Walking with my horse around our field, on a loose swinging line – just a suggestion for him to stay with me. I consciously make an effort not to restrain him. If he speeds up, I ask him to slow down. I explain that we’re just walking now.
People around here would think I was crazy to waste time walking my horse. Horses are for riding. Why isn’t he carrying you? Many times, observers think something is wrong when they see us walking. Did you fall off?
In fact, I feel that he is carrying me as we move along. He is carrying me the way that the wind carries a kite, which would be stagnant and motionless without it. His form inspires me, the lift of his mane, the ripple of his shoulder, what is soft eyes are looking at in the distance.
My mind becomes clear and still, and yet glides forward simultaneously. I am the observer, simply present. Now and then I am enticed to act – to change direction, to speed up, to slow down. But it all feels seamless and timeless. It simply is as it happens.
When the walk is done, we return. The herd is calling to him but he remains silent, his back swinging, walking with me. We are in no hurry. I can feel the small hard stones under the soles of my boots and I know that his hooves can feel them too. I breathe deeply from the bottom of my belly and I watch him breathe too.
This walking makes sense to me. If two cannot move together on the ground in harmony and understanding without interrupting one another’s field, then how can we hope to achieve it glued to one another as horse and rider? Walking seems a humble, but perhaps brilliant, place to start.