For the Love of Horses… Inhaling deeply, my senses fill with the comforting smells of sweet hay, dust, and the warm, thick scent that is common among all horses. To stand and hug a horse, encompassing the awe of their strength and gentle nature at the same moment, leaves one utterly breathless. Yet it is in this moment that we tend to take a deeper breath than normal, finding our rhythm slowing down to match that of our furry companion.
If someone asked when I began to walk, I couldn’t say. But I do know when I began to ride. I was only 3 and I’ll never forget the ponies at the fair, weaving their way through a maze of panels to take their riders on an adventure greater than traveling in circles. The moment I saw my first horse, I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of them, and every one I saw from that moment on, I would excitedly exclaim, “look at the horse” with such overwhelming happiness, it was as if nothing in the world mattered when in the presence of these magnificent animals.
Growing up with 3 siblings, and as the daughter of a fabulous artist and mother, I spent a great deal of time entertaining myself by painting and drawing. At the age of 3, I painted the perfect rendition of “the horse” as I saw him; spiritual, majestic, and vividly colorful. Horses had captured my heart with their beauty, their grace, and the language of their soul.
Like most young girls, I spent my time fantasizing about horses and enthusiastically drew picture after picture of my perfect horse with his flowing mane and tail adorned with fresh roses. As I grew older and entered college, confused by the fast paced world around me, I took the roads in life that led me away from the horses, away from my art, and away from my own self.
I was no longer following my passions in life, but rather following the path of external pressures. I found myself living in a world, guided by societal expectations and “shoulds”, rather than by my own whispers of intuition.
I believe that we are so often influenced by what other people think or “believe” that we tend to go against what feels right to us. Our emphasis on the external influences become so ingrained that we forget that our own path, our best path, is to listen carefully to our own inner wisdom, that which we know to be true in our hearts, and follow it instead.
Many years passed, many lessons were learned, and many attempts were made to pound a square peg into a round hole. It was no coincidence then, that when I learned of the organization, United Pegasus Foundation, which rescues hundreds of foals and fillies (PMU foals) each year that are the byproducts of the drug industry that creates Premarin, I remembered what it felt like to fire the passions in my heart. It was at that defining moment and the series of moments that followed that I became intensely aware of the path I wanted to take in life. It was the same path I was on when I entered into this world, only I had forgotten what it looked like. There is a sense of “knowing”, a tranquil state of excitement that soothes the soul when one encounters that “one thing” they were called to do. For me, this quest fulfilled the three qualities I desired most; to be surrounded by horses, to enlighten through creative expression and to have a cause or purpose of great importance.
As I picked up my brushes and invited horses back into my life, I was blessed in the rediscovery of myself. I vowed then to dedicate my life to painting these “larger than life” colorful horses and to saving as many of them as possible through supporting UPF and other non-profit horse rescues. It is through my artwork and the presence of these majestic horses that hold my greatest hopes to change the world for the better.
Today, my work still reflects the deep connection I have for these majestic animals, and the vibrant colors portray the brightly energetic personalities they exude. There is a spiritual human-animal connection that we all have the ability to learn if we merely open our hearts and minds to the possibility.
Imagine what our life would be like if we sparked the passions we know to exist, followed our dreams, rediscovered our authentic self…
Imagine what our life would be like if we took that “horse-crazy kid” for a ride and watched their face light up, grinning from ear to ear…
Imagine what our life would be like if we could just walk outside and hug that horse every morning and be in his presence, in the moment…
I think that we are the ones who would be blessed far beyond measure, for they give the gift of truly unconditional love.