I have been besotted with horses all my life. My mother used to tell me we couldn’t possibly keep one in our flat in Chelsea! I had to wait until my own children came along and when my daughter was growing up, we took on the care of an ex race-horse, much against the more ‘sensible’ advice of my horsey friends. It was a decision we never regretted.
Mac was only 5 years old when we bought him, already deemed a failure on the race track having run only a handful of races, being pulled up twice. His racing name was MacNamara, meaning ‘leader of the pack’ which he clearly was not! He was, however, a beautiful liver chestnut, Irish Thoroughbred gelding, whom we fell in love with the moment we clapped eyes on him. He was a kind, intelligent horse with the occasional fire in his belly, so characteristic of the breed. He taught my daughter and I so much about his special horsey nature and wild, independent spirit. He was a gentle and tolerant teacher, so eager to please having been around humans from a very early age. He never punished us for getting it wrong, as we invariably did on many occasions , albeit with only the best intentions.
Over the 6 years we ‘owned’ him, we became more confident in our own abilities and the more we took control of the care of his day to day needs, the greater the trust between human and equine. Anyone who has experienced that extraordinary bond will understand the amazing, hard-to-put-into-words rewards it brings. As is often the case with growing teenagers, as my daughter’s interest became divided by the pressures of school work and a busy social life, ‘Muma’ willingly took over the role of main carer. Many happy hours were spent in the saddle with our collie dog, Chess, trotting along beside us, on increasingly long treks. We introducing him to the delights of the sea, often performing a few dressage moves on the beach, above all enjoying the time that we spent together, and those precious moments when equine and human fuse into one being.
Fast forward a few years and true to my Sagittarian nature, I am feeling an increasing need for freedom once more. After a gap of 14 years out of the saddle, and a Granny to my daughter’s first child, that dream of getting back on the trail with an equine companion has resurfaced. But this time my ambitions have grown, and I want to start the bonding process with my horse (as yet unknown) from the ground up. Finally, when we are both ready, to set off using my horse’s innate intuition together with my dowsing skills to tap into an ancient system of energy lines and paths that ‘snake’ across the country, from old drovers tracks, quiet country by-roads to well-trodden pilgrim pathways, in a new quest to deepen my own spiritual connections to the landscape.
To many of my nearest and dearest this latest venture might be just a romantic dream (rightly or wrongly) and much too risky for a ‘woman of such advancing years’. For this reason, I have kept this latest dream a secret for fear of being talked out of it. This blog is the voicing of that dream into a living, breathing reality. It is envisaged as a true journey in every sense, hopefully one that is full of grace and creativity in the face of the inevitable challenges that lie ahead, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I also hope that it will inspire new directions in my artwork, and have used a detail of this painting I did several years ago of a friend’s horse as the image for this blog. Aspirations and events may change along the way but I invite you to come and join me in this journey, and ‘follow’ my next BIG adventure.