The Love of Aged Horses

Because I know tomorrow
his faithful gelding heart will be broken
when the spotted mare is trailered and driven away,
I come today to take him for a gallop on Diaz Ridge.
Returning, he will whinny for his love,
Ancient, spavined, her white parts red with hill-dust,
her red parts whitened with the same, she never answers.

But today, when I turn him loose at the hill-gate,
with the taste of chewed oat on his tongue
and the saddle-sweat rinsed off with water,
I know he will canter, however tired,
whinnying wildly up the ridge's near side,
and I know he will find her.

He will be filled with the sureness of horses
whose bellies are grain-filled,
whose long-ribbed loneliness
can be scratched into no-longer-lonely.

      His long teeth on her withers,
      her rough-coated spots will grow damp and wild.
     Her long teeth on his withers,
     his oil-teakwood smoothness will grow damp and wild.
     Their shadows chiamus will fleck and fill with flies,
     the eight marks of their fortune stamp
     and then cancel the earth.
     From ear-flick to tail-switch, they stand in one body.
     No luck as boundless as theirs. -Jane Hirshfield

When you are tense, let me teach you to relax.
When you are short-tempered, let me teach you to be patient.
When you are short-sighted, let me teach you to see.
When you are quick to react, let me teach you to be thoughtful.
When you are angry, let me teach you to be serene.
When you feel superior, let me teach you to be respectful.
When you are self-absorbed, let me teach you
to think of greater things.
When you are arrogant, let me teach you humility.
When you are lonely, let me be your companion.
When you are tired, let me carry the load.
When you need to learn, let me teach you.
After all, I am your horse.

A Stable Business...a business management company assisting the horse world

Pann Benedict, President     P.O. Box 1173    Stanwood, WA 98292