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They are wise animals.

My grandfather was a young horse trainer on a Texas ranch in the late 1800’s. My father kept pedigreed American Saddle horses in the country near Austin where I grew up.

These were beautiful, intelligent animals. They took care of us kids in moments when we had them dressed up in makeshift cardboard armor pulling our little wagons, and kept us from killing ourselves. They were aristocratic, spirited and smart.

I only saw later that there are horses who could be regarded as peasants of the equine world. Ungainly, brutish, ugly horses exist, a fact that always surprises me. It shouldn’t, I suppose, because there is always a range of beauty and sensitivity in every species.

I’ve learned that there are no exact replicas anywhere. Nature seems to make unique one-offs based on a basic structure.

But, if you pay close attention you can see the individual soul in every being. Once, my father began to whip a horse who reacted to a biting fly, which caused a commotion because the guest who was already sitting on the horse began to shout at my father to stop. Things escalated quickly and got heated between the humans, but I was watching the horses eyes.

It understood the situation immediately and knew how to de-escalate it.

It watched us closely but stood stock still like the spiritually advanced being it was, non reactive, calm and in control of itself. That self control brought the emotions of the moment down several notches.

I noticed as I grew up, how the horses saw and understood things we children didn’t, things that might have been dangerous. They were almost surrogate parents for us sometimes, leaping over obstacles and avoiding dangers we didn’t see.

I will always have a soft spot for horseflesh. I think they are glorious animals. In a sense, I feel as if I was raised by horses.

If we were all a little more observant, the patient wisdom of animals might reveal itself to us.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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