Well, I suppose we’ve done enough horsing around here at the Catch for a while. I apologize if you are not very fond of horses, but then again, I can’t imagine anyone not liking a horse. They are such strong, beautiful animals.
Horses are big. The first thing you notice when you get up near one is how big. You gain a healthy respect merely related to its size. I always feel like they’re going to step on me. You feel their bulk. You walk around a horse and it seems like they know right where you are, as if they had eyes behind them, or a rear view mirror.
Horses are proud. They’re like royalty. Even poor, humble horses know this. They never forget. They look at you as if to say, “You don’t really know who I am. I’ll cooperate with you to a point, but there is much about me you will never understand, so don’t even try.”
Cooperation is the key. You never rule a horse; you cooperate with it. You make an agreement. You break your part of the agreement, there will be consequences. My first experience learning this was in the early part of my career when I was traveling and doing music. I stayed at the home of a family who had a few horses, and they let me take one out in the woods on a Sunday afternoon. Of course, when they asked if I had riding experience, macho John had to say “yes,” when, in fact, I was lucky to get up on a horse facing in the right direction.
My limited experience, up until then, was on trail horses who know where to go. So I pretty much let this horse go where it wanted, and at one point we got going pretty fast on a narrow trail bordered on either side by young saplings. And then, it didn’t seem to be a trail at all, but a grove of tree trunks we were just barely dodging. And just when I began to wonder if the horse knew what it was doing, it veered hard one way, throwing me the other way, right into one of those saplings that took me right out of the saddle. With the wind knocked out of me and a big bruise on my hip, I hobbled up ahead to where the horse was casually munching in a nearby meadow. As I walked toward the horse, it raised its head with a mouthful of grass as if to say, “Look kid, if you’re going to be on my back, you’d better figure out what you’re doing.”
Horses are mysterious. They are silent, and in their silence, they say so much. They give the impression that they know far more than they are telling.
Horses are ancient. You look into their eyes and it seems you are looking through to a long line of warriors, chariot runners, racers, explorers, wagon-pullers, field workers, and princes’ steeds. They know their history. If you don’t, that’s your fault.
In all of this, they reflect their Creator, who made them horses. Not dogs, cats, cows or sheep, but horses. Proud horses — made to serve us and intrigue us at the same time. Wild … tame … they never seem to lose that inner character that makes them what they are. And yet, with all of this, they can also be a companion — almost like a pet. Just ask any young girl who’s around horses a lot and you’ll notice a very special relationship that I don’t think anyone fully understands.
Go California Chrome.