Reddit.com - Full Article
December 26 2016
by by wranglermandy
A westerly wind blows and the aspens quake in response. The trees sway with rhythm—back and forth, up and around, arms outstretched to touch their partners. Their little leaves chime with the movement, sounding the deep toll and the delicate whisper that give the wind its voice.
She flicks her left ear forward and stretches her right ear to the side: she notices the dancing trees and can feel the wind deciding whether or not it wants to race towards her. A muscle engages along the top of her neck as she feels the still world come to life. The soft skin of her nose tickles as the wind meets her. Opening and letting in, releasing and letting go: her nostrils flare as her breath takes smoky form in the cool autumn air.
The way of the horse is the way of nature: ever changing, yet always the same.
Horses move with their world in response to the movement around them. They are fluid and free like the river that changes shape as it ruffles over and around the rocks that decide its course. Their energy is not something that we humans can see. It is something that, when we let go of our holds and conceptions of what should be, we are able to feel.
Essentia Equi, Latin for “the essence of the horse,” is my artistic venture to represent through physicality what I feel emotionally within my work with equines. I notice lots of parts; I notice lots of layers, I notice patterns, and I feel how those parts and layers and patterns move into one another, on top of and beneath one another, when I open myself up to the horse’s experience.
I use Essentia Equi to communicate what I feel with horses, for a picture is worth a thousand words. I work to communicate the blend of many truths and every shade of grey within the essence of the horse. I strive to capture the unique movement, fluidity and electricity that comprise the essence of the individual. Through this study, I have learned that horses must be granted the freedom to move and change as they need. I have learned that we are not so different and that I must grant myself the same right—this equality between species offers a true respect for life.
I’ve been learning from these creatures for almost 20 years now. Horses have taught me how to live with harmony and freedom and, as such, my essence is inseparable from theirs. I have long since lost count of the number of times I’ve thrown a leg over the back of a new equine partner, the number of times I’ve been thrown from the back of an equine partner with different ideas from my own, or the number of times my heart has skipped a beat from the mere sight of one of these souls grazing in a pasture by the side of the road.
I believe that very little of what we do with horses is in a position to be measured or quantified because their intense awareness of the world around them is extremely changing and fluid and the most that we can do as humans is to stick with them.
My love for these magnificent animals is infinite and I am committed to sticking with them for as many more years as I have left on this Earth.
I attribute my passion for our planet to the time that I have spent experiencing its landscape from the back of a horse and want nothing more than for my life’s legacy to be that I left this beautiful place a little bit better than I found it. At 25-years-old, I know a lot about horses and I know a lot about nature but I have not yet figured out how to bring this hands-on knowledge into the realm of environmental conservation.
Until I was accepted to compete in the Mongol Derby, that is...
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