He looked down, she just gave him a little lick, and suddenly I couldn’t stop him from crying

Zereeseis Player, age 12: “They taught me how to be respectful, they taught me how to listen, they’ve taught me not to be disobedient to others, and treat people like they want to be treated.”
Farrah Akbar, age 8:  “I would say, if you’ve never seen a horse or touched a horse, just touch it. Because if you touch it, then you’ll feel the soul.”

At equine-therapy programs like Compton Jr. Posse in Los Angeles, inner-city adolescents find a refuge from drugs and street-gang culture by developing equestrian skills and learning to regard the knowing gazes of 1,000-plus-pound horses and guide their beguiling power. In return for striving in school, the program’s participants, ranging in age from 8 to 18, are taught to ride horses, groom them and clean their stables. These experiences keep them within the horse’s “personal circle.” Horses have a profound effect on humans. “Whether they have a physical handicap or an emotional handicap or a mental handicap, when you’re around a horse,” Akbar says, “the energy is so powerful that it tunes the body up…

Something extraordinary occurs when we’re in the presence of a fellow sentient being. When we let go of language’s tacit conceptual constraints and judgments, we allow ourselves a kind of time travel toward our own inner animal. Science is revealing the ways that the physiology of our psychology can be found across species: the common neuronal structures and attendant nerve wirings that we share in varying measures with a startling array of both vertebrates and invertebrates, including fellow primates, elephants, whales, parrots, bees and fruit flies. Animal therapy makes us aware of this cross-species interconnectivity on the purest, subconscious level…It has been established that the tactile element alone in animal therapy releases endorphins, so called feel-good hormones that counteract the trauma hormones of adrenaline and cortisol.

…therapists involved in such programs speculate that their benefits actually derive from shutting down for a time some of our brain’s higher and sometimes cacophonous cognitive functions…Rather than augmenting higher-level consciousness, a substance like psilocybin actually shuts down our brain’s ego center, which, under duress, can confer crippling fear, guilt and insecurity, and instead allows people access to their unfettered emotions and sense of childlike wonder. Allows them, in other words, a mind-altering walk in the wood with no names…

“He looked down,” Martin recalls, “and she just gave him a little lick, and suddenly I couldn’t stop him from crying. Just that connection set free all of this stuff inside of him. She was the catalyst. There’s that ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ thing that happens. That’s real.”

~ Charles Siebert, excerpts from Why Close Encounters With Animals Soothe Us (NY Times, May 18, 2017)

 

Saturday Morning

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Autumn morning.
The horses in nearby fields are standing motionless.
The pony already has a heavier coat; it seems too soon.
Her eye is dark and large, the lashes scanty.
Walking close, one hears the steady sound of grass being eaten,
the peace of the earth being milled.

~ James Salter, Light Years

 


Photo: Med777

Dream Alliance

“Dark Horse” won “The Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition” at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

“He was bred from allotment. How can he be a success?”

Whether you are a horse person, or not (I’m not), this was something to see. Don’t miss it. 87 minutes of inspiration.

Find it on Amazon Video.


Thank you Susan.

Eric’s Excellent Adventure

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Photos taken by Eric Kanigan in Iceland on January 4-6, 2016

Came out of the far turn. Squared his shoulders. To a deafening roar.

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As American Pharoah came out of the far turn and squared his shoulders to let his rider Victor Espinoza stare down the long withering stretch of Belmont Park, a sense of inevitability surged through this mammoth old grandstand. The fans in a capacity crowd strained on the tips of their toes and let out a roar from deep in their souls. It was going to end, finally — this 37-year search for a great racehorse. […]

But as American Pharoah bounded into the stretch amid a deafening roar, the memories of the gritty Affirmed, the speedy Seattle Slew (1977) and that tremendous machine Secretariat (1973) were summoned from backside to grandstand, and rightfully so.

No one doubted that American Pharoah was about to enter the history books. He was bouncing down the lane as if jumping from one trampoline to another, and no one was going to catch him. […]

“The crowd was just thundering,” he said. “I was enjoying the crowd and the noise and everything happening.”

Materiality gave chase for a mile, but American Pharoah picked up his tempo and shook that rival off at the mile.

“Steady, steady,” Espinoza said to himself. […]

In the saddle, Espinoza felt a rush that had twice eluded him. He was on California Chrome last year and War Emblem for Baffert, only to remember how two very good colts staggered beneath him and the collective gasp of more than 100,000 disappointed people rustled within him. […]

But not this time — Espinoza dropped the reins on his colt and let the muscled bay take him home. When he was a boy in his native Mexico, Espinoza had been afraid of horses. Now, at 43, he knew they were a gift. Beneath him, American Pharoah’s strides were getting longer and longer, but Espinoza felt as if he were riding on a cloud.

“You don’t even feel him,” he said. “It feels like you are going in slow motion.”

~ Joe Drape, NY Times: Riding Into History by Five and a Half Lengths


Photo: TBO

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Let’s Ride

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Notes: Source: barebackandbarefoot. MM*=Monday Morning

Saturday Morning

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There were a lot of other things he no longer had to deal with.
He was like one of those horses,
who having shaken off the jockey,
slow down, dreamily, to a gentle trot,
while the others are still bursting their lungs
in pursuit of a finish line and an order of arrival.

Alessandro Baricco, from Mr. Gwyn


Notes: Photo Source. Quote: The Journey of Words

Whoa Horse! I told you to stop, damn it!

black and white,

There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man standing alongside the road, shouts, “Where are you going?” and the first man replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!” This is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don’t know where we are going, and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless. We struggle all the time, even during our sleep. We are at war within ourselves…We have to learn the art of stopping – stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us. When an emotion rushes through us like a storm, we have no peace.

– Thích Nhât Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering Into Peace, Joy and Liberation


Credits: Quote – Sensual Starfish. Image: landscapre

 

Lost Puppy


Here’s Bud’s 2015 Super Bowl XLIX Puppy Commercial.

If you missed Budweiser’s 2014 Award Winning SuperBowl Ad, find it here: Puppy Love

Thanks Susan.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

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Source: themetapicture.com

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