Standing tall and strong, there was also something enchanting about this place, magical almost. It had about it an essence of tranquillity and stillness. Powerful yet gentle. A perfect metaphor for the horses who live there.
Blaze always changes shape this time of year and so her saddle just kind of perches on top of her. I gladly swopped it for the bareback pad. There is nothing quite like riding bareback. Jeans on fur. Feeling your horse move underneath you gives you a much stronger sense of closeness and unity you just dont get when riding in a saddle.
Wondering along amongst the sea of orange and gold i had dropped my reins a long time ago. There was no need for them. We turned up the hill and the yard friend I was with wanted to trot and canter in order to try out her new hoof boots.
"Sure, i cant grantee that we'll join you though"
I was quite happy leaving Blaze to set the pace if she wanted to keep walking or if she wanted to zoom off it was okay, I thought we'd just see how we'd go.
I asked for the trot and she quite happily obliged, still with no reins and no saddle I enjoyed feeling her work beneath me. Melting into her powerful stride as she swung her shoulders, really working from them and propelling her legs out. Her trot had been admired by many and is somewhat of her trademark. She'll trot along side my friends arabs in the canter with great ease. It's such a sensational feeling, all that power just surging you forwards yet graceful and effortless too.
I asked for the canter and much to my surprise the beats changed to 3 and we were cantering. I wasn't surprised that she responded, what i asked she'd try her best to do but lately when i had asked for the canter it was given a little half heartidly, like she'd rather by cruising across the ground in her usual monster trot. But this canter was lovely, she hopped into it with such enthusiasm and she was more than happy to maintain the gait up the hill.
Still with no reins I just let my hands hang at my sides and enjoyed our canter. Without the saddle i could feel my body flexing and moving with hers, in harmony. Blurs of oranges and reds gliding past us. Perfect.
"Decided to go on a little adventure Darla!?"She had squirmed her way, as mini's do, behind the shelter so as i was faffing around trying to fix it Blaze and the boys had made her way across the field to see what i was doing.
Once fixed I joined them at the water trough then began to head back to the gate and go home. They all followed and I found myself indulging in herd life. I sat in the floor and scratched Shinobi's leg. Piggles by this point and wondered off but Blaze was stood over me. We sat like this for a while, Blaze towing over me half asleep and Shinobi pulling the most bizarre itchy faces as I scratched his feathers.
Blaze lowered her head and so with one hand i was stroking her face and with the other I tended to Nobster.
I thought it might be quite nice to mount Shinobi as i have nt ridden him for a while either. I'll often mouth the horses bareback and bridleless in the field as just another way of spending undemanding time with them. I never ask anything just enjoy sitting up there and allowing them to carry me where they fancy. I went over to the tyre and stood on it with, again, all 3 following me only Shinobi still wanted his feet scratched his feet so was stood to far forwards for me to mount. Oh well.
I remained stood on the tyre and Blaze came and stood by my side, she bent her neck round and placed her head against my chest and here we stood a while. She lowered her head down and pressed her head against my knee's, something she has always done and so ran my hands over her neck.
I came down off the tyre and once again headed for the gate to go home. Still, Blaze stayed by my side and we walked together. I draped my arm over her neck and she lowered her head then once again she bent her neck round me and stopped me from walking. Her head pressed against my chest I began to stroke her face in the way iv learnt she likes best after our 9 years together. Her eyes began to close as my fingers gently ran over her forehead and over her cheekbones.
Resting my face against hers. Her fur felt so soft against my cheeks, cheeks that normally ran with anger and sadness now felt warm and softness, it was nice, it was comforting, it felt safe. I looked up and stared into her big brown doe eyes and got lost. As I stared into her eyes she stared right back into mine and right then I knew. I knew that she knew exactly how I felt and I knew she felt exactly the same way.
Never a box that needs to be ticked on the Levels Pathways. Never a manoeuvre to be executed. Never a jump to be higher Nor a gallop to be quicker. It wasn't anything that could be achieved by isolating and perfecting, learning and practising, it was moment achieved by giving your heart, giving it freely and wholey. A moment both perfect and profound.