It was fitting that an abandoned friendship was reignited in the place it began over 30 year ago: In a barn. Not any old barn either but The Equine Affaire in Springfield, MA. We had two and a half days of laughter and sharing and shopping, along with plans for more in the future.
Even though I not currently involved with horses, it is still an inner hunger that nothing else satisfies. Horses are not just horses to me, just as birds are not just birds, but symbols that must have been incorporated into my soul and psyche at birth. They are my spirit guides personified; to be near them is to dance with the Universe. To be part of the larger community, even at a distance, activates a different kind of faith. My friend, who like me is also no longer involved with horses, has never lost the fire in her soul either.
I know the practical side of the equnie world with the aches, agonies, broken bones and broken hearts would seem to have little to do with lofty ideas of spirituality. Watching an eagle soar may be an uplifting and patriotic image until you remember they feed on carrion. What I am talking about is the need for symbols–tangible things that point to something greater than themselves. To be among them, with kindness and without judgment is to breath in the Great Lessons. It is to be reminded of our own bodies as creatures, evolving according to our own biology and frail understanding, and not by schedules or calendars or executive positioning.
That said, let us move on to some photos:
I was impressed with how friendly the exhibitors were, unheard of in the tense atmosphere of competitive horse shows, which this was NOT. We were encouraged to stroll the barn aisles at will and were even offered photo ops:
Look what I found in the parking lot.
We attended the Friday night performance of Fantasia, a musical event showcasing different breeds and their abilities. I also think it is an opportunity for people who normally show their horses in the tension of show politics to have fun and strut the horses’ stuff their way.
After the show, the riders returned to chat up the crowd and sign autographs. I have never experienced this in any formal event involving horses–I am still amazed!
Yes, folks…this is Pam Goodrich and Donnerhit, whose performance brought me to tears.
I plan to do this again next November…in the meantime, my friend and I are contemplating going to Horse Camp….