"In the process, she discovered that horses are intensely emotional, intuitive, intelligent beings. They are true reflections of our deepest souls."
Many, many moons ago, a fellow trainer gave me a book to read, The Tao of Equs: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse. There was one particular chapter she wanted me to read and think about.
"Don't read the first 100 pages, it will poison you against the very valid passage I think you'd like," she warned.
Of course I read it from the beginning. She was right. I almost doubted her sanity. For those of you not familiar with this particular book, the woman goes through a spiritual awakening while walking with her horse for a year or something.
The part that still sticks with me today, is not of course the part she wanted me to read, it comes from that first hundred pages. This woman's journey didn't begin until she sold her first horse and bought another. The first horse would go crazy if tied, to the point of violence. The woman refused to let the trainers she encountered work the horse because they were cruel. Instead, she sold the horse and then began walking her spiritual path with a more appropriate partner.
I always had great success training horses to stand tied. Even the bad ones. It didn't take beating, or chains, or cattle prods. I couldn't help but wonder how the horse's journey of healing and transformation went. You know, the one who was sent down the road with her vice compounded many times over.
Anyway, let's fast forward many years, to just last week. My Reiki Master was doing whatever the heck it is she does to my back. My nerves were jumping, things were popping and realigning, my PD was humming and she was barely touching me. I don't understand how it works, but it does.
"I want to buy a foal," she said.
"Really, a foal?"
"You stopped breathing, remember, it's all in the exhale," she said. "I want a white one. So keep your eye out for me."
I stayed quiet, but my mind started jumping. I knew she had owned a horse before. I had half-listened to tales of a crazy old gelding she had saved from being put down. She had "listened to his heart and tamed him," and he lived with her until he died. If I remembered right, she had never ridden him. Age, lameness, crazy, something, something, something.
It's the kind of story I smile and nod at, but keep as firm a grip on my opinion and eye rolls as possible. There is a type of horse person in the world that approaches horses as a magical, mystical, spiritual experience. I don't really have a problem with it. If this is what floats your boat, fine, it's another horse off the truck to Mexico.
"I might have to wait a while, I have to find a place to keep him."
Good thing, I thought, maybe she'll let go of the idea and get a white kitten or something.
"I'd keep him where my sister keeps her horse, but the barn owner, Lucy is such a bitch," she added.
"She is so mean."
"That really surprises me," I said. "Lucy was a client of mine years back, and our biggest struggle was getting her to step up and be tough when she needed to. She was a good rider though."