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  Maddie's Story



When Maddie first came to us in April 2008 we wanted her to know she was finally coming to her 'forever home'. To celebrate this we decided to give her a special 'home coming gift'. We looked and looked for something that would be special enough to celebrate what her coming mean to us. One day while looking for Maddie's gift we found found out about Rhythm Beads


The lady who made Maddie's very first set  was based in America. We told her what we wanted, and why, and how special Maddie was to us. She designed a beautiful set of based on colours Maddie had chosen herself in a communication session we had with Maddie and our friend, UK Animal Communicator, Holly Davis.  


Maddie chose the colours red, yellow, turquoise and silver. I thought it a little odd as I had been dreaming of turquoise and silver several days before that communication session. Also there were red and yellow flowers right next to me in the room during that same communication session too! However Holly just laughed when I told her, Holly told me; 'Maddie says, you'll know what I mean!'  


Maddie wearing her 'Home-Coming Beads'


Maddie loved her beads so much she wore them everywhere! She wore them when we rode out, when she was walked out in hand,she even wore them when she was standing in her stable being groomed or just chilling out! In fact Maddie  loved her beads so much that she even took them with her when she went into hospital!


Everywhere we went with Maddie people wanted to know what the beads were and why she was wearing them. We would, of course, stop to talk and inevitably tell them Maddie's story and why we had given her the beads.  


What became quickly apparent to us during our outings was that Maddie loved to stop and say 'Hello' to everyone! She would stand patiently while we talked and she adored the pats and hugs she got from the people we met along our way!


The other thing we quickly noticed was that Maddie had a knack for making people feel at ease.  No matter how long we stopped for, or how many people we met, Maddie would stand quietly and put people at ease. Even people who told us they didn't really like horses, or were afraid of them, would stop and ask to pat and stroke her.


Then, one day, something extra special happened. Hayley and I were out with Maddie near the children's play area at the Shipley Park Visitor's Centre  , in Derbyshire, when we met a Mum with her little boy.

He wasn't able to run across the grass and come to stroke Maddie like the other children because he was in a wheelchair. Above the chatter of excited children greeting us I  heard him say ' Mum, can I stroke the beautiful white horse?'


'Mum' was wary, and I could quite understand why. With her Shire and Irish Draft breeding, Maddie is a very big girl indeed. She is a full 17 hands and has the typical, powerful Shire build; weighing in at around 800 kilos. Her feet are the size of your Sunday dinner plate and you just don't realise how big she actually is until you stand next to her. I could understand Mum being so cautious, I know I would have felt exactly the same.


After several minutes the gaggle of children gradually faded away, but the little boy and his Mum were still there, a few yards away, in front of us, just a little way off the track, the little boy seemingly content to watch Maddie from a distance.


Then, without being asked, Maddie walked forward the few yards to his wheelchair and, once more, with no asking from me, she stopped in front of him. It was a beautiful, full, square halt, and, quite honestly, I think it is the only 'proper' one we ever did, with neither of us ever being overly keen on schooling! 


I reassured Mum that Maddie was a gentle, kind girl, but by thistime Maddie had already dropped her head right into this little boys lap ... and  promptly fell fast asleep! He sat there stroking her huge, beautiful head, and smiling. He told me his name and said he couldn't walk very well. 'Why is she wearing a necklace?' he asked.


I told him all about Maddie and her beads, the problems she has had with her feet and how, because of those problems, she would never be really well ever again. I told him that it didn't matter to us and that we still loved her just as much anyway. He understood that completely. We chatted for quite a while, and all the time Maddie stood as still as stone.

The Visitor's Centre is always busy at weekends; full of families with picnics, walking their dogs, children riding bikes, running, playing, shouting and laughing; even flying kites. There is even a huge, noisy, wind turbine that whizzes round on windy days making power for the Centre. That day was no exception. 


However, our lovely Maddie took absolutely no notice of anything ... except this little boy, and his gentle pats. Eventually it was time to go, so we said our goodbyes and went on our way. I will never forget that little boy and what Maddie did for him that day. She accepted him just as he was and made him feel happy.


