My horse is good at nothing.


This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.
—Maya Angelou

Wow, what a start to the new year. I have been focusing on moving my father, Cort, here to Santa Fe from the eastern shore of Maryland. It is a labor of love, involving many logistics as well as the tending to my own heart and soul’s needs.

I have been taking time to nourish myself deeply in the midst of all of the choreography, including spending luxurious segments of the day with Dandi, my beloved horse of nearly 7 years.

And I have discovered—on a new level—how good he is at nothing.

Nothing meaning Stillness, even in movement. Being, even in doing. And Nothing, as a state of Something, unto itself.

I am inspired. And have found a new level of this inside me.

I’ve spent recent years exploring meeting him where he is on a given day—sometimes he’s a little moody; he’s a bit of an introvert, who tends to hold things inside rather than express them externally; his expression is often subtle—he’ll hold his breath, remain extra quiet in his whole body, not blink, all the while appearing very relaxed and calm. Meanwhile, so much is being processed internally.

Can you relate? I can.

At home, I’ve been meditating with the gentle intention to be fully present with what is alive in me that very moment. And then the next moment, following the thoughts and feelings—not getting stuck on them or trying to get rid of them—with an attitude of curiousity and sincere receptivity, saying, “Yes. And then what?” over and over again.

Our horses are such incredible teachers about this very process, aren’t they?

I found that what I thought was a huge release of pressure for Dandi wasn’t enough. He needed more: more of LESS, that is.

Recently, after my old ways of releasing pressure just weren’t working effectively, I stepped farther away than I ever have: to the very end of the 20 meter longe line. He dropped his head; his eyes blinked, brightned and softened; he licked, sighed and sneezed quietly.

I lower my head, exhale. Tears come gently. Thank you for the trust, the release, the safety to do absolutely nothing. To be totally okay here together with no agenda.

Blessings in this new year of 2016, on the cross-quarter time half way between the dark of winter solstice and the return of the light of spring equinox. The season is tipping towards the light, but the seeds are still deep. Be gentle with yourself and others. See what might emerge from this place.

3 thoughts on “My horse is good at nothing.

  1. Good morning from Los Angeles. My sister, Aggie, lives in Santa Fe and was at your Equestrian Center yesterday. She told me how happy she is to have found you. Recently, I was in London, and last year as well. I was able to visit the Palace Guard Horses. People wait in line to stand next to these beauties and have a photo taken. Last year, each of the two horses on each side of the gate, turned their heads and touched my head. I cried in thankfulness. This year, a very tall beautiful black beauty was very agitated; rearing his head up & down, chomping his bit, stomping his feet. I stood next to him quietly and began talking to him, not touching him. I quietly came up to stand next to him. I began talking to him. I thanked him for being there. I said, “do you know that all this chaos around you is because everyone has come to see you. They all want to touch you, to see you and to be reminded of who they are: in the city of chaos, cement asphalt and steel. When we see you in all your beauty we are reminded of who we really are.” “Thank you for the strength to just stand here and show us that beauty and to remind us.” I kept talking to him; he stopped chomping his bit, stopped rearing his head and stopped stomping on the ground. My husband was taking photos and said, “he’s listening! He’s listening”. Yes, he was. This time I got to do something for them. The previous year I had said a prayer before I left the hotel room in utter exhaustion and asked for help to get through the day with relatives who wanted to see every “site” in London on this one day. I had walked up to the first horse and quietly said, “Hello beautiful creature of God”. the first horse turned it’s head around, touched its forehead to mine! A little later, I walked to the other side of the gate and the other horse did the same. I thought we weren’t supposed to touch them, so I kept my arms at my side. They each touched my forehead. The burden on my heart was completely lifted. The rest of the day and entire visit was wonderful. This year I was so glad that I could give back to them just a little peace. I expected nothing. This horse finally got quiet, just standing next to me, then turned his nose towards me, right at the level of my face (as he was very tall). I softly petted his soft nose and thanked him so much for being here in the midst of all this chaos”. I have photos of last year when each of them touched my forehead. I can send them if you like. This year my husband took a video. I don’t know how to shorten it to send a portion. It’s too long to send. My sister said that my experiences had encouraged her to come to your center and engage with the horses. I’m so glad that she’s doing this. It will be of great comfort for her. Much appreciation,
    Jo Ellen Doering

  2. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it
    to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    1. Oh, that brings a smile to my face! What a sweet idea to share with her (I remember listening to the ocean this way so well!), regardless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *