June 25th, 2024

Horses changing life path for Blackfoot speaker

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on March 23, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Dougie Hall, Blackfoot motivational speaker and social media influencer from Amskapi Piikani, shares his story of hardship, resiliency and adversity with the crowd to at Lethbridge College's Stone Pipe Days.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge College celebrated Stone Pipe Days last week and to end the celebration on a high note, they welcomed Dougie Hall a Blackfoot motivational speaker and social media influencer.
Hall is a Blackfoot member from Amskapi Piikani and his Blackfoot name translates into Crazy After Horses, which could not be more fitting as he is a bronc rider and raises his own bucking horses.
Hall said that growing up he was surrounded by cowboys, as his father and uncle had an Indian Relay team, and that was the reason he fell in love with horses from a really young age. Horses became his centre, the centre of his medicine wheel.
“In my opinion, we all have a medicine wheel inside of us and what I was taught is that is how you take care of yourself mentally, physically, socially and spiritually. That’s how you stay centred in your life,” said Hall.
He said that at the centre of that medicine wheel is who you truly are.
“At a young age I was taught that you gotta take care of what makes you, you. Because if you don’t nobody is going to do it for you,” said Hall.
He said if you wait on someone to do it for you, you will be waiting your whole life.
“You gotta take care of who you truly are, because if you don’t, you’re gonna pay the ultimate price, you’re going to regret it your whole life and probably become a very sour individual,” said Hall.
Hall then talked about his experience growing up around family members who changed at night because of alcohol. He described the adults in his family who drank as werewolves, because as soon as the sun started to go down they started to change and things became very “western”.
“I saw a lot of things I really wish I didn’t see. I heard a lot of things I really wish I didn’t hear. I had to grow up really fast,” said Hall.
He said back then he thought alcoholics were bad people, but he now believes they are not bad people.
“Alcohol causes good people to do and say and do some pretty bad things. And one of the other things I learned is that you have to be compassionate to other people because you don’t know what they are going through,” said Hall.
He said that when things got bad at home he would seek refuge with the horses, they put his heart back together.
Hall said one of his uncles after getting sober taught him that everything in one’s life is a product of one’s thoughts, how one thinks.
He shared the one event that impacted his life and truly cemented the way horses helped him move forward. When he was 14 years old, his family car was hit by a drunk driver which ultimately claimed his mother’s life and he went into a deep depression. But one of his uncles got him out of it by making him take care of the horses.
“He walked in and said, alright that’s enough, you wanna be a bronc rider? We have all these horses and none of them have been touched in about a year, gotta gather cattle with your uncle Craig and I will pick a horse and you will ride it,” said Hall.
He said his uncle picked a horse that was kind of an outlaw, every time anyone got on him he would buck them off.
“That saved my life, because that horse spooked life back into me. For the first time in like one or two years I was smiling and laughing,” said Hall.
Hall then talked about chasing one’s dreams. He said that consistency is key and ignore those who say you cannot achieve your goals.

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