“He leaps from the ground as if his insides were light as hairs. He’s a flying horse, a Pegasus, breathing fire out of his nostrils. When I sit astride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots on air. The earth sings when he touches it. The lowest part of his hoof is more musical than Pan’s pipe.” – William Shakespeare, Henry V: Act 3, Scene 7.
Horses inspire poetry because they are poetry. Today I sunk my fingers into Deli’s thick chestnut coat and thought: this is what home feels like. This is where I belong when the fear of the unknown threatens to unseat me.
Granted, I’ve been calling lots of things poetry lately. Legal contracts are poetry to me. Every word, and its placement, has meaning in a legal contract. Horses are a different kind of poetry – an emotional rather than intellectual delight for the mind and body. Maybe we, as humans, need both types. I certainly do.
The things I do for my horse are somewhat less poetic. Today I paid to have Deli adjusted by a chiropractor, and then to have her hooves trimmed. Later this week she will get dental work and my saddle will be re-fitted to her changed shape.
On top of those expenses, I’ve started running again with feigned gusto. It’s hard work and I’m not a naturally athletic person! I may not have the trail access I want (and arguably need) to condition Deli up for endurance competitions right now, but that’s no excuse for me to not condition myself up.
And hey, look! I’m barefoot and booted too. Like pony, like willing human servant. I’ve found these funny-looking Vibram shoes are my life-line to fitness: I can walk and even run without every step being painful in these shoes. For a while after being hit by that car I feared that I would never be able to hike or enjoy exercise again, given that every step felt like a knife being stabbed into my hip and knee. With these shoes, the only pain I experience is the good kind: muscles burning with fatigue.
Right now? I’m ready for more adventures. I’m ready to keep living the poetry that is belonging to a chestnut Arabian mare.
In other words: I'm ready to hit the trails and pound out some miles. I think Deli is ready, too.