I really didn’t want to get up this morning and feed the horses at 6:30 am. We have been entertaining non-stop for two days, and I was wiped-out. Then, I thought about how I didn’t have time last night with all the partying to go out to the barn and give the girls a late night flake of hay and some more water. I realized that it had been about sixteen hours since anyone had fed them. I put on my coat and my boots. If I were a horse, I’d be ready for some food. The air was cold on my face. The sun was peaking over the trees behind the barn. It was a beautiful morning. Of course, they were happy to see me.
Last night, my friends brought a houseguest with them. She told me that she had never touched a horse. She was afraid of them. She talked about her life as an English teacher and about her two sons. It made me consider what my life would be like without my horses. I’ve thought about it before: What would I do without Silk and Siete?
I would sleep later. I would spend less money. I wouldn’t take an hour out of each day to muck the stalls. I wouldn’t schlep water from the house to the barn. I wouldn’t pick hooves, brush dirty fur, smell like a horse and have hay in all my coat pockets. Each day would not be book-ended without fail by feeding the horses and turning them out and then, bringing the horses in and feeding them again.
There would be no way to spontaneously hop on my horse and ride around to get the life flowing in me. I wouldn’t get nuzzled and neighed at when I walked down to the pasture. I couldn’t look out the window in the kitchen and watch Silk kicking up her heels or Siete prancing around with her tail held high like a flag.
In short, my life would feel empty. The horses are my labor of love and my spiritual practice. They fill in a part of me that was missing for many years. They are my greatest gift.