Stay Wild – How Endo Brought Me to My Next Heart Horse

Forest and Bindi celebrate Endo Awareness Month

Hey, Forest here, how are you Herd? This blog is a little bit different from the others I have written in the past regarding my journey with Endometriosis and the ways I struggled after the diagnosis. For this blog I am going to focus on one of the positive things I gained from Endo, my almost six year old Irish Sport Horse mare, Bindi. She gave me something to look forward to again and I think that sense of hope and excitement for the future can be really hard to find after a diagnosis such as Endometriosis. 


Forest and Bindi when Bindi first came to America

It was 2016, I had just went through a silent miscarriage that I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone about, even my mother. I had undergone a surgery to remove many Endo lesions, many other procedures and I was struggling with my mental health in ways I couldn’t have imagined before. To add to it, I was in a deteriorating marriage with someone who showed no empathy for my situation and also made it very clear that the greatest love of my life, my horses, were something he did not care for or support. It was awful. To make it worse I knew the likelihood that I would need to have a hysterectomy to recover any kind of “normal” quality of life, was imminent. I had just turned 30, was sicker than I had ever been and was months away from Endo claiming my ability to carry children of my own. This was not how I thought my life would go, at all.  


Forest with the four horses that hold her heart- Bindi, Sparky, Bling and Rudolf

The horses were always what helped me through all the curve balls that life threw at me. At the time I owned the three best horses in the world, Sparky, Bling and Rudolf. These three brought me through the ranks from the pony hunters through the jumpers but I knew my time in the show ring with them was over. I needed something to look forward to again. My biggest fear at the time was something happening to my senior horses and being left horseless in a bad marriage was more than I could handle. I had quietly been looking for a young horse over the last few months as a distraction from everything that was going on in my personal life. I wanted something that I could train with the intention of having my next show horse. 


Bindi at one day old with her mom, Abba

I, like many equestrians, frequently looked at what was for sale online. I wanted something young that I could train myself and bring through the levels. An October evening, a friend of mine sent me a Facebook album of two foals that were for sale in Ireland. Through my time looking for my next horse I had never considered buying a foal let alone one that was in another country. But once I opened the album and laid my eyes on the most regal, white blaze staring at me, big bodied, breathtaking red bay mare I had ever seen... I saw a small, not even 24 hour old “Mabel” standing next to her mother with her upper lip smiling and my heart fell to the ground. I knew without a doubt this was my horse. 


Bindi and Abba

Today, Mabel is now known as “Bindi” or “Vindicating” if we are being fancy. Why did I change her name? Isn’t that bad luck?  I had always hoped one day I would have a human daughter of my own that I would name Mabel after my name sake. Many probably don’t know this but I was named after my Great Grandmother Forest Mabel aka “Grandma Mabel.” I am actually the third female “Forest” in my family (I have a Great-Aunt, Forest Patricia aka Pat) and the first to go by “Forest” and not my middle name. Additionally, Bindi’s birthday is May 12th, also the same as my Great Grandma Mabel. A little strange isn’t it? 


Forest with Herd Mascot, Sparky and Bindi

I guess what I am trying to say is, no matter what hardships you are going through, try to keep your eyes out for the little signs from the universe that will let you know you are on the right path. Life is hard, unfair and oftentimes cruel but still so amazingly beautiful. Through my journey with Endo I lost so much but one thing I never lost was hope for the future. Without hope life can be unbearable. Please keep your eyes out for the glimpses of hope and excitement for the future. My hope came to me with four hooves and a massive heart. 

Forest and Bindi at a show Summer 2021
Forest and Bindi showing in the summer of 2021

In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month, we created two products with proceeds going directly to The Endo Foundation: the Stay Wild – Endo Warrior Hoodie and the Endo Warrior All Purpose Saddle Pad


Abba, Bindi's mom shortly after giving birth, this photo is the inspiration for our Stay Wild Design.

The Endo Warrior hoodie uses the Stay Wild design. This design is inspired by Abba, Bindi’s mother and the photo of her looking so mighty shortly after giving birth. We adapted the art to bare Bindi’s markings, to represent the strength that I was given through the unexpected.