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esperanza-liberation-500She draws back, steps away. Peering from the top of the worn, weathered slope of her brown face, her eyes are drawn to the hand resting on the high, curved, ochre wall. Her hesitant gaze reveals her doubt. It is a dual-ended magnet to her this hand of mine, either attracting or repelling her depending on what she reads into it. Moments later she edges towards it again, half a step forward, then snakes her neck slowly forward, her muzzle stretching towards my knuckles. Abruptly she pulls away again, steps back, raises her chest and neck, and locks eyes with me. Then with elevated head she parts her lips slightly and lunges forward, stops, draws back, and lunges forward again, and again. Continue Reading »

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being-500Have you ever experienced it? You and your horse are walking side-by-side. It may be on a forest path, a hill track, anywhere. Your horse’s breath is raspy and warm against your forearm in the cool of the morning, comforting almost. You relax into an even stride. The four-beat rhythm of the hooves scuffing the dirt next to you hold your attention. You try and identify each foot as it hits the ground. It occurs to you that the rhythm of your stride is beginning to match that of your horse. And then it does. A bird calls in the distance. You smile. Why not quicken the pace? You thrust the base of your pelvis forward slightly and feel the energy course through your loins. Your horse responds. Now let us try to slow down. So you drop your energy and your equine friend slows as well. But what if you were to run? You feel the energy build up in your body as you prepare to do so. And suddenly your horse breaks into a trot well ahead of you. You almost halt in amazement but instinctively follow in a celebration of the power of shared being. Continue Reading »

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p+trim+herd-500Can you recall the last time you were involved in a heated discussion about horses? Do you remember how insistent and emphatic you became, perhaps impatient or even incensed? You were so focused and intent on making your point, were you not? Perhaps your eyes were flashing, your hands clenched and your lips trembling. And just maybe even now you may shake your head and wonder how on earth the other person could not see and understand the simple logic of what you were trying to say at the time. Can you recollect what the topic was? It must have been important and, if it was, the chances are that it was one of those issues concerning horses which seem to erect barriers even between humans who share a deep, sincere commitment to their well-being. So what are some of these issues and are they really about the horse? Continue Reading »

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pingo+pip-500Insistently he paws the ground, his strong black neck rounded down to a bulging shoulder, a hint of the powerful magnificence he once must have epitomised as a stallion. “Surely you cannot leave before I have you again?!” Is this what his powerful posturing means? She inclines her head gently in his direction. He snorts and paws the dust again. She seeks the caress of his breath upon her sleek coat, spreads her legs and signals her willingness. This will not be rape. I unclip the rope lead from the webbing halter placed on her willing head moments before. There is no rush, I think. We will continue when you are done. Let nature have its way. Ignoring me entirely, the gelding lays claim to my eager mare and mounts her. Continue Reading »

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riding-andrew+pip-500Halfway up the hill the energy, hers, pulsing through my legs and loins suddenly surges and I am immediately conscious of a change of pace. We are trotting. No, I have not asked this of her yet I feel no need to slow her down. Clearly, she is more comfortable with this. And if she is, so am I. Yet this is so very new to me, the absence of the familiar tools of control, those reassuring devices, sources of apparent safety. I relax, initially far too consciously. Let go, I think to myself, let your body sink into her ryhthm. Then and only then do we find each other on the ascent to the summit. There she stops, inclines her head towards me, her eye seeking mine. And I sit upon her and marvel … at her … at me … at what we have just done. Continue Reading »

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