Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Tao of Equus

I was not one of those young girls who dreamed of horses. In fact I had my first encounter with one of our equine friends when I was 18 years old and attending Simmons College in Boston.

Excited to be going on a Saturday trail ride with new college friends, I naively assumed the horse would do all the work. After some basic instruction, including how to post, we were off to enjoy four hours of beautiful trails.

A word about posting. It's supposed to be a free-flowing and easy rise and fall in synch with the horse's trotting. Lovely. For me as a novice, however, posting meant an introduction to new muscles in my thighs and butt. Unmentionable places also endured severe buffeting. I was bowlegged for days!

Horse Portrait: Spirit Animal
My recent experience with horses has been more thrilling, as I've learned how two clients use their horses for equine-assisted counseling and coaching. Chai, whose photo inspired this portrait, is one of those gentle, intelligent creatures who help abused children, confused adults, and goal-infused executives to heal emotional wounds and become more present to life's possibilities.

I've learned that even seasoned artists rarely try to paint a horse face-on. As with humans, it's easier to capture their form and personality in three-quarter poses. So my painting isn't exactly Chai. Nonetheless, the eyes peering out from this magical creature say he knows things I need to learn.

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