Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Something amazing happened today. I think the mare has decided this is home. She is all soft and dreamy, head low, leaning her forehead against me for love, no longer scanning the horizon for predators.
I give her a day off because we worked hard yesterday, and it was so good that I wanted her to have a little rest. I went up to see her in the field, to check her over and give her some love. I read an interview with the good jockey Christian Williams in the Racing Post this week, where he said that people who work with horses are only really happy when they are around horses. ‘A horse is your friend,’ he said.
It is true. My horse is my friend. Something in her has shifted. She has made her big decision. I am her person. This is her place.
When I went up tonight, she walked towards me for the first time. Normally she stands, like the Queen of Sheba, graciously assenting to being approached. Now, she shook her head, and ambled to me, staring straight into my eyes, and presenting her head to be stroked. I cannot tell you how that one, small, insignificant thing made my heart dance. It was as if she said: oh, I’m glad it’s you.
I stood with her for a long time. I found the precise location of her sweet spot. I was close before but tonight I found it definitively. It is in the small hollow just behind her ears, and if I scratch there she goes into a kind of trance. When a horse is at peace, that peace radiates out, like a balm. You can almost feel it, coming in waves. I stood with her, smiling like a loon. I said: ‘It would not be possible for me to love you more, even if I had two hearts.’
The Pigeon looked up, slightly reproachful. ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘And I could not love you more, either.’
So this is what I have become. The sort of woman who speaks aloud to horses and dogs of love. I frown and screw up my face as I stare at the screen, wondering what conclusion I should draw from that. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Should I try and make a little joke, quickly change the subject, draw a veil? There is an absurdity to it, after all. But you know, as someone once said to me, I think it was my wise sister, after my dog died and I was having trouble mourning her and my dad at the same time: love is love. Dog, horse, human; love is love. I think that is the thing that matters, more than anything else.
Some quick pictures for you:
My darling mare:
It kills me when the Pigeon does her moony face:
And the hill: