By Deborah Herman

Deborah and her mystic wonderhorse "Tonk"

Deborah and her mystic wonderhorse “Tonk”

I discovered my gift of animal communication through my horse, Tonk. When I rescued him in 1999 I thought his name meant something like Honky Tonk because of his Tennessee walker gait. It turned out his name, Tatanka, was taken from the movie “Dances with Wolves,” which is Lakota for “Buffalo.” The word Buffalo in Lakota means that everything is found within itself. I interpret this to mean that everything is imbued with the spark of the Creator.

It wasn’t a typical rescue, at least not for him. He actually did the rescuing. It was a difficult time for me. There was a lot of transition in my life, I had just turned forty and my father had passed away. From as early as I could remember I had wanted a horse. Whenever I would take a car ride with my parents out into the wilderness of Long Island where I was raised as I child, a horse spotting was magical. I would gleefully scream “horses,” “horses.” My elderly Great Grandfather who had escaped the Russian Pogroms, would always pat me on the head, give me a Hershey bar and promise that someday he would buy me a horse.

Now an adult living in Ohio and grieving I decided to take horseback riding lessons. My instructor was a real cowgirl who helped me embrace my inner alpha woman. She would allow no prissiness around the horses. She taught me to muck a stall, follow barn etiquette, and helped me pick out proper cowboy boots. One day I wistfully said I would love a horse of my own. The next day she introduced me to Tonk.

From what I could gather, Tonk had not had a proper home and now my cowgirl was working with him. The first time I met him he was facing the back of his stall and would not acknowledge us. But he was beautiful. What I hadn’t told the cowgirl so she would not think I was crazy was that I had been dreaming about riding a palomino. I felt like I recognized him with his golden coat and off white mane. He completely ignored me but I was hooked.

I learned a great lesson that day. The easiest part of horse ownership is buying one. It was an impulse, but I knew that we were meant to be a team. I barely knew how to ride but as a grown woman I had made my dream come true. I could feel my great grandfather smiling upon me.

Every day I would come to the stable, and Tonk would not acknowledge me. I would groom him, give him an apple and leave. It took a while, but one day when I arrived at the stable, instead of hiding in the corner, Tonk was facing the front to greet me. A friendship was born. When we later relocated to the Berkshires Tonk came with us.

I learned I could directly communicate with animals, especially horses through my relationship with Tonk. We would communicate through dreams so vividly that one time while I was out of town I “saw” every detail of an accident he had experienced.

Then I discovered that I could “hear him” telepathically in the same manner in which I am able to communicate with cats and dogs. He shared wisdom with me from the perspective of a horse.

I recently had back surgery and am in a brace. On Saturday, June 29th I received a call from my dear friend who has been boarding Tonk at her farm in Stockbridge. It was the one I had been dreading every year as Tonk became elderly. We are not sure but we believe he had reached his early 30s. He had fallen and my friend and her husband had to lift him. I called the vet and was driven over to the barn.

There was my beautiful Tonk, standing but shaken. I was unable to walk the incline into the barn so I sat on a chair in my brace where I could see him. He perked up when he saw me and we connected telepathically. He said “I will never leave you. You are my angel.” I said to him “I love you and you have been my angel.”

While the vet and my friend stood with him I prayed that if it is his time that God allow him to go peacefully and I would accept his passing. Then I saw a beautiful purple light next to him the size of an angel.

When my friend and the vet came out of the barn they said it was his time. My friend and I shared tears. She had been like a second mother to him and took wonderful care of him. They walked him in back and before the vet could barely administer anything he collapsed into peaceful passing. Although grieving I also felt at peace.

That night as I was falling to sleep I saw Tonk vividly. His coat shown as it did the first time I saw him. He stopped to look at me and then galloped off with a herd of horses into the open woods.When I told my friend about the vision the next day she said that those were the three horses who were buried on the land. She cried because she knew that they would all be together and free.

Two weeks later my friend called me. She said I would not believe her but Tonk’s companion horse Picachu had developed some kind of disease completely unrelated to what had caused Tonk’s passing. She said they could do nothing to save him. It was as if he wanted to join his buddy. So now the two are permanently resting next to each other for eternity. It is amazing that we humans do not understand the inner lives of these beautiful creatures and the depth of love and devotion they share.

Deborah Herman is an animal communicator energy healer who specializes in horses. Herman also works with families who are preparing for or experiencing the loss of a beloved pet. Her website is:

Tonk has his own facebook page that is being continued in tribute to him and to other horses.