What is it about the horse?
It is something that has captivated people for ages.
I often get asked what it is about horses that…works for me. Why horses. What they do for me. It is something that seems to intrigue people who have never experienced it before. A more important question it seems than how I even got into horses. It is also something that is extremely hard to put into words or capture in a photo because it is feelings. Energy. Images. Memories. Mere words seem inadequate. Very much like love, I imagine.
Maybe you have experienced a mere glimmer and could not quite put your finger on what was captivating you. Or maybe you have wondered about someone you know. Or maybe you have wondered about me.
The presence. The beauty. The grace. The calm. The teaching and learning. Everything seems simpler with the horse. Our problems are trivial. We have a tendency as humans to make everything more complicated than it is or needs to be. They give us perspective on how narrow our sight is. They show us who we really are on the inside. What our actions mean. They encourage us to be better at more than just riding. They make us get outside of our heads and ourselves. If we let them, they show us what quality living is and how to do it. What is real and important.
It reminds me of a time while in college I was legging up a polo pony doing trot sets.
It was winter and bitter cold. If there had been precipitation, there would have been snow and it would have stuck. I could not get out to the barn during the day I guess because of school work, so I had to ride at night. There were other people there, I remember, but they did not ride because of the dark cold. I almost did not go out because of the lack of day light, but I needed it. It was more than mere desire and passion.
I layered up from head to toe and went to catch up my pony, Daisy. As I was fastening her halter, I noticed the full moon and the glow of everything. A quick groom and tack up and we were trekking to the track in the back.
As we started to get warm trotting around, the mare began to rhythmically snort in stride with the work. You know how good working horses do. I could see her smokey breath commingle with mine against the dark night sky. She was excited, but yet, so was I. We were in tune. On the same page. Knew what the other was thinking without words in the way of the unspoken language.
We both got loose and relaxed in the work and then I looked up and actually saw. The moon and the distant city lights set the mare’s coppery, chestnut coat and pipe fence line on a rust colored fire. I could make out the curvature of the surrounding crop fields and pivots. I could see our tracks in the freshly groomed dirt. I could see all the other ponies in their turnouts staring at us in envy, ears pricked and eyes shining.
In that moment I knew what IT was all about.
I was not thinking about the cold. I was not thinking about all the work I had to do. I was not questioning the unknown of the future. I was not focusing on my anxiety. I was not thinking about missing home. I was no longer missing home. I was there. Present. Just me and the horse. The gift of the horse from God in this place from God. Words can not express the feelings I had in the moment or the gratitude I still feel for it.
All my worries were gone. I was on top of the world on Daisy’s back that cold, wintery night on the south plains. It was very much like that ride on Cheetah before the holidays.
Have you ever experienced anything like that? What is to you that horses are for me?
Walk in love, dear readers!