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Michael RichardsonMichael's Story
I was 20 and three weeks away from living my dream of being a horseman in Montana.  Living a carefree life, a young man’s adventure-type life.

When Your Dreams Are Crushed
And then, one night, two friends and I were coming home from a roping competition and up ahead was a deer, stunned by my headlights.  I swerved to miss her.  And in that moment my life changed.  Fortunately, my friends were thrown free from my Jeep.  I, however, experienced the full impact of the Jeep rolling over me.  Crushing my spine, my body and my dreams with its weight and force.  I lay there, unconscious.  When the medics arrived my friends inquired about me.  The medics said, there was no hope, a sheet was pulled over my face.   Fortunately, my friends prevailed and insisted that I could not be dead…..and the medics listened….and heard a faint heart beat.  I was urgently taken to the local hospital emergency room, where the doctor on duty happened to be a family friend.  He immediately called my family “Come quick, there isn’t much time.”  A helicopter was flown in, there was no heliport…it landed in the parking lot and then flew me to Northwestern University Hospital.  Upon arrival I was evaluated and given 24 hours to live. 

When Others Don’t Believe

You see, the doctors could only see what was on the x-rays and in the test results.  They could only see that my heart was so crushed and twisted that it was like a wet dish cloth that was squeezed and rung out.  They could only see that there was air and fluid collecting around my heart, they could only see that my spine was severely damaged.  They could only see that my journey was about to end.  You see, they only saw me as unable.  All of these people were caught up in what is, not what could be……..

When You Reach Deep Down, To Rise Up
But what they could not see was the determination that was inside me.  You see these doctors could not see because they were looking backwards, backwards at statistics, at histories from long ago.  They saw me as mangled flesh and bones.  But there was determination…..and a miracle.  The doctors came in to x-ray my torso.  In the room, there stood my father and my mother, expecting to hear the worst.  They all were stunned the doctors, my father, my mother, the air and the water that had surrounded my heart had vanished, it was absorbed, it was gone.  I had chosen to live.  And now the choice was mine….how was I going to live.  The doctors now told me that I would not walk again and my life would be really affected because of my injuries. 

When You Choose to Live YOUR Life
At first I thought….”What am I going to do?”  But I was determined not to let this injury or what the doctors thought affect the outcome.  I chose to give them the benefit of the doubt, after all, they didn’t know me.  It was my choice whether or not this perspective was going to define me. 

A Life Journey, A Gift of the Horse
It is a journey that has taken me, and I am sure has taken you to unimaginable places, has unearthed from you unimaginable emotions, and explored the potential of who you have been created to be.  Yes, the journey takes you to people, places and things.  But the journey goes deep within you.  You explore your ability, your determination, your courage, you come to an ever present and an ever new understanding of who you really are.

Observe the Nuances
Michael’s leads us on this journey  by making us aware of our own expressions and body language, which is the primary language that the horse knows and understands.  Michael’s goal is to establish a line of communication and build a relationship with the horse and human by addressing the subtle changes in the horse expressions and body language.

You Can’t Change the Circumstances So Change Who You Become Because of Them.
The circumstances in our lives urge us to release our belief that we can control our world and the outcomes.  Michael’s goal is to build a rapport with the horse and human rather than use aides for domination, control, manipulation or submission.  He shows us how that we succeed through releasing, through observing, and enjoying the journey, rather than being preoccupied by the destination.

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