Job 35:11 Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
Men are frequently confused by the relationship between women and horses. Perhaps there is no rational explanation, we love them for more reasons than one can list. We are introduced to these mighty beasts, we come to understand them as well as we do ourselves. We know when they are happy and we fret when they are ill. Carrying themselves with a grace and fluidity we envy for its ease., they take us to heights never imagined. The normal, every day frustrations and stresses disperse from simple acknowledgement by a nicker when we enter the barn. They make of us more than we are.
Today we helped a beloved friend ease across the Rainbow Bridge. For more than twenty-seven years, Tess was the light in her "mother's" eyes. A bold and fearless mare who gave all she had and when the end came, she met it with the same fire and determination which carried her across jumps and fields. Tess had her Mary with her and Tia in the next stall and the memories of the days of glory to take with her. She left behind in all of us memories and hoof prints we will never be able to erase from our hearts.
Why do we gravitate to horses? Shrinks and researchers have entire lists of reasons, most them are bull. Horses are big and strong when we feel weak and unable. They are unconditional love at a time when girls want someone to love us for ourselves. They never judge us, or tell us we need to lose weight or do better in school. A warm shoulder to cry on, a friend we can spill out secrets to with a guarantee of silence. They are our first encounter with a creature totally dependent upon us for their welfare. It is a heady feeling, taken along with a vow of lifetime protection. Some people forget that vow, when their sturdy beast begins to fade in the canter or can no longer soar above the jumps. When they need us most many falter.
Mary did not falter. She made a vow and she kept that until Tess looked her in the eye and said, "It's time, I'm ready."
Farewell Tess. Go enjoy a well earned rest over the Rainbow Bridge. I am sure you have already made an entrance. You always did.