Photo & Poem: Horsewoman

There were always horses, some light and
some dark. The woman met them in passing
or they stayed forever, some were proud and
some stayed hidden deep within. After the

gelding stumbled and fell, trapping the woman’s
leg, breaking her loose from her fairytale
romance, the woman and the horse were set
on equal footing. She feared for her mortality

as the horse always had his own. Negotiation
began, internal parts of one were exchanged
with the other, melding counter to instinct, until
essential ground yielded to trust. The woman

careful to keep kindly stoic, so coming and going
was gentle for the horses, a loose hold that granted
freedom within their confined lives. The horses
answered by teaching the woman a body-voice

that other horses would recognize, granting entry
to an ancient herd running unbound across time,
beyond breed or name or nature. Knowing themselves
only by who each became in service to the other.

 

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm

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Anna Blake

18 thoughts on “Photo & Poem: Horsewoman”

  1. Whoa, this one struck a chord. I had a bad wreck and while still owning and boarding horses, didn’t ride. But I still went to the barn and did ground work and I’m a better horsewomen today because of that several year break from riding.

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  2. I’ve been thinking of this poem off and on since I read it earlier this morning. Thinking of how lucky I am to have not had a serious spill in my lifetime. I’ve fallen off and cracked a rib, but nothing more than that. I’m thinking of the people who have had a scary accident and come back, and thinking of Crissy and her book, and of others who choose to not ride again.

    It had never occurred to me until now just how much the horse has to give in terms of instinctual fears to partner with us. Thank you for writing this !

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    • Thanks, Sarah, for these thoughts. I have been thinking about what it takes to get past their beauty to some deeper place. or even what it takes to get knowledge beyond one horse to many. Still, nice to be thinking of horses.

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  3. Beautiful, Anna. I can totally relate to these thoughts. Having experienced a couple of wrecks over the years started me on the path to being a better horsewoman. Today as I took my once fiery but now arthritic Arabian mare for a walk to loosen her up, I was thinking how appropriate that she and I aging together has set us on more equal footing and deepened our relationship way beyond what it was when we were younger. We have been together almost 17 years now. Thank you for sharing such profound thoughts with us.

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  4. Wow, that was just beautiful! And what a revelation. Why has it never occurred to me until now to equate my fear of being on a horse (and “at the mercy of their whim/mood/state of mind”) to their fear of having a predator on their back and in charge of their movement???? Wow again – how very selfish and human of me.

    Tell me Anne, when you work with horses, do they breathe a visible sigh of relief or perhaps get excited when they realize the depth of your understanding of them?

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    • Sueann, I think it’s more fair to say humans have tunnel vision and horses live with peripheral vision. They see the big picture and we micromanage tininess. And no, never a git sigh. They recognize me and use me to translate. My job sounds less romantic now, doesn’t it.

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  5. Brought me to tears. My sweet steed, has taught me so much in the ten almost 11 yrs we have been together. This poem of yours humbles me even more. I am so beyond words fortunate that Tiemen chose me to teach. and ever grateful to you for these blasts of insight. (no ‘events’ of any kind – just learning, I am a slow learn, but thankfully Tiemen knows and his patience is infinite-or better be! 🙂 )

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  6. How this so resonated with me… my horse slipped on slick black pavement and fell on my leg. I jokingly say I cushioned his fall as he had not a scratch on him but me, three compound fractures with complications. I had to ride again no question. Trust…interesting word, me him and him me. It was there but I so struggled too be in the moment for him and me. Gave grace and time to me and to him. Was a pivotal time for us and has made all the difference in our relationship. So appreciate your words! Thank you!

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  7. It’s like the stars were aligned! How is it possible to not have understood this before? I , of course, knew it but now I *get* it. Very helpful. Thank you.

    Reply

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