To the girl with the horse that stands beside her proud and aware. That gives a sigh of relief when she is around. That is comforted from himself and his past by her gentle hand and firm boundaries. The one who listens to the horses simplest reactions and notices his unhappiness. To the girl who is obviously genuine in her love of the horse that gives her so much.
In times of anxiety and fear, the girl with the horse flutters for only a second and then is reminded of better moments when stroking his mane. The girl who finds comfort in his steady heartbeat and hoofbeat and calls to him from afar. The girl with the animal who is so unlike any other animal. Who has slept in tents in the desert and seen sunsets on a snowy mountain. Who has pleased his owner despite years of abuse. For the horse who has the girl in the palm of his hand but is still gentle and kind.
To the girl with the horse with a velvet nose and fuzzy ears. He who gives to her and she who never takes advantage. To the girl with the horse that has transformed her and taught her.
To the girl who has turned into a woman and horseman and a thousand other great things.
To the one who had to give up a friend far too early. Who sat there and waited for his final breath. The girl who always chose life and living and flying and riding. Who never met an obstacle she could not go over or under or through because she had the means to ask him and he said yes! To the one who stroked his mane one last time, yet remembers it as a good and grateful moment.
If the girl gives the horse just one last glimpse of freedom she has done him justice. For however long a life lasts;20, 30 years or more, that girl kept him sweet and happy and cared for. And the one who redeemed herself and forgave herself for all of the wrong moves and applications she applied. Who forgave herself for not always being a perfect rider, owner and friend. To the girl who has a hard time with people but always loves the companionship felt in a good ride.
If you are her and she is you- you have won. And you continue to win the hearts of horses. To this person- I applaud the small moments you have and also the big successes. To the horse there is no difference. They only look for fairness, guidance and freedom. If you are her and she is you, then you have also probably lost. A friend, a first pony or a kind-hearted companion. If you are her and she is you then you have witnessed what few will- a bond and link between a horse and a human.
This has happened for centuries behind us and will continue for centuries ahead. It is a gift and a challenge. A reward and a puzzle. A relentless obligation that some may not understand.
To that women and child and mother and daughter and sister and horsewoman who collectively choose good for the animal- you have already done a great thing in your life. No virus or pandemic can change the wheat fields you have ridden through. The championships won or lost. It cannot replace or take down those learning experiences you thought were only about riding. No fear tactic or hate in this world, no guilt or financial disaster can strip you of something beautiful you have already seen.
If you do one thing today- reward yourself with kindness and patience. Give your horse a kiss on the nose and remember what life is REALLY about.
To the girl with the horse- you have already found a treasure worth keeping.