powerful spirit guide at the time, rather than from a therianthropic manifestation, but that fact still does not make the experience any less memorable to me. I feel that through Horse, that these connections, to the Earth Element, and to cervines and antelope, are so strong and present, and thusly even though they are not directly therianthropic connections, they have some apparent and valuable basis in me as horse in part.