She Breathes on my Heart

Posted by Sharon Labels: , , , ,

"In the steady gaze of my horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to me how willing her spirit, how generous her heart."

The above roughly-paraphrased quote from an unknown author embodies a sentiment I have always known to be true but of which I am reminded of from time to time. This past week was one of those times.

My connection to my horses and theirs to me has always been strong, so much so that I take little notice but sometimes what passes between us is more - telepathic, even spiritual. So palpable I can 'feel' it. I write about such a time in the blog posts, A Peace in their Presence, a morning when my mares bathed me in peace and softness, and A Filly Named Feather, how a special filly lifted me. Then, in A Life With Horses, about how four foals supported me in the only way they knew how at a particularly difficult time in my life:
Oddly, the four foals sensed my emotional dependency. They attached themselves to me in an almost protective way. They never failed to greet me when I walked into their field. They checked in to see how I was doing and then, satisfied I was all right, wandered back to their mothers. I thought they needed me (and of course they did), but they knew I needed them more. They gave me a safe place to fall. (From A Life With Horses)
August 2004: Wildwood Honor, Wildwood Splendor, Running With Wolves, Wildwood Courage

This past week my horses again offered a safe, soft place to fall.

Wildwood Sapphire

I arrived back home from an overnight in Emergency at Williams Lake hospital (See I Fought Them All and They All Won) last Sunday afternoon and immediately checked my horses. I could see the four mares that pastured together in the river field waiting at the fence to greet me and I walked there first. Something was different. Although they often come for a visit, today they were more attentive. Actually, where they before asked for attention, now they were giving attention. I first noticed the change in Sapphire, my four-year-old mare. She hung at the fence longer, lowered her head to be stroked, ran her nose up and down my arm and face. Breathed on me. Generally, she and her friend, Mistral, both came to me but that day, Sapphire was more interested in me than Mistral. She wanted to be at my side.

Wildwood Soul O Silk

Silk also, was unusually attentive. Her eyes never left me, her ears forward listening, her body relaxed and giving. Although she always looks at me like she really 'sees' me, now she looked at me with tenderness too. Was I imagining this? I don't think so because two days later, as I walked down the trail to the bottom, the mares met me. Silk looked at me again like that as if to say, " I am so glad to see you! I was just coming up to check..." 

I love this mare with a love that frightens me. Her soul and mine are enmeshed in a way I cannot explain. Although I have the support of friends and family, Silk is here for me every day in every way. I feel that although she does not speak. No. She does speak  . . . but in a different language . . . and I am so grateful. 

Of all the horses I have ever owned, Silk is perhaps the most intuitive. Highly intelligent with a raw energy that could scare some riders, she and I bonded the day she was born and we have not been apart for long ever since that time. She likes to know where I am and the feeling is mutual.

That these two mares of all my horses should be the ones who "gathered 'round" for the past several days should not have surprised me. Sapphire is Silk's daughter. She is also the daughter of Running With Wolves, one of the four foals in the photo above.

I didn't catch Sapphire last Sunday even though she wanted me to. On Monday, though, I relented. I turned her in the pen opposite the house, the one I can see from my window. We're both happy with that arrangement. On Tuesday I rode her to check fence/ gate in the river field. Although she is often high-spirited like her mother, looking for bears in the bush, she was not that day. She walked quietly, head down and relaxed as we circled the pasture, waded into the channel of the river and up the hill home again. Sapphire is continuing the legacy of her dam, Silk and maybe her grandmother, Tamarac, great-grandmother, Mahogany, and great-great grandmother, Duchess. All those fine mares "carried me" in good times and in challenging ones.

To some of my readers, this may seem like a lot of nonsense; others will understand perfectly. As I heal and adjust to a new reality, I value even more the company of my horses, who give back more than I can ever give to them. They breathe on my heart.