There have been days this spring and summer that the only words I spoke were into the face of a horse. I like it that way.
In fact, I wish humans were more like horses. Horses will never laugh at you. They won’t argue with you. They may kick you, step on your feet, ignore you, or disobey you. But they won’t cheat on you, talk about you behind your back, or stop loving you. They don’t fall out of love with you. They don’t lie to you. They lack the ego that most humans suffer from.
The nice thing about horses is that they don’t generally deal with assholes. They buck them off or kick them. Silently. Quick and to the point. Instant karma.
If only human beings could act with such discriminating and wrathful action.
They are, for the most part, loyal and honest. Unconditionally.
“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves—strong, powerful, beautiful —and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”
~ Pam Brown
I enjoy riding—even the zen art of shoveling stalls out—because it allows me to connect with not one, but two emotional minds and bodies at once. It’s like making love, really. And there’s not a single evil in the world that a stout canter can’t beat out of a soul. Sometimes I feel like I can communicate more soundly with horses than I can with humans.
So, at the end of the day, I go home wishing humans were more like horses. At the end of the day, I come home and I am disappointed by the way humans treat each other. It’s sometimes a severe letdown to come home from a day of beautiful fantasy on horseback.
And in all my interactions with horses, I can tell which ones have been abused by humans—which horses have been objects of our insecurities. Projections. Desires. Regrets. The wild and unruly ones have maybe been beaten or repeatedly traumatized. The downtrodden ones have maybe been neglected. The skinny ones haven’t been fed. If a horse has an issue, chances are that it hasn’t been taken care of and loved enough.
I believe humans are the same way.
I think horses are a good way to learn about the dharma. And if you don’t care about the dharma (but you still care about being a compassionate and honest human being), horses can teach us how to be decent humans anyway. Maybe someday we’ll catch up to them.
Maybe someday, we’ll stop acting like assholes and start learning some lessons from the world around us. Maybe someday we’ll stop cheating, lying, stealing. Maybe someday, we’ll instead run fast in the wind with our herd…faithful to our own souls and kind(er) to those we are supposed to love and care about—committed to the end.
True. Compassionate. Loyal. Faithful. Honest. Bare.
The way things are supposed to be.
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Jenna Penielle Lyons