We have some friends who have a really nice barn but are not horse people. It is the place where we took our horses last year when the hurricane was heading our way. Over the weekend, we stopped by to see them and learned that they had some new boarders. There was also a young lady from Italy who was afraid of horses, so I offered to go in the barn with her to see if we could change her mind.
I walked into the darkened barn and was greeted from the first stall by a beautiful black mare named Lena. She was so calm, with big, kind eyes that just melted my heart. This was a very special horse. I offered her a carrot and stroked her neck, feeling a strong, welcoming connection. In contrast, the horse in the next stall was kicking and snorting –“Hey, what about me? Me first! Give that carrot to me!” I knew that alpha mare well. She had attacked Silk and Siete when they were briefly here last summer. It was the reason that I had to do a second emergency evacuation right after the hurricane to get my horses back safely to our barn. This Arabian princess is one high-strung piece of work.
After I appeased the pushy mare, I went back to lovely Lena and reminded myself that I had two sweet and loving mares of my own just down the road at my place. The Italian visitor was coaxed to tentatively pat the black horse, but I couldn’t convince her that these animals offer us windows into our souls. I thought about people whom I knew with personalities similar to the two horses – ones who were all about getting attention for themselves and ones who understood the art of listening and creating serenity. It made me curious to meet Lena’s owner, which I will try to do this weekend. I have a feeling that I will like her as much as I like her horse. What’s that saying—“Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.”
Before I went to bed, I ventured out to our barn alone. In the last six weeks, since I fell and broke my arm, I have become wary of going out to do all the normal things that I used to do with my horses. Having the use of only my left hand is difficult, and the heavy weight of this brace on my right arm sort of messes up my balance. Still, I saw my horses sticking their heads out, looking for me when I got home, and I knew Silk especially would feel better if I tucked her in for the night. It’s funny how simple activities like walking in our yard in the dark have suddenly become a challenge. So, I was very happy to find myself once again safely in my own little barn, nuzzling with my girls, enjoying the company of horses. It just felt so right. An important step in my recovery.