Violet is just about as unique as they come, as she is a BLM branded MULE! Her mother is a wild Mustang mare who was bred in the wild, by a wild burro (donkey) BLM branded “Mustang Mules” do happen, but it is quite rare.
Violet was first adopted by Dr. Laureen Bartfield and when she began letting all her herdmates out of their pastures, her adopter decided Violet might need a ‘job’ to do and asked if I AM HERD would be interested in taking her in. Well, we did and Violet has become quite the amazing traveling Mustang Mule to our Mustang Mentorship & Meditation programs. Violet even traveled with us out west in 2019 for our first I AM HERD Share the Sanctuary National Tour. The children are very drawn to her for her extroverted personality and unique originality. .. and she truly LOVES the kids! She loads herself up in the trailer when it is time to go and races the fenceline if she is ever not included. Violet wants ‘in’ on EVERY I AM HERD outreach program we offer!
Violet is now building her Sponsor Team and is in need of her first Sponsor. Each Sponsorship is a $50 monthly commitment that goes directly to Violet’s care. Or a business can sponsor Voilet In Full for $350 per month, to make up her entire sponsorship team. We are a non-profit and count on public support to care for this herd and offer our Mustang assisted Wellness Programs to those in need. Sponsors receive a professional print on archival paper of your sponsored horse as well as updates from Violet throughout the year!
Read on to learn more about Violet’s story …
(above) Violet was the ‘Cover Girl’ for our 2019 I AM HERD Share the Sanctuary National Tour. She was amazing on the trip and supported many Mustang Mentorship & Meditation programs. I would like to share an exert from a blog post I made on tour. It was about a program Violet helped me offer to individuals from the Coalition Against Rape & Domestic Violence.
below is an exert from May 24th, 2019, Share the Sanctuary Tour Blog Post #3:
“I had tuned into this herd of three as I was setting up our space with empty chairs and portable fencing. I had felt so strongly that Violet the Mustang Mule, was to be the one to really lead this session. You see, Violet has a very solid way about her and a Big message to share. She simply demands that she be respected, especially when it comes to something she fears – like having her ears touched. Now she has come a long long way – but apparently, at some point early in life she must have experienced some sort of trauma around her ears. Either by them being grabbed or by them being hurt from ticks and thus extra sensitive … regardless of what the ‘Story’ was that created this trauma, the reality was that Violet did not want her ears touched. What I discovered with Violet, was that things shifted dramatically for her when I switched our ‘roles’ – instead of me trying to touch her ear with my hand. I invited Violet to touch my hand with her ear. – This created a HUGE shift and Violet’s trust in me grew and grew. – It just felt right to really highlight Violet and her journey in our session.
This was clearly confirmed as I began to speak to the ladies in the group and Violet came up and pressed her head into my chest. – and so we began.
I began to share a bit about Violet and her struggles with her ears, to the group. As I talked, I visually demonstrated how I would hold my hand and Violet would touch my hand with her ear. Violet did this quite beautifully and I realized it would be powerful for the women to see Violet processing through something she was still not sure about – as she has gotten quite solid at touching my hand with her ear now 🙂 … and so I picked up her fly mask. A fly mask is a large shade cloth material that covers her eyes as protection from the sun and bugs – and it has to slip over her ears. Violet has tolerated this mask slipping over her ears, but she is not 100% ok with it. It seemed to be a great opportunity to show this unfolding, as Violet processed through her fears. … Well, I could have never known just what an amazing ‘opportunity’ this would be – because, Violet had something in store that was not in my plan at all … and it really threw me for a loop at first ….
I picked up the fly mask and held it up towards Violet, holding the vision that she would come place her ears to the fly mask (or at least shift towards it) in the same way she now does with my hand. Well, as soon as I picked it up – Violet’s body became rigid and she completely disengaged from me. Walking to the other side of the space, facing directly away from me and proceeded to stay that way. If I walked to her left or her right, she moved so that her head was facing away and simply – would not even look at me! (totally not Violet’s usual M.O. btw!)
