When a horse is content, he has a soft, almost mystical look in his eyes of inward focus -part dreaminess, part deep sigh, all beautiful. -Cherry Hill
The same can be said of the horse’s rider. When I wake up knowing I get to go to the stables that morning, no matter what else is on the agenda, it’s a good day and I am content. The drive to the stables last Saturday morning was perfect. For once I was up early enough that I had the road pretty much to myself. Instead of being stressed out by rude drivers, I was able to appreciatively feast on the beautiful sights, smells and sounds nature so freely lays out for us, whether we have time for them or not.
I glance at the river, smooth like glass, as I cross a bridge. I spot a sparkling fountain off to the side of a country church. I notice the clear baby-blueness of the sky. Then I park and my powers of observance continue. I walk around a corner to catch the most gorgeous sight of all - my Sportie, his regal head rising and his liquid-brown eyes taking in everything I am, right down to my very soul.
I breathe in deeply of the fragrant scents of cut grass, fresh hay and fly spray, as I groom my horse and smell his earthy muskiness. I catch a whiff of the mint I just fed him as he crunches happily. Then after a fun outing on the trail, there is the clean smell of the hooflex I apply to his dry hooves, and the yummy smell of a handful of sweet feed I dish up for a ride well done.
The sweet feed earns one of my favorite sounds. As Sportie sees me approaching with it he nickers at me, that low soft rumble that echoes through his core. The way to Sportie’s heart is unquestioningly through his stomach.
I love to touch the satiny softness of Sportie’s muzzle. I love the feeling of him tickling me, as I try to rub him down while his lips dexterously search my pockets for more mints. I love the way he scratches his face on the side of my jeans, just like my kids used to rub their eyes on my shoulder as I held them when they were sleepy.
I once enthused to a friend who lived near a majestic bluff that overlooked a mostly-deserted beach consistently pounded by white-capped waves, “I am so jealous of your view!” She replied with a casual shrug, “I’ve lived here twenty years. I don’t even see it anymore.” Now as I stare at Sportie and have my own view worth envying, I always want to truly see it, hear it, smell it - this, that, everything.