She was for sale: a black bay Arabian mare and
I was looking for a beginner lesson horse. Tacked
up when I arrived, I led her to the mounting block,
held the reins a bit too tight, poked her with my toe
as I stepped into the stirrup and then dragged my
leg over the cantle, sitting heavy as a test. Would
she tolerate a student? In the chaotic arena, a gelding
with his head tied around, barking dogs, a frantic
horse on a lunge line. I clucked and clamped my
thighs, the western saddle massive on her back.
She marched on; my spine resisted the sway of her
walk, as my mind resisted my own deception. Her
flank lifted my heavy calves and she blew out from
deep in her lungs, clearing her windpipe and I did
the same, taking her cue without thinking. Busted.
Her poll gave a small shake and I shrugged. The
mare went on to tell me about her canter, her mouth,
her training. I wondered about some dancing dressage
steps and she followed my lead. Thanking her with
a dismount, I loosened the girth, but the seller was
concerned. “So quick,” he said. “Did the mare do
something wrong?” His words sharp in the dusty air,
the mare’s eyes went still. Answering her first with a
breath, then him, “No, she told me what I need to know.”
for Embrace the Moment, my good mare, Grace.
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
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