Holding Space

Mornings start at the barn. The big horses have been out in the pasture for the night and the little ones have been roaming the barnyard. I open the gate and ask everyone to find a stall. Once secured, grain happens and that makes everyone happy in their decision to cooperate. Eventually, it is time to go back out again. Now, I open stall doors and ask each horse in turn to go outside which means scoot yourself on down through that gate and stay there until everyone has arrived. It is a requirement and also a game. Horses are smart about games. Today, instead of me arriving after the last of them had landed to give them a last snuggle and treat and to close the gate, Gordy was waiting for them to join him. They love that game the most. He is happy to reward them once, twice, until the treats run out. They are happy to share space with him and with each other, keeping their muzzles deep in treat territory, while carefully aligning their bodies like spokes on a wheel to avoid conflict. This is kindness, well practiced. Humans are fragile things compared to the impact a horse can weld. The kindness is in their understanding of the need to hold a space while being deeply engaged in it so that no one gets hurt. Everyone is rewarded. My reward was in the watching.

Day 11

Writing about what sings to me from a life made full with animals.

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