"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands...." 1 Thessalonians 4:11
"She never shook the stars from their appointed courses, but she loved her God and she rode good horses."
Friday, January 21, 2011
It's About the Horse
I don't remember the first time I ever rode a horse. You'd think something so important would be etched in my mind. I guess then I didn't know what a big part horses would play in my life, their essentialness to my sense of me, to the meaning of who I am, the connectedness I feel to them, the envy I have for their beauty, their gentleness, and their freedom. But I know it now. When I tried to explain it to my husband, he didn't understand. I think you have to have "it" to understand "it". This writing is about me and my horses and the parts they played in my life, and the need I have to get it down and try to understand it myself. You are a witness to this undertaking.
The last time I wrote anything about my horses was the following. I think I wrote it after I got Smash, some 16 years ago, but the feelings are pretty much the same about all of them. It begins like this:
In the quiet of the barn, the sweet smell of hay lingers; his muzzle finds it's way to my face; his nostrils breath warm air on my cheeks and the sticky whiskers around his nose prick as he nudges me to pay attention. He lowers his head for me to rub behind his ears and over his eye, his favorite parts. He stands quiet as I brush his coat and rub him in all the right places. I can feel his muscles as my hand floats over his body. I have memorized his curves and know when something doesn't feel just right. Just to feel and touch his body sends power and strength into mine. Energy runs through my fingers, up my arms and into my soul. What he has, freedom and grace, he gives to me. We are one, he and I. Our bond is strong, lasting, committed. He is mine and I am his. We are bound for life by a love only a woman can know and a horse can feel. Through him I find peace within me.
Through him I can find something I do right, that I can feel good about myself. No words are exchanged that can be misunderstood or hurtful. The physical part of taking care of him makes me feel strong and young, and that I can do some things that even younger women can't do, that I am capable. I feel good when I am with him. My horses have always been food for my soul and my survival. They complete me.