Of Horse

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Sounds of Silence
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Sounds of Silence

"When I am on her back, all the bleak things and crazy things and wounding things go away, and there is only harmony, and partnership, and trust, and love." Tania Kindersley, Author and Equestrian

 Since Bill O’Reilly’s dismissal from Fox News, there may no longer be a “no-spin zone” on TV, but there is always one on my Sportie's back.

 As Tania Kindersley so eloquently remarked in her excellent memoir “The Happy Horse,” our minds are usually spinning wildly throughout the day. From bleak things like “is my daughter ever going to graduate?” to crazy things like “what if I didn’t turn the stove off this morning?” to wounding things like “Meredith didn’t say hi to me when I got to the stables, I wonder what I did wrong?” it’s sometimes a wonder we ever do any constructive thinking.

These are but a few of the stresses we deal with every day. They start out as a whisper on that hamster wheel mind of ours, then as the wheel spins faster they get louder until we think we might go stir crazy.

That’s why, although I hate driving, I drive the 20 minutes to the stables. Although I hate working outside in the humidity, I will muck stalls, throw feed and rake for 2 hours. It’s all worth it for the half hour of sanity I regain once I get my feet in the stirrups and my mind finally stops spinning. Once I’m settled in the saddle it’s as if a band director makes his cut sign with his baton, and all noise is silenced. The outer tranquility of the fields and softly blowing trees mirror my inner tranquility. I let out a huge sigh from the depths of my being and Sportie echoes it. 

All that exists is our silent but eloquent partnership.

(Photo credit to Craig Smith)


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  1. jst4horses
    I had a lot of volunteers to our equine therapy program that agreed. Many just liked to come and groom, or clean stalls, no riding. One executive from a high stress science program just liked to come and feed carrots and stand in the sun with horses while they grazed .......we asked if she was sure she did not want to ride.......she said, do I look crazy......we would laugh......since we all ride. There were some little girls who after their therapy class would go around and BEG other boarders to let them clean the stalls for them......they did a really good job too. For some reason cleaning stalls is very soothing for people in divorce. One man came out of a stall one day and said, I finally get it, it IS better to come here and shovel sh t than to go home and put up with it...........while at Santa Anita we had a lot of hot walkers who were there just to regain balance in their lives after accidents, or death in the family...........horses heal......even if it is just shoveling the poops.
    1. Jayne Thurber-Smith
      Jayne Thurber-Smith
      I love stories like these, thanks so much for sharing! :)

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