Learning from Horses

((I know I’ve been slower posting recently. I’ve been on a local road trip for awhile but I’ve also been sorting through life a bit this summer. All is well but sometimes Spirit takes us into new areas and I haven’t been ready to write about them. Next couple of weeks seem to be simple reflections.))

Yesterday morning I walked across the goose-spattered yard, past the goats and chickens, and the barn full of hay, to visit the horses. Usually, the herd roams free around the property of the wilderness lodge where we’re staying for a few days. At 7.00am Mani feeds the herd hay in the back coral so they make their way home. My family was quiet, still tucked in their beds, so I slipped away to visit the horses. They were so peaceful, scattered around the coral in small groups, munching on fresh hay. Contentment hung in the air. Life couldn’t be better, fresh air, fresh hay, friends around. Most of the horses are rescues, not elegant, but good horses, grateful for a loving and safe home. The day before we’d been on a trail ride and so I felt familiar with Rosie, Paddy, Ranger, and Maris.

A different horse came into the coral. I didn’t know him, so I’ll call him Spotty. His front was brown, backside was white covered in brown spots. He entered with an attitude and pushed into the first group of munching horses, instantly sending his ears back in warning. The two other horses quickly stepped aside from him. He could have whatever hay he wanted. They munched for a few minutes but then Spotty flicked his ears back again and pushed around some more. The little group broke up and reassembled at a distance. Spotty kept eating. I remembered the day before seeing a horse, flick his ears back, turn and nip another’s butt. I think that was Spotty too.

Have you ever experienced someone coming into a room and bossing people around like Spotty? I know I have! But the wrinkle for me is that I’ve been seeing a bit of Spotty in myself lately. I’ve become aware of rough edges, times when I push into a room or a discussion, times when I flick my ears back. I haven’t noticed such behaviour in myself for a very long time. I wonder if it’s been there and I’ve been blind, or if this is different behaviour happening or if I’m simply seeing what I’m like through new eyes. Any way it comes about….it’s not pretty. I want to be like Jesus, not Spotty!

And I want eyes to see what I am like, not what I imagine myself to be like, but how I actually move through the world. I want to live like that contented herd, connected, satisfied, happy, appreciative. They’re not elegant horses, groomed for competition or show, but they are good, horses making the best of their horse life at a wilderness lodge in The Cariboo of BC. I want to make the best of the life I’ve been given too.

Love and prayers


Mystic in Motion

Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire

Contemplative Fire Canada, Founder

Companion on The Rivendell Way

Society Member of Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

2 thoughts on “Learning from Horses

  1. Horse riding is interesting in which the brain, body and behavior of horses are checked and understood to become successful riders. In the same way, the horse also tries to know the brain, body and behavior of rider to follow the control and commands of actions. Thanks


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