Several years ago, I picked up Horse People in the bargain book bin at a local farm supply store. It’s an oversized paperback made up of essays, poems, and art, celebrating the authors’ and artists’ relationships with horses. The book has been gathering dust on the shelf, as I have focused my reading on more practical and academic works. However, I decided to take a break from those pursuits to enjoy reading of a different sort – and am I glad that I did! Just today I read these passages from an essay by Jane Hirshfield entitled “Horses cross, Donkeys cross”. It touched me, and I had to share (I borrowed another phrase from the author for this post’s title). Enjoy!
“… here is a being who requires of me a consistent presence, an even-mindedness without anger, an encouraging spirit even when I myself am also nervous. Who requires of me the judgment to know when to ask more, when to loosen the reins, when to get off and hand-walk him past the troublesome moment. An ear flicked back at my shifting weight means I must recognize that every act between us is an act of communication. A tail switch informs me if I have requested something too harshly, a head shake or buck of frustration announces I have asked simply too much. … that a being not human will come with good cheer into our realm and allow us to come into his has not, in all these decades, ceased to move and thrill me. … And though is may be foolish to think so, I like to believe my joy is shared, to believe that the red ear swivels back to me not only in a prey animal’s constant attentiveness but also in the pleasure two vastly different herd animals take in their meeting.”
Be good to your horses, and may you share some mutual joy!