But what truly horsey girls discover in the end is that boyfriends, husbands, children, and careers are the substitute-for horses
Fascination with horses predated every other single thing I knew. Before I was a mother, before I was a writer, before I knew the facts of life, before I was a schoolgirl, before I learned to read, I wanted a horse.
You cannot be an egomaniac on the horse. If you lose your temper and start beating him, either you will destroy him, or he will destroy you. As soon as you start riding horses seriously, you're being disciplined on a daily basis about how ignorant you are and what there is left for you to learn.
I discovered that the horse is life itself, a metaphor but also an example of life's mystery and unpredictability, of life's generosity and beauty, a worthy object of repeated and ever changing contemplation.
There is a sociology of horses, as well as a psychology. It is most evident in the world of horse racing, where many horses are gathered together, where year after year, decade after decade, they do the same, rather simple thing - run in races and try to win.
All equestrians, if they last long enough, learn that riding in whatever form is a lifelong sport and art, an endeavor that is both familiar and new every time you take the horse out of his stall or pasture.
I learned why 'out riding alone' is an oxymoron: An equestrian is never alone, is always sensing the other being, the mysterious but also understandable living being that is the horse.
Horse racing is really much more intimidating than anything having to do with literature. When I had horses at the racetrack, I would wake up in terror in a way that I would never wake up while working on a novel.
I readily admit it is easy to make of horses what we will. Silent, in some ways reserved, they allow us to train them, and to project our ideas upon them; to ride and drive them, and to make them symbolic, perhaps to a greater degree than any other species.
If novels and stories are bulletins from the progressive states of ignorance a writer passes through over the years, observations and opinions about horses are all the more so, since horses are more mysterious than life and harder to understand.
A horse herd was, in its very essence, the manifestation of the expression 'It's always something.
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