Thursday, December 16, 2010

Horse as Self Portrait - Saxony

Saxony, the horse I probably should be:

Here she is wearing my favorite old scarf the other day.

In her excellent post Are You Like Your Horse, Kate over at A Year With Horses used the phrase "aspirational horses" to describe horses chosen by their owners for qualities they wish they had themselves. Maybe Saxony is that for me. I think I bought her for what she could help me become. For once, I'm the project.

I've only had her for three months, so if there's a self-portrait to be found in her, it can only be revealed with time. Right now, she's like me only because I chose her, a mare of the right size, the right age, the right temperament. It was a rational choice, one made from the head rather than the heart, and I had to exert some nearly dormant muscles of self-discipline to make that choice. It would have been easier for me to get swept up in another quasi-rescue, more romantic, less immediate.

This mare is so kind. She expresses affection. She is trusting. She is willing, calm and steady-minded. She seems self-assured and doesn't generate drama. These are things worth aspiring to.

Her apparent fearlessness leaves me almost worried. Not that there's a dark secret lurking somewhere in her, but that I don't actually have a lot of experience owning a horse I can just get on and ride. Dealing with the drama of a "project" horse has become part of what I expect. I can't help but wonder whether I will miss it, as idiotic as that sounds. No, it's not idiotic, it's irrational. I know very well that what I'll miss is the "safety" I found in prep work and ground work and this thing and that thing, the many tasks I piled up that kept me from riding.

I look at Saxony and she's right there in front of me like a Nike billboard: Just do it. That strips me back to the bone, to the place where words don't matter, reminding me that I just want to ride again without fear.


Kate said...

Yeah, that "just do it" can be quite a challenge - but a good one! I think you've got a very fine horse there, but you'll take some time to unlearn old ways of feeling and thinking that aren't needed with her, so be patient with yourself.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Congratulations :)

Katie said...

The transition from teacher to student! You both have so much to learn from each other and will be exciting to watch along the way…

Once Upon an Equine said...

I think you and Saxony will bring out the best in each other.

Sue M said...

Before you purchased Saxony, when K first met her, she said that if you were a horse, you'd be Saxony. In some ways, I agree. First impressions of Saxony gave us both a sense of a free spirit. One that is not perfect, but one whose imperfections made her who she is. Those qualities make her endearing and give her character. You are, dear friend, a truly unique person who embraces her own imperfections and make them a strength. Saxony is perhaps most like you in the ability to reflect truth and embrace others in their own imperfections. That is a true foundation for enduring friendship.