“You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.”
I am more scared of horses than wolves.
The wolves love me, and I them. They come when I call. Obedient when I ask/need them to be, because I rarely ask. I let them go off hunting and do what they do. I see the wiggling want they have for affection and I give it when they come for it. And when they are sleeping, I let them lie.
Why else would they come to my door? What else am I to do? Feed them and give them a warm place to sleep before I let them back out to wander.
Wolves I get. There is loyalty there. And trust earned.
I understand the order of the wolf pack and the subtleties of the smallest gestures. I am alpha. I just am.
I was raised around betas and was always confused why they went after me the way they did. I saw nothing I had worth taking, nor challenged. Any tiny baring of my throat and they were at me. So I stopped showing my throat. Just kept me head down and spent as much time alone as I could. I thought myself omega. Inconsequential. I am beginning to realize I was wrong…I see their warrant in past attempts to break me down. It almost worked. For decades I was afraid to be me, to speak out. To do much of anything really, beyond existing. I doubted everything I knew.
I remember time without fear. I was 4 years old. My aunt and uncle took me to ride horses. They gave me the pregnant one thinking she would be slow and steady. She bloated pre-saddling and halfway through the ride I just slid off, saddle and all. I just stayed in the snowbank, tucked under her until they came and lifted me back up. Didn’t cry. Just waited there until big strong hands, brushed the snow off me, readjusted the saddle and put me back where I was supposed to be. On a Morgan named Morgan.
I remember being 7 years old. At a Pentecostal summer camp that I went to willingly with a neighbor girl because they had horses there. I was given a horse named Angie. Tiny little chestnut Tennessee Walker with a huge attitude. For a few hours a day she was mine, except she wasn’t. She belonged to no one, she just did her thing and I let her. We won barrel races that year and the next for that exact reason. I just let her. We trusted each other without reservation. She was a brat and had a penchant for stepping on toes. She tried it with me and I let my boot sink into the mud, leaned into her and she moved.
As I got older, my fear of everything, including horses, grew.
When I lived on the farm I adopted 5. The farm was the pinnacle of my fear, my lowest low. Except those horses.
Someone told me horses glean their idea of how big they are when they are babies, so to them, people are giants. That is why we can get 1600 pounds of muscle, sinew and bone to do as we wish. My fear subsided, but just a bit. My respect never faltered. I learned everything I needed to know from Angie and the Morgan I rode before. They will do what they do and I will let them.
I adopted a monster horse named Comanche. He was just lovely. Big and dumb and sweet. His sister was mean, men made her that way, and she was always trying to sneak up and hurt me, Comanche wouldn’t let her. All my fingers and toes to count the times he put his body between mine and hers. Bless him.
It came time for me to ride him. We had a horse whisperer over working with us. My busted pelvis from the car wreck wouldn’t let me sit in any saddle. He was 1600 pounds and 16hh. The bareback pad didn’t fit, I climbed on anyways. His back was so broad my legs felt like a wishbone right before it snaps. He took me about 100 meters before finding something soft to dump me in, a big pile of shit. He circled back to check on me before running off again. I don’t blame him, all the humans were running at me to make sure I was alright. I was laughing and smiling. I knew what happened, we didn’t go through the motions of saddling and prepping. He wasn’t ready.
The horse whisperer put her hand out to help me up, said “I knew that was going to happen”.
I laughed and said “well why did you let me get on him then. Why didn’t you ride him?”
She said, “Because I knew it was going to happen.”
I looked at her funny while brushing shit off my jeans.
She said “I knew he would throw me, so he would have. You didn’t so it was 50/50. You trusted him and he trusted you that is why he put you down soft.”
Best 45 seconds I have ever spent on the back of a horse was on him.
I want the rest of my life to be like this. Trusting and fearless.
If I get to ride, I will ride.
If the wolves come I will let them.
I might yet find home with another being, but if he wants to leave, I will let him.
He will let me down soft. I know this.