I’ve started a lot of stories that heavily involve horses. I’ve finished some of them and had one published. Some of my best writing is in horses, and as a writer, I have to look at that. It isn’t that it bothers me, it just is me. Horses are some of the best people I know. They don’t dance around issues. If something hurts, they tell you. If they aren’t happy, they tell you. If they need something, they tell you. If you’re mean to them, expect a kick or a bite.
But if you treat them with respect, care for them, talk to them, feed them, and brush them, they will devote themselves to you. They will listen to every single word you say, and they will respond to the gentlest touch. Horses have been known to stand between danger and their person, to keep away an aggressor, to refuse to move because they’ve sensed the mountain lion on the ridge you want to ride under, and to stand quietly breathing while you sob with your arms wrapped around their neck.
When I see my horses out the window, my spirits lift. When I put out hay in the early morning light, my soul is fed just watching them come in to eat. When I take a walk out in the pasture and they follow along behind me, I am not alone. And when I ride, oh how I soar up out of all the troubles that were weighing me down.
“In the company of accepting horses, I felt humbled but hopeful. As they always had, the animals welcomed me into their herd irrespective of anything but the spirit I conveyed with my hands and my voice. They reminded me that my true value rested not in a job title or a surname but in my heart.” (M. Midkiff)