Photo & Poem: Lead Me

 

The horse’s eye curtained by his forelock,
his ear turns to stare back as we walk
in matched strides, left hoof and left
foot lift ahead, our weights land and

shift to the right, part of us on solid
ground, part swinging just above. Don’t
think; take no notice that will alter the
rhythm or restrict what would be free.

Let flow, this ease of movement, our
elders were nomads. Joined like sky and
earth, my hip to his shoulder, his hooves
choosing steps not longer than mine.

 

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
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Anna Blake

28 thoughts on “Photo & Poem: Lead Me”

  1. This picture is just gorgeous, perfectly sublime, and the verse both powerful and familiar. Thank you.

    When I first began having my balance issues, we were living at our first farm, and the larger pasture gate was at the far end of the paddock fence, down a rather steep hill. There was an alleyway immediately outside that gate and a hill up to the pasture, both of which invited the horses to race up that hill, bucking and farting. My young gelding, who was at the bottom of the pecking order used to allow me to place my left hand on his withers, cane in my right, and we’d walk slowly and carefully down to open that gate. Interestingly enough, the rest of the herd followed quietly without pushing. I would let go of Will and grab the gate for balance and watch the lovely display of them running up the hill and race a few circles. After they’d grabbed a few mouthfuls of grass, I’d whistle, and Will would come back to help me walk up the hill to the barn. I noticed many times that Will and I were in step during our walks, which is remarkable given that he’s a leggy 16.2h.

    • Well, no surprise to me, because it is offered. So many times over the course of my horse life, I’ve been offered a “hand” when needed. I just love this comment, Shelley. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. This is like the “new” evolving relationship I share with my aged gelding Rocky. So peaceful … we just coexist as we stroll, he grazes while I dutifully clear the fairy knots from his long Arab mane, and we admire the view.

  3. I love your stories, Shelly and Sherry. In Virginia this winter, we have had an extraordinary amount of rain. The fields are muddy, slippery, and difficult to walk through. Currently, my Arabian gelding, Ryder, is far off from the barn, across two large fields and up a hill. For me, it’s a rather treacherous walk with the added worry that the whole herd will run and I have no place to go. So I walked up the road, stood at a gate that is visible to the herd, and called. Ryder was up a hill, turned, and came down, crossed two pastures, watching me come back down the road as he walked, then calmly met me at the gate near the barn. We both nodded “hello,” and I felt SO happy.

    • Oh, Dona, I love this! *Eyeroll Alert* – there’s something about our Aay-rabs … when they choose to bestow their friendship, it is a deep and long connection.

      • Sherry (and Dona), I’m laughing at your eye roll alert – both because that’s a great image, and because my Will is 1/2 Missouri Foxtrotter, 1/2 Clydesdale. Now, MFT are real mixes and are known to have a thoroughbred in them, so with TB originating as part Arabian, I *suppose* he could be a smidgen Arabian? LOL He IS a total pocket pony who at 16.2h, 1200 lbs with feet which are 4.5″ across, can scare the HECK out of folks afraid of a creature that size running at them as though he was a Golden Retriever!

        That’s him next to my name above.

    • Dona, I’m happy you and Ryder have that connection, primarily because I know how happy my relationship with my Sweet William aka Will makes me.

  4. Many reasons I love the photo and the poem. .. and the stories by others who have commented. Again, Anna, you surprise with the gift of putting into words those MOMENTS of synchronicity with horses. I want to call that experience “grace.” I remember still a few years ago when working with Cash at liberty, he stopped, looked at me, and waited for me. For just an instant, I knew he really wanted to be in sync , we actually were two beings PEACEFULLY connected , and this was just so stunning to me, given how remote and relentless he had seemed up until that second. Still brings tears to my eyes. Your poem reminds me of what that felt like. I’m just grateful I was sufficiently aware to catch the PURITY of that connection.

  5. Thank you, Anna, Shelly, and Sherry! It’s been a long road to this connection with him, and the way forward took time, a lot of patience, and slowness, and quiet. I had so much to learn! Zenbear, what you say about the connection with Cash–that moment you describe perfectly–is a moment of grace for sure. A gift that you were present to receive!

  6. That last line says it all. A sign of success for me and my gelding. I thought about selling him because he was such a handful of a horse. Found an incredible trainer that helped me understand myself and my boy. Today our walks are side by side and it’s more like a stroll with calm and respect emanating from both of us then the disconnected rodeo we used to endure together. I can remember the day when I noticed this. Thank you for giving that moment words.

  7. Happy ‘R Us who have experienced this connection! Thank you, Anna. Your words remind me of many connected moments with my boy Dover. Love this post!

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