Throughout the pandemic and especially at Thanksgiving, people have tried to remember all those things for which they may be grateful for during challenging times. Some keep gratitude journals, others stay close to friends and family, and horse people head straight to the barn, a place filled with adventure, peace, new challenges, and horses. I thought about all the things equine that bring me joy and sustain me through life, and the list is very long. Here are a few that matter particularly.
A muffled nicker when I enter the barn at 5 am on a chilling morning with the wind at my face and buckets frozen like iron.
The smell of sweet feed as the horses eat, jaws rhythmically moving up and down as I muck stalls.
My horse coming right to me in the field, eager to see me and ready for the next activity.
A lovely gallup up a long hill in the fall or spring.
My horse allowing me to shine and be proud along with him in the show ring.
My horse always trying his best, giving his all, wanting to understand and learn new things with me.
A constant reminder from my horses to be humble and kind at all times.
Eating every meal I offer with pleasure, appreciation, and gusto.
Tolerating things he does not like such as repetitive ring work, the farrier, and the vet.
Always wanting to please and be loved, and giving unconditional love back every day.
Standing still to be groomed for a short time or a very long one.
Being beautiful, strong, patient, and powerful: an inspirational animal.
I imagine all horse people could add to this list. Horses bring so much to our lives in so many ways either as companions, athletes, fellow adventurers, and partners. For all the horses I have now and have ever owned or ridden, I am grateful.