‘Back on Track’ Horse Therapy: Miscarriage & How We Carry On

“I went in for my ultrasound today, at 10 weeks and two days, and my big adorable baby didn’t have a heartbeat anymore.” Wende Stenman shares her story of heartbreaking loss and healing through horses.

I’m a horse girl, and I wanted to share a very personal story of pregnancy loss, and how my horse girl brain relates it to my experiences riding. Miscarriage is still a very taboo topic, I know, but I wanted to share my story in case another horse girl out there can relate and finds this helpful. Thank you and hug your horses for me. –Wende


I took the pregnancy test in the tack room bathroom. I just had the feeling that I really should take one before I got on that day, and to my amazement TWO lines showed up! I was shrieking and crying in such dramatic fashion that the poor barn manager came in thinking I had probably managed to severely injure myself. But no, I was just … really happy.

I went in for my ultrasound today, at 10 weeks and two days, and my big adorable baby didn’t have a heartbeat anymore. He was there, but not there. Just two weeks ago he looked like a cashew and had a strong heartbeat of 173bpm. Miscarriage.

As an equestrian, the feeling I can link this to most, is that of sailing around a cross-country or show jumping course and suddenly having a terrible fall. There you are, having the time of your life, it’s so exciting!!! It’s challenging. You must be careful. You must do all the right things and avoid any unnecessary risks. Maybe your family and friends are all there watching, willing this to go so well for you. It’s the most fun you’ve ever had … and then BOOM. It’s over. It hurts. So very much. It hurts physically and emotionally. You put on a (sort of) brave tear-stained face. You are disoriented, and not sure exactly where to go from here…

But here’s what happens next, as I also know from my own experience. When you are able, as soon as you are able, you get back on. Maybe you need more time to heal or maybe you can hop right back on. And it is scary. It is different, this time. You are more guarded. But in your heart, nothing feels better. This is what you have wanted for so long. It’s just that sometimes, it takes more than one attempt to get that pony over the fence. And when you have that safe, clear, amazing feeling round, or that perfectly healthy 20 week ultrasound, or even that perfectly healthy little baby, you will be so very thankful, grateful, and proud of yourself for not giving up.

Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!


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