In Service to the Horses

Normally, sale as I haul heavy bags of feed from the vehicle to the barn in a plastic sleigh, ampoule especially in winter when I can’t get my vehicle as close to the barn as I’d like due to the snow, cheap I laugh at the idea of me pulling the heavy load while the horses look on over the fence. I find myself saying to them, “hey, why don’t you gals get over here and help me”, or “what’s wrong with this picture?”

 

Today I had 3 heavy bags of horse feed, along with a large bag of cat food. I took the sleigh to the garage and hefted the bags out of the trunk of the car. That went pretty well. I then tried to haul the very heavy sleigh up and over a small step from the garage to the driveway.  As I heaved on the rope, it broke, and I flew backwards, landing softly in a big snow bank, thankfully, and laughing as the dogs came running back to check on me after hearing the scuffle.

 

After repairing the rope I began the haul up the long driveway to the barn yard. Yes, in hind sight it would have made much more sense to make a couple of trips! Nevertheless, as I was pulling the heavy load, I found myself feeling much appreciation for how the horses have been in service to us for thousands and thousands of years. I thought about the many ways they made life easier for us and for all the things we could never have done without them; the heavy loads they have pulled, the many miles they travelled with riders, or pulling wagons and carriages, the harsh weather conditions they have endured, and for many, the unkind treatment, neglect, indifference, and pain they have experienced at the hands of humans.

 

I felt my heart open, and I began to thank the horses as I pulled my load. I thanked them for all they have done to make our lives easier, for the fun and adventure they provide for us, for the joy they bring, for all they have endured, for their hard work, patience, determination, for their losses, and their willingness. The horses watched me as I pulled the load, and began to jump and play in obvious anticipation of the treat bowls they knew were coming shortly. I told them that I felt blessed to be in service to them now, and that I would always do my best to provide for them, in a way that is as natural and comfortable for them as I can. I thanked them for being patient and gentle with me over the years as I’ve learned to care and provide for them, for the many mistakes I’ve made along the way, and for the lessons they have taught me.

 

I honoured them for their service and the service of their ancestors. I apologized for all we have taken from them; their wild spaces, their freedom, their babies, their family members, their herd mates. I apologized for the ways we have trained them, using pain, fear, power, control, intimidation, and harsh equipment. Then I thanked them again for helping us “wake up” to a new way of being with horses, for the many ways they continue to be in service, in coaching and therapy, sport, pleasure, work, and as our beloved companions. I promised them that I would continue to learn, to be better at caring for them, to treat them with respect and appreciation, to ask permission, to pay attention, to honour their needs, to offer them choices, to share what I learn with others, and to support in any way I can, the many courageous people out there who are caring for horses in desperate situations, nurturing and rehabilitating these beautiful animals, while discovering their own hearts are healing too.

 

I got close to the barn but wasn’t able to pull the sleigh up over a snowbank, and didn’t want to risk breaking the rope again, so I brought the feed bins, which thankfully are on wheels, out to the sleigh. Then, the hardest part for me is always lifting the bags out of the sleigh on the ground and hoisting them into the bins. I asked the horses for their service once again and said “please help me find the strength to lift these bags up and into the bins”. Sure enough I managed each bag with relative ease! I truly appreciate horse power!

 

Carol Marriott

 

www.ravenheartfarms.com                                                                                                                                       Jan.-29-14

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