I’m unabashedly in love with my three Morgan horses. I raised two of them from birth. After they were born I sat in the stall with their mother and rubbed them over every inch of their body except where they would need to stay sensitized after they were grown and I was riding or driving them. This process is called imprinting. We all need to bond to something or we can’t trust.
Meg was my first, born of Malachy. She came out dark brown with a black main and tail. She was lively and curious, and very attached to her mother. I related to her and let her run free when I took Malachy out for a ride.
Meg’s half-brother, Lucky was the same color. He was born with the straightest back and legs I’d ever seen. His name arose over feeling lucky that I was home for his birth, and not visiting an environmental project that I was scheduled to see in England. His name has played tricks on him ever since he was born 9 years ago, causing him to fear for his life after an accident, and to make a miraculous recovery. We are both lucky.
The story about Lucky is worth a post in itself. Perhaps I’ll write that later if you’re interested.
The third horse was a gift. We took her hoping she would turn out to be a good brood mare because Meg has too many metabolic problems and we don’t want to pass them on to her foal. Tupper was 12 when she arrived last year. She didn’t know what humans were for, other than being a nuisance. My helper, Callie, knows how to build confidence and skill, and Tupper now enjoys her work.
So why do I love horses? They are intuitive, sensual, and beautiful, and I have learned important lessons about life from them. Horses gave me a fresh start in life, when I was 11 years old. I won the all-school gymkhana at North Country School and discovered I might turn out okay. I still couldn’t spell or add very well, but from the back of a horse my confidence spread to other areas, and I learned that it doesn’t matter where you begin. Just begin from a place of strength.
Animals teach us not only self-confidence, but empathy. They are different from us, but they have the same feelings. From my horses I have learned presence, patience, compassion and trust. It is with enormous gratitude for the great privilege of knowing them that I begin to share what they mean to me.
What do you feel grateful for?