Part 1 of 2.
Recently, whilst on a video call with my two ponies from my trip to NYC – one of the girls I was with laughed and said I was mad, but it was so typical of me. I thought nothing of it – because video calling my animals is something I’ve always done since technology allowed it and it just makes me happy to see their little faces and know they’re ok. But it did lead me onto thinking…. about how horses and indeed dogs and other pets people own, have evolved to becoming such a fundamental part of our lives – integral parts of our family and just why they are no longer considered “animals” by so many of us – but indeed part of us.
Horses put up with so much from us – they just get about doing what we ask of them on a daily basis without question or objection. They stand and tolerate us tacking them up – regardless of whether they might prefer a day in the field opposed to going hacking or being woken from their slumber at ungodly hours to be transported to a show… standing patiently in the horsebox waiting their turn to compete. They go through the “routines” of being groomed, shod, vet checked regardless of whether the feel like it or not. They are always there to cater to our needs – to what WE want to do – when in reality, they get not much in return or the same buzz that we might get out of winning that ribbon or scoring a personal best dressage score.
All that is even before we touch on all the other things they do. Who reading this can hand on heart say that their horse is not the best therapist they’ve ever had? That they have not spent time, burying their face into the comfort of a mane, whispering your woes or concerns to your horse, who will stand that quietly, allowing you to offload – maybe offering a gently nuzzle, or resting their head on your shoulder, but always offering that quiet solace – that unassuming innocence of just being there. Horses are also there on the other side of things – to just goof around with when we have a good day – whether it’s a game of chase around the field – or just lying next to your horse enjoying the sound of them graze – horses just have an ability to offer feeling of peace… a connection to their soul like no other animal can. A horse blowing in your face is like the breath of an angel. The feel of their hairy little muzzles is a touch that nothing else can compare to. In fact, even if they just stand there – their presence offers something that words can’t even describe.
Horses offer us the wings we lack to be able to fly. They carry our frail little bodies, upon their strong, huge in comparison backs and do their best to mind us and keep us safe from harm. They willingly accept our instructions and allow us to become one with them.
Nothing is too much of an ask for a horse – whether we are dressing them up in rugs or ridiculous Halloween outfits – asking them to jump over fences that they can’t even see the other side of – or merely asking them to be our friend – nothing we can ever give them or provide them with can pay them back for all they do.
Anyone who is lucky enough to love – or have loved a horse – is blessed. They are a friend that will carry every secret you have ever shared with them. Their manes will be an eternal sponge for tears cried into them. A friend who even though cannot laugh and share in feelings of happiness and joy – will never fail to bring a smile to your face. Horses are the most magnificent creatures – they can fill so many voids, often ones we didn’t even know we had.
“The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave.”