I never feel equal with people, really never. Less than, more than, better than, worse than - all of that is around people. We hardly recognize that we start from the same place. That recognition has long since been displaced by countless things in life that distance us from ourselves.
It's not like that around horses, though. I feel my horse and I are equal in the moment, whatever that moment may be, whichever horse it may be. I think the species difference is what creates that sense for me. For their powers, the mares are advantaged over me; for mine, I am advantaged over them. Face to face, it all levels out on a being-to-being plane. We are present, and, because we cannot communicate in the same language, we are equalized by our limitations and left able to be only what we are. It's like we're in the same boat for our differences. From there, we interact. I like the bluntness of it, the inescapable immediacy of it. I just don't think you can lie to a horse without lying to yourself. Sometimes it seems I get a better measure of myself from horses than I ever do from humans, even those I love most in the world.