Oh f***, it is grateful Thursday and I need to think about something or someone I am grateful for. Let me think…Oh I know, someone I am grateful for every day of the week.
With the exception of my husband, family and friends, there has been one true constant in my life for the last 10+ years. My husband refers to him as my one true love: my gelding. My first horse. My Viking.
He was there for me when I had to put down my first dog (the other one true love 😉 ) and also when my mum got cancer and died. At the age of 24, he run away with me to Scotland and when Brexit becomes reality, he will run back home with me at the age of 27. When people hear how old he his, they all think that he must be elderly and retired. He is far from it. Wild horses can live to a very high age if they avoid being eaten by a wolf. I do my best so that my horses can live a life as close to nature as possible.
My horses don’t compete as I consider this abuse, they are not stabled as horses need to walk ca. 50mi a day to forage and keep their metabolism going. They don’t wear shoes as I will never understand how nailing a foreign object to a living creature can be considered healthy. They are outdoors 24/7, get awfully expensive grainfree organic feed and herbs. And all this care means that my gelding at 26 is fit as a fiddle, climbs the surrounding hills and mountains like a mountain goat and will probably live another 20ish years.
He is anything but gentle. He is hard-headed, a bully and I generally refer to him as the Viking or the bulldozer. But he is also the coolest and most reliable guy I have ever met.
I am also grateful for my mare who moved in with the Viking 1,5 year ago and although he treats her equally like shit, she cannot be without him and follows him everywhere. My mare is gentle and soft but ever so often a complete nutcase but she has been treated badly in the 15 years before she came to me, so I try to be understanding. She looks healthier and fitter each day and I am hopeful that I can undo a lot of the neglect and trauma that has happened to her in the past.
I grew up with horses and always loved them but when I got the Viking, my love and respect for these beautiful animals deepened.
There is a poem by Goethe that perfectly describes the feelings that come up whenever the world seems too much for me and the knowledge that I can just do what he describes in the poem is very reassuring. That there is a place where I can be me, exist and mean something.
It is the first stanza from Freisinn (West-östlicher Divan, Moganni Nameh. Buch des Sängers).
Laßt mich nur auf meinem Sattel gelten!
Bleibt in euren Hütten, euren Zelten!
Und ich reite froh in alle Ferne,
Über meiner Mütze nur die Sterne.
Just let me prove myself in the saddle!**
Remain in your huts and tents!
and I will ride joyfully into the distance,
with nothing above my cap but the stars.
** Maybe it is just me but I would rather translate it into something like let me only be/exist/mean sth in my saddle. Let me prove myself doesn’t really convey the meaning of this first line. Gültigkeit (the noun that goes with gelten) is better translated into significance when you talk about a human being. In the saddle is where that person wants to be because that’s where s/he knows s/he is something/significant. I probably made a complete hash of it now. Translation is not my forte.