My barn is my refuge. If you are not an animal lover, you may not understand this. It’s almost like an addiction…in sad times I need my barn, in hard times I need my barn, when I am happiest I can’t wait to get into my barn, when I need to grieve I need my barn. My horses know more about me than any human. I’ve told them everything. I’ve cried while brushing them sharing my grief, I’ve felt their warm breath on my neck while comforting me, I’ve listened to their soft nickers in understanding of my pain. In joyful times I’ve watched them twitch their ears listening to my rambling while I am cleaning a stall. Their eyes wide in anticipation of what I am sharing. When they see me heading back to the barn, they come up from the pasture to greet me. They love to explore with me riding the trails and enjoying nature. All the while me talking to them about the leaves, the over full creek, the wild turkey running and so on. We have a connection.
Tonight while brushing them with the moon brightly overhead, the Buffalo Sabres game on the radio, and the munching sounds of them eating hay, I was reminded again of what a blessing they are to me. They fill a spot in my heart. I was born in the Chinese year of the Horse. Maybe that is my need for a horse.
I have had a horse (or 3) in my life for 37 years this month. I came from a family with not much money growing up and the only thing I begged for was a horse. At age 10 my parents realized there was no getting around it and bought me my first horse and my dad built a pole barn and put up a small pasture. I had to take full responsibility and I truly believe that is how I became the self sufficient person I am today. I did not have money for amusement parks, the mall or movies but I did not care. I had the best friend/companion in my horse. He was a crazy thing but I was invincible so that did not matter. I had him for 19 years until his last breath. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and what we shared.
I have 3 horses now. I have learned the training methods used by Native Americans so these horses are not wild like my first horse as I know now I am not invincible. We have a stronger connection because of the training relationship we have and they are a huge part of our family. Each one of them came into my life a different way but the connection was made the minute our eyes met.
Tonight was a peaceful night of reflection in the barn. My only hope while closing the barn up for the night was for my children to experience and feel what I have all these years.