Magnificent, strong-withered beauties
that playfully rear and paw at the passing clouds
or arch their backs to buck and buck
until they send their rider shooting like a cannonball
over their head and into the soft sand of the riding ring.
Eyes wide-set on a long face
sometimes decorated with a star or flashy blaze
and ends in a velvety-soft muzzle that loves to nibble
carrots and apples offered as a reward or treat
from an upturned palm of a human friend.
So frustrating that these powerful creatures
are so fragile subject to all kinds of ailments and injuries
– thrush, colic, sidebone, ringbone, bowed tendons,
cracked heels, founder, West Nile Virus, navicular disease.
Proper diet, plenty of fresh water, exercise, and a good blacksmith helps!
So easily frightened –
the wind blows up a leaf, a car or motorcycle backfires, a bird flies from a tree.
Or sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason to their spookiness!
What just happened? The horse leaps to the side or whirls around
and the rider may find himself on the ground (again!).
A great teammate!
When you ride the course of fences,
you feel that you and your horse are one – sheer poetry in motion!
Majestic, beautiful, intelligent, puzzling.
Residents of my head and heart.