Wednesday, December 26, 2007


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.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I sometimes wonder where would we be without the love of our horses. Of course we would have more time for ourselves, then again what would we do with all that free time, go to the mall? It is a privilege to be able to interact with horses. These noble creatures welcome us into their lives and love us, could there be anything better? It is sad really that so many people will never really know what horses are all about. For example,my sister-in-law came to the barn recently and our horses were making the " give me the carrot noise",I call it snuffling, and she was afraid of them and thought they were barking at her. When I look around at other people's lives and then look at mine ,I too am happy for my horses, they are a special gift.

jodi said...

Belated holiday wishes, Victoria! Between traffic jams on the internet (our connection isn't the fastest 'highspeed' at the best of times, and it's been terrible for the past two weeks) and being sick again, i've been way behind in blog reading and correspondence. I think this is one of the most wonderful essays about horses I've ever read, and perfectly sums up the connection between human and horse.
My boy hasn't seen me since I've been so sick this week, but my husband is awesome about doing the barn chores, putting Leggo and Jenny out, bringing them treats...I have many gifts, don't I?