Monday, February 22, 2010

Sharing the Thing That They Are

When I was a teenager, hurtling around on my crazy, bolting pinto mare, I never thought of this: It's a wonderful thing to introduce a horse to someone who's never been near one.

When I got Scout five years ago, I wanted to show her to everybody in my life. None of my friends knew me during my previous horse life. Whole lives had long since come and gone in me. If my life hadn't been so remote back then, so separated from whatever horse community might have been around, I might never have left horses behind. But my friends came after all of that; it couldn't mean anything to them.

With Scout, the awareness of the amazing thing that it is to have a horse returned to me in an instant. I was decades older, and still completely captivated by it. A piece of me that I'd left lying dormant for 25 years was reanimated, a piece that I could never take out and show to the people in my life. Missing its catalyst,the horse, it was little but a story to tell.

How wonderful is it to teach a person how to safely give a horse a carrot, or lead a horse around an indoor arena, or hand graze a horse? How wonderful is it to show someone how to brush a horse, or give a horse a bath? It's that wonderful; it's so wonderful. I've felt the joy of seeing someone realize that, for all their size, horses are social animals, inquisitive and friendly, quick to attach themselves to people. I've seen friends take pride in haltering a horse, moving a horse out of their way, walking a freshly-bathed horse in slow circles under the warm sun. Wonderful. I know it's the horse, but it makes me feel like I have something to offer.

They speak for themselves, horses, and so many people never have the chance to hear what they say. I have loved bringing my friends close to the horses, because I still know exactly how it feels to learn these magnificent animals; I experience it every time I am with them.

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