“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill. Since I was twelve a horse was a large portion of my life. I found release and freedom from the world through her. But, I never understood this quote until I realized horses gave me wings. My aunt told me that kittens were at their barn. We were going to check on them and then go to the movies. My blonde headed self was so focused on small fluffy kittens, I walked past a horse and her massive body standing in the corner. I kept walking distracted with kittens on my brain. I find myself hearing something, “crunch, crunch, crunch.” I turned around, and I was disappointed at not finding what my mind was so looking for. Then seeing a large butt with a knotty tail I think cows are not kittens. Yes. I know, a dreadful miscalculation. Then, I realised it was her. Her, a horse, THE horse I saw two weeks prior. She was still matted with feces and her bones were visible. It was her though! I had whispered, “ I will get you, I promise.” My pleading prays at the dinner table had worked. I asked God, but it's was my parent's conscious I softened. Mischievous maybe, but it worked! After giving everyone a hug and saying thank you, I began to brush her. I named her, “Ladybug”. Her coat grew and her bones filled out. However, Ladybug suffered from separation anxiety and nervous behavior. I think, she most needed was love. Ladybug wasn't easy to train. I often had to walk back to the barn from where I had been thrown off. She'd get injured. I tried hard not to get hurt myself. The outside of a horse will teach you that you can gain submission of a thousand pound animal through force, but never trust. So I took her away from people who thought to win her was to wear down her spirit and control her. I stubbornly searched for a solution. After 3 years, I found Carrie Vinski a women, who when you meet her you automatically underestimate her, which is a bad move I found. Carrie Vinski is a woman with a spirit so fierce and kind she has a whirlwind of inspiration always surrounds her. She opened my eyes to a new understanding. She taught me to be still while Ladybug stormed. Carrie taught me to speak the equine language. On the inside I stayed calm when it seemed like all hell was about to break loss. She steadied my hands and showed me how to love better. Carrie valued the horse's selflessness. She left the horse training world for that reason. Ladybug and I began to move forward for the first time. We managed a few shows, better riding practices, and began relaxing together. I learned not to demand so much from a creature whose spirit was broken. I listened and showed kindness instead of demanding my way. Horse are complicated and mysterious giants. Everyday you discover more from them. She gave me wings as I rode her across seas of grass. Air was flying past as I was afloat in the atmosphere. The sound of her proud snorting filled my ears. The thunder drum beating of her hooves feasted on the ground underneath me as we took off. That feeling sank deep into my bones as every muscles flexed and worked. As one she carry us across fields, rivers, and forests always on our way to nowhere. A horse run with power, strength and grace. To be carried by such a creature is a honor. In the show ring you feel the most intimate connection. The response in a single small command to turn, hold back and to go. The grace and enchanting movement in the dressage ring answers all questions of the true beauty of connection between two beings. Horses dance with passion and run with fire in there blood. They are war machines of old because of there benevolent power. While the story of Ladybug and I was finally pushing toward a positive light, as so often happens not all stories end with happiness. I found her limping and with a gaping wound to her hoof and a large loss of blood. I had to let her go. It was the honest thing to do, but saying goodbye to her was the hardest thing I've ever done. I regret walking away afraid to watch the light go out from her eyes. I heard her drop laying on the floor in wailing agony. I felt my heart break. Yet, I walked out and held her head gently as she breathed her last. I said, “ I'm proud to have called you mine. I told her she did a good job. Thank you, Ladybug.” She passed away with the sound of cars passing in the distance. I finally understood Winston Churchill. Ladybug was never about self gain. She humbled my prideful spirit and quenched a part of my soul hadn't known was parched. The freedom and discipline she taught me is irreplaceable. The horses body reminds men that there is rare power far greater than we know. Joy can be found even in the most troubling of things and love to be gained from earnest pursuit. Ladybug taught me gentleness. All horses have the power of enchantment over men. They are the wingless that fly with wings that only heaven may know of. Horses tame men.
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