The horse is a noble creature, blessed with intelligence and unusual sensitivity. Under human control, they can be tools and companions. On a deeper level, horses can teach us more things about ourselves.
Recently – in the wilderness I walked from dense forest into a group of wild horses. Moving quietly, a warm summer midnight with no moon, approaching upwind, they were startled at first, to see me, and I just let instinct take over and handle the rest of the communication. What I observed myself doing surprised me and gave me a rush, it was awesome to feel reconnected to something ancient and forgotten, the ability to communicate with these noble beings. By natural instinct I had determined who was the leader stallion. This was the commander in chief of the herd, standing between me and the rest of the horses, front legs spread slightly, puffing air heavily through the nostrils, and thus signalling “halt! who goes there!”
I had to identify my intentions just like when approaching any human frontier or army base, or face possible attack if my presence was at any time deemed unwelcome. I kneeled with the same grace as a nobleman being granted audience before a king, and indeed, the energy in the air was electric and tense. The ears of the leader stallion were laid back, and hooves scraped ground, signalling dominance. Then, without words, it was as if the leader horse said: “approach!” but no sound or visual queue, it was only in my mind, not actually words but more a telepathic kind of contact.
This sounds weird so far, huh? I think so too. But I am explaining this because I want to share an experience. And that is kind of what this blog is all about.
So I approach the leader horse and he could in an instant obliterate me is he wanted. If I ran away, he could chase me. I relied on the telepathic diplomacy. It worked. Just letting go of any rational thought, I was able to listen to the faint voice that often drown in a modern rational world. I was sniffed and gently nibbled in the hair, sort of the way you would pat a child on the head. I was granted audience and allowed to approach the group, the leader horse now following me closely watching my every move.
I was in the center of the group, all the horses surrounding me, and they gently smelled me and allowed me to touch them and I felt very welcomed and humbled by the way I had been respectfully received. There was no hint of fear or suspiciousness apart from the fact I was very well guarded – and somehow it made me feel just safe. After this brief encounter, I was able to leave the group with the leader horse following me to the invisible border to the continued wilderness.
I was again alone, continuing my trek through the nature and forest in solitude and silence, thinking I had reconnected a little bit more with nature.
- There is a rich tradition of horse worship throughout the world, particularly in Mongol, Celtic, Germanic and Scandinavian cultures. In the world of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the land of Rohan is home to a horse cult. Its leaders are ‘horse-lords’, its warriors skilled riders with armour decorated with horse symbols.
- Ross Sutherland delivers a poem called ‘Horse at midnight’ with over 60 consecutive adjectives to describe a horse.
- In literature and art, the horse is both a symbol of power, beauty and sensuality.