one creature I have found who mirrors my soul...
I see my horse. She's in her pen. Her head is stretched out over the fence. Her delicate nostrils are flared - whickering that soft greeting that she saves for me alone - and the rising sun illuminates the threadlike veins running through them. Her ears are pricked so far forward that the tips come within a feathers-width of touching. She tosses her head and highlights slide down her slender neck as the muscles ripple under her skin. Her eyes are large soft brown orbs. Today they are happy, with an elusive little mischievous twinkle dancing in the corner. If I look closely enough I see a tiny reflection of myself mirrored on their glossy surfaces. A white star forms between her eyes, and then, as if an artist had used runny paint, dribbles and runs down her face, narrowing to just a few hair-widths before widening again between her nostrils, spilling over her mouth, and ending in a little puddle. Her head, a rich mahogany/red with a black forelock, contrasts sharply with her white neck and mane. It flows - her mane does - it flows like a sheet of water; cresting over the top of her neck and flowing in a vibrant cascade down to the ends. It ripples and quivers - undulating with every move she makes. She's a small horse, hardly more than a big pony, with a light build and a typey, almost Arabian-like head. Her eyes are set wide apart on her broad forehead which dishes down to a small fine muzzle. She tosses her head and paws the ground, impatiently waiting for me.
I see withers, and my horse's pumping shoulders clasped between my knees. Straining muscles roll under her skin, rocking her shoulders between my legs. Forward and back. The right one first. The left closely following. Looking down past my knee I see her legs pumping up and down. Slender pasterns, like pistons, consume the ground. Her neck is shiny with sweat. It runs in wandering rivulets down her chest, which is speckled with little flecks of foam. Her long mane snaps and waves in my face before fluttering to her neck, only to rise up again as if possessed with a mind of its own. I see the world racing by, framed, safely, between her ears.
I see my horse running across the field. Her long slender legs flashing so fast beneath her that they look like a white blur skimming above the grass. Her white body and legs are accented by a rich mahogany colored blanket on her rump and two patches on her chest and side. Like a proudly held banner whipping in the wind, her long black tail flows out behind her as she runs. Muscles ripple under her skin as she collects herself, arches her neck, and channels all her energy into an exuberant display of ecstasy. Suddenly her frolic freezes. With her nostrils flared from the exertion she stands at attention - head up, ears pricked - listening to a summons that I could not hear.
I see her leaving. She begins to run. Faster and faster. Effortlessly skimming, no, soaring over the ground like a bird. As she fades into the distance I see her pause and throw up her head to send in my direction a final whinny. A good-bye? Then she is gone.
Baby (Ya Wita) 1992 - 1997
say that memories are golden, well, maybe that is true.
"Baby", was my first horse. I was at that age where every girl dreams of having a horse (but I never outgrew it as so many do). Oh how excited I was to have my dream come true! She was green-broke, and I didn't know how to ride - what a great combination! We learned together, from each other. She became my Friend, my Companion, my Partner. It often seemed that we could read each others minds. What we shared was founded on a level of trust that I have never found with another horse since then. She would do anything I asked of her - even if she was afraid - as she trusted me not to put her in a harmful situation. "Teaching" Baby to drive took an hour to adjust the harness and 10 minutes to hook up the cart ... Then off we went! It was that simple - The First Time! (If you've never taught a horse to drive, ask anyone who has just how "impossible" that is!) I Dream of finding another horse that I can share such an incredible bond with, but I think what we had was a very special once-in-a-lifetime blessing. Baby would have had a home with me for life, but was taken after a few short years by a vet's mistake. The bond we shared - I knew. I felt it in my heart and knew the moment she was gone, 15 minutes later I recieved that call from the vet "something went wrong". Not a day goes by that I don't remember her. She will always be missed, and every new horse will be measured in comparison.
Don't Cry For The Horses