Thursday, October 15, 2015

Unbridled Joy

Thunder rolls across the hills 
Denim whip-cracks split the skies 
Feel the rumble of their coming, 
Carrying visions for our eyes…

“Wind given form,
roving bands and leaders
racing down history
Children of Epona
Beloved of Poseidon
Blessed Hayagriva

We come!  
Swift, Vital, and Free!

    We keep the beat 
as we run
Our trumpeting voices 
call to thee!

No spurs necessary
to goad us into motion
Shake off those blinders!
Burst your tethers!
Stretch against the horizon 
Trust yourself 
Lose the maps

the fences you have 
built around you 
in the beauty 
of motion 
Run Free!

Harness your efforts
pulling steadily towards your goals
New directions will open before you
Open roads
sky-domed plains
golden deserts
wave combed shores

You hold the reins of your Life
Power and Intuition
arise when we are grounded
feet moving like music
across the earth
Intuiting the Divine

Wisdom comes 
to the judicious 
Fortune opens 
to the Wise
Stamina however develops
by overcoming challenges 
For no one 
lives without strife.

Trust the sensitivity 
of your own skin
Yet brush off each biting fly
Know your paces
Move in Partnership
not aggressively
nor skittishly shy
Bolting from every truth 
that makes you feel 
ill at ease 
Keep open
a weather eye

Live well
Live simply
Humbly serving
with unbridled joy
So when it’s your turn 
You can ride off 
into the sunset 
with pride!”

“To these animals, the ability to intuit fear in a distant herd member and act on this feeling without hesitation is a lifesaving skill. Their innate aptitude for resonating with another being’s trust, joy, or confidence is a life enhancing skill.” Linda Kohanov

“And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse…. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse. " Bedouin Legend 

“Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprint of the horse beside it. " John Moore 

Horses, like Dogs, have a long history with Humanity. Not so very long ago, we depended upon our horses to get us from point A to point B, to till our fields, and carry our goods. Without our partnership with this marvelous creature, I doubt we would have gotten around the world as quickly as we did! 

Nowadays, only those with the means and desire to care for a horse, or the ability to work with them, are graced with their company on a regular basis. This is a great tragedy! Once though, the Horse meant more to man than our cars of today. Their strength and beauty drew us in, but their companionship has captured our hearts forever. We have revered them in literature, film, music, poetry, and art probably since the first person drew a Horse upon the cave wall. 

Horses in their natural state form bands comprised of young, mares, immature stallions and one dominant stallion who rules his harem. Males reaching maturity either wander off on their own or are driven off by the herd stallion. Bachelors will form loose bands together until they can either best an established stallion and claim his harem, or steal his own mares away as opportunity presents itself thus forming his own herd which he will then defend most aggressively. 

Within the family herd, there is always one mare, referred to as a lead mare, who is favored by the stallion and establishes her dominant rank within the herd in a variety of ways. The lead mare is usually the one who leads the herd in their wanderings as the herd stallion usually brings up the rear of the herd where he can keep an eye on his harem and young, urge stragglers back into place and hold off predators long enough for the herd to get ahead. 

The lead mare also establishes pecking order whenever a new mare is added to the herd, is adept at finding water or food sources, and wily in sensing and evading danger. She might establish her dominance with a few well placed nips and kicks, or simple demand that an errant mare remain in place while the lead mare grooms her. Gestation is between 335-340 days, colts (male offspring) are generally carried 2-7 days longer than fillies (females), and both are considered to be fully grown at four years although their skeletons do not finish developing until six years. Horses are one of the domesticated animals that will wean their young when they sense the time is right, with or without the help of the humans in their lives. Through their habits, Horses suggest that part of being a good parent is knowing when to refuse your child their desires, that typically male children need a little more nuturing than female children, and that balancing the needs of the young with our own well being is essential.

Horses are prey animals, and as such have well-developed flight or fight responses. Their first instinct will be to run from danger and their agile speed has saved them countless times over the generations. Their sense of smell is greater than ours and their hearing is excellent, although they rely mainly upon their vision. Studies have shown that horses are not typically colorblind. They have excellent day and night vision though they have difficulty distinguishing between grays, browns, and greens. The side positioning of the eyes gives the horse a wide field of vision of about 350°, which is certainly an aide in spotting predators!

Grains and grasses make up their typical diet and these ungulates can sort through even the smallest grains with their prehensile lips. Their skin is more sensitive than people generally realize, and they can feel the instant even a small insect lands on them long before it has a chance to bite. Horses also have an extremely well developed sense of balance, they are very aware of changes in terrain, and will be quite cautious in how and where they place their feet. Their heightened sense make them excellent predictors of weather change or even natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes.

