The horse is the gift of the gods...
Passionate About Horses
I love horses; the sight of them, galloping across a poppy-strewn field, their necks arched, their tails bannered high -- brings tears to my eyes. The soft muzzle of a horse tickling my hand with his whiskers as he lips up the grain from my hand -- that's an ecstasy only chocolate can equal.
Horses are the gift from the gods. They are our link to history throughout the ages. Who carried Alexander the Great into battle? Bucephalus -- and that name is etched in the stories of greatness at the side of his master. Black as the wing of the crow or raven, Bucephalus earned his place in fame; it was he who companioned the conquering leader. Bucephalus was the friend, the hero, the steed. He was the soul of Alexander.
Pegasus, the winged white stallion -- the horse of our dreams and our visions -- who would not wish to journey astride his strong muscled back, to soar through the clouds into mystic kingdoms of myth? He was also a friend to be wooed, and once won, a companion forever cherished.
The Trojan horse -- infamy at the hands of treachery, but even Helen did not rise above the fame of that manmade marvel, a creature only fashioned in the image of a horse.
The Pony Express - which few of us realize existed only briefly, is an image stamped in our brains. We prefer to think of the US Post Office using fast ponies and horse-drawn stagecoaches. Forget that thing called the "Iron Horse" which huffed and puffed, and stayed docilely on metal rails.
Horsepower is the term we use for the power of ugly, metal tractors and flashy modern cars. Perhaps, such inventions do not leak urine and feces as they go forward, but their gasoline engines are worse for our ecology than horses were. And, although advertisements love to show the horse in motion and contrast it with such metal monsters, we know that the car and truck will never give beyond their endurance, or whinny when they see you.
Horses are the gift of the gods; that indisputable statement runs throughout our historical narrations, weaving itself within the stories of all mankind. But one doesn't have to dig through moldy texts to research whether it is still true. Only go to the nearest livery stable, and view the aspiring riders practicing their barrel races and galloping across cross-country jump fields. Notice the beginners, intermediate, and advanced equitation classes, and study them, for you may see our future Olympic dressage masters. And in doing so, you'll see that the horse has not lost its power to enthrall.
Our thirst for communion with this, our earliest partner, shows no signs of abatement, even though the price of our enjoyment climbs higher every year. Stables are pushed further and further away, but people follow. The horse will always be beloved.
What's a circus without horses, a mounted policeman without his specially trained crowd controller, or a park ranger minus his steed? Hopefully, no parade will ever pass before us without well-groomed horses, festive in their silver saddles or harnessed to carts and buggies. Even beer commercials will continue to proclaim the importance of the horse, showing off their fine-feathered Clydesdales, whose great height and strength are the last remnants of single-family farms and of long ago knights who charged into battle atop their mighty steeds.
The horse, his muscles rippling and bunching with every movement, his nostrils flaring, his ears proclaiming his every thought -- he is the symbol of our greatness. With the pounding of his hoof beats, we riders are warriors, explorers, raiding Indians, jousting knights. We are ladies riding sidesaddle, cantering and laughing in our joy. We are the freed, no more treading through dusty ground, as slow and plodding as cattle. We riders are unfretted by human limitations, forged each ride into brave centaurs, cantering through the mists of time.
As the horse carries us on journeys of distance or around the trails near our homes, he gallops us into other places, worlds we have long ago lost. He is our friend, our companion, our partner. He is the dream that we harbor inside us -- the dream of the freedom of the wind, and the opportunity to soar into greater heights, flying for one moment beyond the confines of human legs.
Yes, I am passionate about horses. I do not believe that I could survive in the plastic world that futurists want to take us, not unless the horse accompanied me to gallop me through greener pastures, and trails where birds and squirrels still chattered. I would never want to imagine a world without the whinnies, the warmed gentle breath nuzzling at my hand, and the sweetness of friendship found beside the heirs of Bucephalus and Pegasus.