I’ve long been under the impression that horses are quite friendly creatures. They are animals that possess that rarest of abilities to completely connect with their surroundings…down through their hooves they mix with the spirit of the earth…and rising up through their wiry hair and pointed ears they commune with the elements of the sky.
Horses are most often observed during our journeys through the countryside, but they can even be found in the busiest of cities. Wherever we travel, the landscape zooms past our view at a dizzying speed, and so horses always draw the attention of the eye with their peaceful, stable presence. They are a calm and solid anchor to cling to.
They stand in deceptively silent conversation between themselves and the world, no doubt discussing the news of the day, sharing carefully rendered poems which sing the praises of natural wonders, and philosophising on the meaning of their existence and their place amongst the broad brushstrokes of life’s living picture. Such mystical things we humans are not privy to the detail of.
There is much time for self reflection and deep thought in the life of a horse. Rarely hurried in their movement, unless they are running into the wind for the pure pleasure of feeling the sunlight dance past their ears or stretching their muscles against the friction of the air, horses are well versed in the art of deliberate living. When their fundamental needs are taken care of – water, food, and shelter, horses want for little else in their lives.
Humans have enjoyed a rich and varied history with horses, from their use and abuse to the ultimate heights of care and respect. Horses understand the intense pull of emotion and share with humans the feelings of love, pain, happiness and sorrow. They know what it is to gain and perhaps more importantly, how it feels to lose. Like a nod to a friend who passes us in the street, these connections between species should be acknowledged and never forgotten. But how is this to be done?
For those of us not gifted in the subtle art of horse communication, there are other ways of getting under their skin and into their heads, where we can celebrate this shared understanding between human and horse. While the intent behind such communications is complex and draws back to the very start of all things on earth, the act itself is of the very simplest form. All that it consists of is a simple wave of the hand as you pass by any horses you spy in the distance. Of course it is impossible for the horse to respond to your wave in kind, but don’t be mistaken, they most definitely notice and humbly respect the gesture.
At first you may feel a little strange waving at an animal that can’t wave back, but this is something that gets easier with practice. Aside from maintaining the ancient bonds between human and horse, your wave will energise your day and bring a certain sparkle to your soul…trust me on this. Please note however that engaging in waving is a highly addictive activity and before too long you may find yourself interacting in such a way with all manner of living things…trees included.
It may appear from the outside that horses are held captive by the human species, but this could not be further from the truth. They are merely visitors who walk in our midst for a while as they work at unlocking the mysterious secrets of our universe. Their presence amongst us should be cherished for however long it is they choose to stay.
Much like the dolphins of Douglas Adams’ hitchhiking world, horses know that they are not destined to stay here forever. They merely play at being beasts of service until that magical day when they speed off to some distant star in the sky.
As we stand staring dumbfounded at their otherworldly flight, they will disappear from view so quickly that we may almost forget what it is that we have witnessed. When this day comes they will remember each greeting that you offered, sending you their eternal thanks by watching over you with their calm and steady gaze from whatever distant place they will then call home.