Many cultures have revered the horse, perhaps most notably the Arabs, Romany, Travellers, Scythians and other nomadic peoples in history. Yet, even the sturdy English once had a proverb, “Show me your horse and I will tell you what you are.” Once, you could tell a great deal about a person just by looking at his horse. Horses have been used as currency, a sign of wealth and quality for centuries. Many people throughout history have been judged not only by their ability to breed or select fine horses, but also by their ability to forge a relationship with and care for their horse. Horse can be found in Greek/Roman mythology, Celtic legend, Native oral traditions, and many other cultures. Horse can be found in the Chinese calendar too and shares much of the same qualities, from an astrological point of view, as the Horse of Native American cultures. Well balanced Horse people tend to be confident, independent, inquisitive, sensitive, adventurous, strong leaders and eager travelers who are respected for their “horse sense”, gentle hearts and ability to listen to others.

Social creatures of great diversity, they also have much to teach us. Horse’s first lessons to us are Freedom and Movement. If any other totem speaks more of co-operation than Wolf, it would be Horse. Horse depends upon his fellows just as completely, but he also understands the need for the same dependence upon and harmony within ones self. Watch the Horse in motion and you will see a being moving in utter grace, and confidence along the Earth’s skin. There is a subtle give and take between Earth and Horse, much like that between wind and wave…natural, fierce, gentle, and free, with no need for dominance or room for greed. The Horse drums a life beat upon our Earth, reminding us with his actions how best to move through life, and She in turn gives the horse food, shelter, comfort, unconditional love, and free rein to be their divinely intuitive selves.

True freedom is understanding that not only do you make the decisions that get you through life and these choices will effect others and the world around us, but that sometimes freedom means choosing to put yourself into a harness, tie yourself down with responsibilities and do the job that needs doing. Freedom is also the freedom to make mistakes, to choose wrongly and learn from those mistakes. Sometimes, it is not how we ride through life, it is how we meet with the many falls we will take during our ride. It isn’t always easy to greet obstacles or bone-breaking mishaps with a cheerful heart, grace and determination.

Horse carries powerful medicine, prophetic dreams and divine visions from Creator to us, the dreamers. Linked with the wind, the ocean, the moon, the sky and even the breath of the Creator, Horse teaches us that with partnership, grace, stamina, and sensitivity we too can move through life with joyful freedom. Black Beauty was one of my favorite tales as a young girl. While he went through many trials and carried heavy burdens throughout his life, he lived his life well with dignity, love and strength. I heard so many times as a girl that “all girls love horses” and “you’ll grow out of it eventually” that I actually believed it for many years. Thankfully, I never have grown out of my love for these magnificent creatures and some of my best memories are standing in sunshine with the smell of the stables around me, the sound of the brush, the soothing rhythm of my brushstrokes and the contented grunts from horsey friends.

Horse can teach you how to find your own inner rhythm and how to dance through life’s many challenges, leap over obstacles, and how to live freely. There are many ways one might connect with Horse. Watching films like Hildalgo or a documentary on horses, perusing the various myths and legends from around the world, or books that center on a horse like: King of the Wind, The Valley of Horses, Epona the Horse Goddess, or the fabulous Tao of Equus.

Tao of Equus is a truly riveting read and I cannot recommend it highly enough to those called by this Creature Teacher. The author, Linda Kohanov, began the Epona project which utilizes these sensitive creatures as therapists, and her many experiences along the road that led her to where she is now in life are wonderfully revealing. Just watching the beauty of dressage with it’s joyful and skilled partnerships between horse and man is very inspirational. Not everyone can own and care for a horse, but we can certainly spend time in their company! Which is, perhaps, the best recommendation I can make. Possible balancing energies: wolf, dog (dog and horse people either get along famously or drive each other nuts in my experience!), mountain lion/lion, grasses and grains, apple, carrot, the winds, snake, and fly. How does the inspiring Horse appear in your life?

“Freedom means choosing your burden.” Hephzibah Menuhin

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, “Maxims: Liberty and Equality,” 1905

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. " Franklin D. Roosevelt

Keywords: Freedom, Partnership/Service, Travel/Astral Travel, Power/Strength, Stamina/Endurance, Loyalty, Passion/Spirit, Fertility, Pride/Nobility, Intuition/Sensitivity, Vision Quest, Grace

Associated with: Epona, Manannon MacLir, Rhiannon, Eos (and Hippoi Anthanatoi), Apollo, Athena, Hayagriva, Poseidon, Demeter, Anemoi, Odin, Loki, Resheph, Dagr, Nott, Brunhilde, Johano-ai, Svantovit, Silenus, Selene, Surya, Saint James

Potential Balancing Energies: Plants like grasses, grains, clover, daisies, gumweed, carrots, and trees like Cottonwood, Apple, or Willow. Animals like dog, wolf, coyote, rabbit, prairie dog, cattle, sheep, cat, or deer. Birds like meadow lark, hawk, crow, egrets or storks. Insects like flies, gnats, mosquitoes, bees or wasps. Elements like Wind, rain, lightning, thunder, wildfire or water. 


  1. Wild ponies. We have 'em in NC on some of the barrier islands.

    1. Equines are the Teachers singing here! well done Chris :o) I'll have the rest of it up tomorrow