Sunday, April 27, 2014

Silk is 26


Tomorrow is Silk’s 26th birthday, and that’s pretty old for a horse.  I stood with her in silence this morning, marveling at our sixteen-year adventure together.  She let me know that she is happy, munching her hay but then, taking a moment to raise her head and look me in the eye to check on how I am doing.  We both saw trust, contentment and appreciation in each other’s gaze.

When I first saw Silk, she was sleek and muscled, tense, fearful and finely tuned like an expensive sports car. She had been a reasonably successful show horse, but along the way someone had beaten her, ripped on her mouth and there were four-inch scars on both her back legs. I knew I had to set her free. Now, she is fuzzy, unhurried, curious and at ease. In fact, we both are.  There are distinct parallels between us.

We had our daughters late in life. They were not easy births, but we each value the joys of motherhood. As I watch Silk and Siete roam our pasture discovering the fresh green morsels of new grass, I am glad I have been able to give them the gift of living their lives as mother and child together. Most animals do not have that opportunity. It gives my horses a security and tranquility that people who visit us often notice.

When my daughter was little, we always made a big deal out of Silk’s birthday. There were lots of kids invited, and I made a carrot cake and a fruit salad for the birthday girl. One year, a neighbor called me to explain that even though her son had been grounded for doing something naughty, she would let him come because “this is the only time in his life that he will be invited to a horse’s birthday party”. It turned out he had never touched a real horse before.


Silk’s velvety lips brush very gently on my palm when she takes a piece of carrot. She is never pushy or demanding.  It makes my heart soar to watch her dance with a lithe, lady-like trot out of the barn to welcome the world on a sunny morning. She is loveliness and elegance, a fine, radiant red soul mate that I treasure every day.

11 comments:

Lori Skoog said...

Victoria...I appreciate every single word in this post. So glad you were able to give Silk and her daughter a life so full of love. She is beautiful and does not look her age. That's a great reflection on you. Please give her a gigantic birthday hug for me.

Victoria Cummings said...

Thanks, Lori - I'm sure that your horses feel the same way. They add so much to our lives!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

A lovely birthday tribute. The beautiful, happy life you give Silk shows.

Our horses are gifts to be treasured. :D

Victoria Cummings said...

CFS - So great to learn that you and Val are doing well and life is on an even keel again!

Kate said...

Happy birthday to a beautiful, wise mare.

Victoria Cummings said...

Thanks, Kate - hope you and your herd are enjoying Spring!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday Silk! You don't look your age that's for sure. Hope you enjoy your birthday party and fruit salad tomorrow.

Victoria, that was a wonderful tribute to a very special mare. You brought tears to my eyes. She's had a wonderful life with you and your family and her daughter. I wish you many more years together.

Victoria Cummings said...

Thanks, Arlene. I think we're going to skip the carrot cake this year and I'll make some extra fruit salad since the two legged family members are dieting. But that diet could be broken if you want to meet me at the Creamery soon!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Anytime! Hopefully it will warm up soon.

Victoria Cummings said...

Yes, let's wait until it is warm. Will it ever warm up?

Oak in the Seed said...

Happy birthday, Silk! You are a cherished soul and deserve the life Victoria has given you. I can see you give as good as you get!