It was not a shock to this woman, who had been raised around horses and ridden for years to be drawn to a particular mare. It was like a slap in the face to have her wait for me to reach her before she turned her back on me. I felt like I had been snubbed by a best friend.
I couldn't believe what I actually said out loud in the ensuing circle of other like minded souls. "It was like she told me to get my shit together. Find your priorities, and then we will visit." But, like they say, you can't take words back, and these ones seemed to have a profound impact on me. Along with the fact that that my hard headedness was going to prove the mare wrong!
I know, this sounds hokey. Horses can't talk. But from years of experience, I know they will guide you if you connect with them.
Twice more, I spent evenings at the ranch, with the same result. I wasn't interested in being accepted by any of the other members of the four legged tribe or the people who came out. It was this mare that I had connected with. It was her acceptance that mattered.
Making change for someone who is constantly busy with multiple projects, is not easy. But, I can tell you, it is do-able. Reducing the load. Saying no. The infusion of me time. And, the thought that maybe, the darned horse had been right, all made it easier to refine life.
Several months later, on a whim, I decided to attend an open house at Silver Valley Ranch. I already knew about the programs they offered (none of which include actually riding a horse) and decided I would go. I contacted owner, Meagan Saum to get permission to take my camera. My thought was, I didn't need the horses. I already knew how that was working out, but I had also been drawn to the land surrounding the buildings and perhaps the opportunity to take some pictures would sooth the soul.
Others that attended made a b-line for the horses when that part of the afternoon was offered. Me, I headed for the gate to the pasture to take pictures. Relaxing in the sun. Listening to the geese flying overhead. Not paying any attention to the goings on across the yard.
It was Meagan who came to me to say someone wanted to talk to me. Not knowing the other attendees, I went to see who she would introduce me to. What a surprise when she took me to the corral at the back of the building where there were no people. Standing to one side was the mare that had snubbed me for months. Her eyes, like the first day I met her, were focused on me. Drawing me in.
My thought, "Your're kidding!". She wasn't. The next half hour was spent quietly with this compassionate being. Again, I know it sounds unreal, but the acceptance by an animal and how they react to you is paramount in how your life can unfold.
This is only the beginning of the many gifts I have been given because of my first visit to this beautiful place called Silver Valley Ranch. My travels there to visit are casual. A place that I have been privileged to roam. A place I can unplug. A place that I know I am welcome, weather to visit The Tribe or walk the land.
And yes, the mare still speaks to me from across the expanse of land that she calls home.
Author, Photographer, Lover of Life