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Lessons from the Wild

When I was a little girl, I was gifted a black stallion. My father gave me an 11 year old race horse that he retired from the track after a successful career in racing. This horse, named CV Apollo was the most beautiful horse I had ever laid eyes on and I couldn't believe my father gave him to me to learn to ride. We taught each other really. I didn't have a saddle, or a helmet, or boots for that matter, but we had each other and that was all that mattered. I would ride every chance I got. I had my share of falls - I fell off one time we were flying across a corn field only to have a car come up behind us and fly by. CV was trained to follow a lead car with a gate in races so when the car went by us, he went a hell of lot faster than I was prepared to ride. I found myself on the ground looking at the ass end of my horse chasing a car down the road. I learned quite a bit during those times; however, when CV and I were in touch with the WILD, that's when life took on a whole different perspective.

I would ride out into the woods and fields that bordered our house and CV was always a willing partner. CV was a trotter in the Standardbred world. He could trot faster than any horse and once I trained him to ride, he could walk, trot, canter, and his extended trot was just as beautiful as a dressage horse can do. I would come home from school and work with him on all these little movements. Take the time to show him what I wanted with my hands and my feet - with no more than my own body. It was a lot of fun.

Then one day, after riding for about an hour, we decided to go into the woods. The forest was at the top of this beautiful hill we climbed inside the neighbors farmland. We could walk for miles and not see another living soul. I felt my body mold into his as we began to breath as one being. His black mane was flowing in the breeze and I felt so free. We walked and walked his body moving at a relaxed pace and my body moving in time with his. Sometimes CV would stop and listen and I would listen too. As we were walking in the grove of trees, there were deer in the woods with us. I don't know where they came from, but there they were, walking with us through the woods. There were five of them, all does. Each one looked a little different. I remember the one was almost all grey. Two of them looked like they might have been last years twins. Some of them would trot up ahead and others were picking at the ground looking for a little morsel of food. I stopped CV and we became a statue in the woods. The deer were all around us. At this moment, I felt like time had disappeared. The trees were just waking up from winter and had buds all over them. I could see the pinkish purple caps that would set free their prisoners in the coming days of warm and sun. The forest floor was wet and silent which allowed all of use to move without making a stir. A hawk called from a lone tree out in the field. I looked out into the distance and noticed the light change in the sky. The breeze blew softly through the trees and whispers of love surrounded us. I became very still and allowed my body to breath with CV. The air was clear and heavy as if snow were coming soon. Within a few minutes, the deer were off on their own way and CV and I continued through the woods towards home. I had a long way to go and I always promised my dad I would get back to the barn before dinner time. I often wonder about that day and how blessed I was to be a witness of such peace and harmony. Lessons from the wild are always the best to keep close to your heart.

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