Now, you have to understand that all of this is at liberty, no halter, no rope. I was using positive reinforcement and Saying ‘Yes’ to Violet with a Bridge Signal … meaning that I made a ‘sound’ everytime Violet had a thought, or a shift on energy or a behavior that was in the direction of my held intention, after this bridge signal of a sound, I would follow with a ‘positive reward, like a treat that she likes, although as she progresses the positive reward is sometimes just the good feeling that comes from doing the behavior itself …. in this situation I was using food and she was in a space with lush grass, that she was just as happy to eat as my food reward 😉 … thankfully Saying ‘Yes’ with a Bridge signal is not just bribery with food .. because if it was, this would have never worked .. and there for a moment – it seemed not to be working at all ……..
The whole point of this was to really show Violet’s freedom to say no or yes … but I was not expecting such a solid No! … But a solid NO was exactly what I got.
For a moment I had that ‘time stood still’ feeling. Here are 15 women, all eyes on me and Violet, watching, waiting for whatever it is we are going to ‘do‘. I have explained to them that Violet must have a choice and her choice – was now a NO. … and in this current space of Present Moment – there was NOTHING I could do about it!
Within that ‘space’ of simply not knowing ‘What’ I should ‘Do’ next, I had a feeling of need to surrender into the ‘I don’t Know’ and simply allow that to just be held inside of me … and from that space of surrender in the ‘I don’t know’ … it took myself out of that intimidating position of ‘guide’ for these women .. and it placed me in a space with Violet – just she and I …. Now, What would I do if this happened at home? ….. and all of a sudden I could see the clarity, the brilliance in it all.
As Violet stood on the opposite side of the pen, disengaged and shut off from me – I started Saying ‘Yes’ – to Violet … for …. NOTHING. I started Saying YES to Violet for simply BEING VIOLET. … as I did this, I shared with the group what it was I was doing. That I was simply saying Yes to Violet for just BEING Violet, nothing more – nothing less. Violet did not have to ‘Do’ anything to ‘earn’ my adoration of her. Violet did not have to ‘Do’ anything to ‘earn’ all the beauty that I see in her. Violet did not have to ‘Do’ anything to earn my ‘ reward’. Violet, just had to Be Violet and I just had to ‘Say YES’ to just – THAT.
And as I did, Violet slowly and then more quickly, began to slip out of her shell and re-engage with me, and before long she was back to following me all over the space. Placing her ear in my hand and even starting to look at the fly mask and ultimately dropping her forehead down into it! … All from Saying YES to Violet for just BEING VIOLET.
Oh my Oh my Oh my …. my ‘plan’ of a session on permission transformed into a session on ‘Enough’ … I Am Enough. I Am Enough. I Am Enough.
And it was so clear for me to see the brilliance in these ladies that surrounded me, just as I see in Violet – They ARE Enough. So much more than Enough – and they do not need to ‘Do’ anything to earn this. This is who they Are. Just like Violet.”
This, it is just who Violet is. She has her own agenda and she is not afraid to let you know exactly what it is. And when I am still enough to listen, her advice is always perfectly right on time.
You are welcome to read the full blog post here.
The below picture shows Violet at a Mustang Mentorship & Meditation we offered for Communities in Schools in Pender County. This was a three part series and on the third day, the children created a painting that was inspired by the feelings they felt from this herd. As you can see, Violet was especially interested in viewing the children’s paintings.
(above and below) Violet at a Mustang Mentorship & Meditation program for children from Communities in Schools
Violet is a true asset to I AM HERD and the outreach programs we offer. She is truly a social butterfly and loves this outreach as much as the children do.
Violet is in need of 7 Sponsors to create her full Sponsorship Team!
Sponsoring an I AM HERD horse or pony is one of the most supportive things you can do for our work and mission. And the most amazing part is the way it truly connects the Caregiver TO the horse or pony they are Sponsoring! These wild ones just know and they are so grateful for Your help!
As your first Gift of Gratitude for your Sponsorship, we will mail professional print on archival paper of your sponsored horse! We send out additional Gifts of Gratitude throughout the year, and send you personal updates from Violet!
Above all, you will know that your donation ensures that we can provide the best of care to this wild one that you feel a connection to. Sponsorships are a monthly donation of $50, the cost of a bale of hay, and are a one year commitment. You may opt to have your monthly donation withdrawn automatically or you may pay in full for the year either via check or online credit card. The annual commitment begins the month you begin your Sponsorship (so a Sponsorship initiated in Feb 2020 will run through Feb 2021)
Blessings from this herd to your heart, there is truly a wild horse in all hearts that are drawn to them ~
I AM HERD
P.O. Box 3
Kelly, NC 28448
501(c)3 non-profit organization