Lessons and musings from the ranch

Horses.

I love them.

I am highly allergic to them.

We have three at the ranch: Snowflake, Belle and Napoleon. Guess which one I like? For people that have listened for a long time or know me personally, they would guess Snowflake or Belle. (I can here the jokes even up here in the mountains – Stu and Pat!)

Napoleon is a huge black horse, he has a bit of quarter horse in him I am told, but I don’t know anything about horses except they aren’t that different from people. Last year, when Snowflake almost bucked one of us off, we thought, at first, she had seen a snake. Nope. Then as she began to walk funny we thought she had a rock caught in her hoof. Nope. She was just done with the ride. To put it kindly, she is “spirited.” I call her El Diablo and I think Napoleon does as well. This morning I went in to the corral and found bite marks on Napoleon. Some horses are just mean, just like people. Sometimes they are mistreated or neglected while other times they just develop bad habits over time and feel the need to ‘show you who’s boss”.

I took Napoleon to another corral on the other side of the barns.

I love him and I like to think he loves me.

Today, I went into his new corral and he followed me around. Rubbed his face on my chest and we stood eye to eye. He actually had to bend down quite a bit as he towers over me. He is my buddy and I would do anything for him. It is weird how quickly you can become attached to an animal. When we went for a ride up into the mountains Monday, we knew we had each other’s back. We knew it again this morning. As the hives began to form on my hands and arms and my throat began to close just a bit again today, I ignored it for as long as I could.

I fed him a couple of apples while we talked about the state of the country. He looked at me and spoke through his big brown eyes. “the answers are not easy, but they are simple”, I imagined him saying to me. “Kindness, gentleness, compassion and love.”

It isn’t the wisdom of a big black horse who has never seen the world, read a book or traveled farther from his home than maybe the state fair. It is the wisdom of the universe that is encoded in all of life. We can all hear it, if we just can find a way to slow down and listen to the whispering of the eternities.