I was so uncomfortable.
Pins and needles were beginning to creep up and down my legs. Carefully I eased myself into a more comfortable position on the dirt trying not to cause alarm. But the movement was enough to disturb the nearest animals and soon small shock waves of uneasiness rippled throughout the herd. Hooves stirred, sending clouds of red dust drifting into the dry and still October air. A few horses snorted, others looked on curiously. While a magnificent black stallion gave me an accusing glance before returning to play with the chestnut stallion with a striking blaze down his forehead.
I raised my camera again, as I searched searching through the lens and I clicked some more shots and pondered my options. But my eyes eventually strayed back to her. The horses moved again, this time more urgently as they all crowded over to the opposite fence. I winced hearing loud thwacks, the hooves connecting with hides of lower ranking horses who had strayed a bit too close. My dad strode over to where I was sitting, seemingly unaware of all the chaos happening in the yard.
"Have you made up your mind yet?" he asked impatiently. I stared out at the herd again a sea of colored coats.. There was a cute little bay colt with lots of spunk who had caught my eye, but he had looked like he had a stubborn streak... Or that gorgeous skewbald who was just a little too big..
I wanted to take them all home, and the longer I stayed the more it broke my heart. How could I choose just one? How would I know if it was the right one??
I wasn't ready! I could have spent the entire afternoon out there sitting in the dirt, hiding from the sun behind my big cowgirl hat and the thin strips of shade that the fence railing provided. This was a very big decision, I couldn't rush it! Even though part of me knew that mind had been made up pretty much the moment I stepped out of the car and spotted her; she was the one. This would be a great place to say that the music swelled and our eyes met and our souls sang to each other, but often there are very important moments in life that are without the fanfare that the movies would have us believe. But there was a calling in my heart for her, she had something about her you know? A little bit of grace in the way she moved and held herself, and bright kind eyes amidst her scruffy appearance.
I looked back to where she was over the other side of the yard, and looked her over again, mentally pulling up Linda Tellington Jones book Getting in TTouch with Your Horse and reviewed the bits on horse profiling again. I took a breath, praying to the horse lords or anyone who happen to be listening in the universe at that moment.
"I think that one." I said pointing in the scruffy black filly's direction. This was a huge decision and responsibility, I was adopting and saving a single precious life of a wild horse who had never before seen humans! It could turn out to be a disaster, but my gut said she was the one for me.
Its been nearly five years now. We have both grown and honestly I had no idea of the profound effect that inviting that little dark horse into my life. Or that the universe had both our backs that day; and I had just opened the door to a kindred spirit, teacher, friend and Muse. She is seemingly a deep reflection of myself.
This filly became my teacher who would inspire both myself and my art. She became a friend who can always make me smile and encourage me to keep dreaming, and a Muse who would grace my Artist's name and who's hooves would inspire and model for the cover illustration of a book! If you had told me that then I would have been pretty skeptical that any of that could, let alone would happen.
It’s funny...when I took her home I thought I was the one going to be doing the teaching, not the other way around. And instead I learned Muses and the universe often have the last laugh.
Thank you Gracie for gracing me with your amazing light and continually warming my heart xx
Siobhan is a Visual Artist Connecting Animal Lovers with Customized & Magical Animal Portraits, and an optimistic realist with a day job.