We knew Maddie had been sent to us for a special reason, but until then, we weren't sure exactly what that reason was. Again and again, during her time with us, this lovely mare had  shown us that her purpose was, quite simply, to help make people feel better... and she did it so well .. by doing nothing other than standing quietly with you and just 'being'. We just hadn't really realised how powerful and important 'being' was, until that particular day.


Maddie had shown us so very clearly, that, despite her having many health issues she had a definite purpose here on Earth. So we followed her lead. We helped Maddie step into the role she was so clearly destined for, that of showing how important 'being' is instead instead of 'doing'.


There are so many people who don't have access to horses, especially one as amazing as Maddie, so we decided we would share her with them. We also decided not to make a profit out of this because often the people who most need the magic of horses are not in a position to fund it financially. 


Maddie was always dressed up in her beads with sparkly glitter in her mane and tail, and we brushed her until her floor length tail and gorgeous white mane shone. Here is Maddie hacking out with Dawn's daughter, Hayley. Bitless, bareback and beautiful!


Sometimes friends would ask to come and spend time with Maddie if they were feeling low. We would take them to the indoor school  and they would spend some quiet time with Maddie just 'being' with her. Children would sometimes ask to sit on her which Maddie always happily obliged but, strangely enough,  adults were usually content just to be with her on the ground.


Often Maddie would do nothing but stand still and let them hug her. She was never tied or restrained for this and often didn't even wear a halter. This seemed to make things even more special, because Maddie was big and strong enough to wander off and do her own thing ... but she never did.


It's amazing the effect Maddie had on people. How many people wanted to talk to her, pat her and hug her .. but then; it's not really about what Maddie did - it's how she did it that's so important. She asked for nothing from you ... she is just happy to stand and 'be'  .. in  peace. 


We are all so busy rushing from one thing to the next in our lives that we often forget what life is really all about. Sometimes  it's the simplest things, which cost nothing , that are the greatest moments we ever have.Maybe if the whole world learnt just one lesson from Maddie it would be this one.


You see, there are so many people in the world who desperately need a Maddie in their lives but don't have one. So, we decided we had made the right choice to pass Maddie's love back out into the Universe, where we believe it should be, and share her with them.


We remembered what our friend Holly Davis, told us about Maddie in April 2008. Holly said that the only way she could describe Maddie's soul in a way we could understand was, ' .... as an Angel'.That's why she is called 'The Angel Horse!'


Oh!  ... before we forget! ..... There are many 'Maddie's' in the world ... and they come in all shapes and sizes! Some of them, like Maddie, look like horses, some look like other animals, and some look like people. There are other words for them but the word you'll probably know them best by is 'Angel'. The real  difficulty is spotting them, because, as we discovered ...  not all Angels have wings!


Often you'll never know you've met an Angel until something wonderful happens, that you just can't explain. But ... just in case, you were wondering how to spot one, we'll let you into a little secret. 


Someone very wise once said  ' the eyes are the windows of the soul'.  If you think you've met an Angel, but aren't quite sure, just look into their eyes. 




When you find yourself looking into the eyes of a real Angel - you'll know !


 A sad farewell ....  


On 15th November 2010 the Angels decided that Maddie had done the work they sent her to Earth to do and it was time for her to go home. The Angels had sent Maddie to help Dawn through a very tough time in her life and to show both Dawn and Hayley that there is always a better way to be, both with horses and people, if only you open your heart, and mind, and look for it.


Maddie's greatest gift was to teach compassion and humility by  opening  the hearts, and minds, of everyone who knew her. Maddie taught Dawn and Hayley to never take 'no' for an answer, especially when it was a 'no' from those who ought to know better. She taught them to fight for what they believed in, to lead by example, and to always stand in their own truths, no matter how hard that sometimes is.


Most importantly, Maddie showed them the way to learn the difference between knowledge & wisdom.


Beautiful  Maddie crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 15 November 2010. Please remember her in your prayers. 




Maddie's beautiful portrait, painted by the amazing American artist, Marcia Baldwin 


 Everyone has their own Guardian Angels ... ours just happens to look like this!