Photo & Poem: Sage Under-hoof

An elder red mare and her rider babysat us as
we climbed in and out of ravines, my young horse
giddy on the trail, not running but not walking
either. Crossing a small pond in leaps, had he

ever seen so much unfenced land? His body froze
to the shallowest breath, watching a herd of deer
bound away. We came to a vast prairie, green and
the ground soft on his hooves. The mare grazed

as we trotted a large arc. Afraid to look up, my
eyes held to the wildflowers, Indian Paintbrush
and Larkspur. On cue, we caught the air. The
one, two, three waltz of a canter. Tense choppy

steps, my seat too loud in the saddle, my horse
wanted to bolt. Forcing my mind to stillness, willing
my body to soften, so the gelding’s neck could go long,
he answered by lengthening his stride and we found

a rhythm between our bodies. The arc returned us to
the beginning, lifting my eyes to patterns of color in
the trees and in the sky. Lost to time, just his spine
rocking mine, and the smell of sage crushed under-hoof.

Anna Blake for Relaxed & Forward 

Want more from this horse trainer who writes poetry? Visit to see all my published work, online courses, and training events. Look for a new offering of poems to be released this fall entitled Horse. Woman.

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Anna Blake

12 thoughts on “Photo & Poem: Sage Under-hoof”

    • I didn’t know what it was at first, we didn’t have any in the rainforest. Now I have more in my pasture than I do grass. Thanks, Linda.


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