You Are Horse Kin Meditation

Horses have evolved as prey animals.” “Their instinctive flight response and much of their complex interaction within a herd have grown from this basic premise: escape or be eaten.”  They, like Ipsita Roy Chakraverti suggested of strong women and witches,  are hunted. 

Don’t you feel like this?  In some big or small way?  Saddled under the weight of these interesting times, of uncertainty and inequality, don’t you sometimes feel like prey?  Like the only options are to escape or be eaten?  Like maybe your only function is to carry THE WORLD on your back, your family, your boss, your friends, taking on their weight to get them where they’re going faster?  A beast of burden carrying expectations like sacks of grain?

Like Boxer, the horse from Animal Farm who’s response to everything was ‘I will work harder’?  Like Boxer who became glue?

Maybe this accounts for the Horse Girl phenomenon – so common it’s become a meme defined thusly: A horse girl is someone whose life revolves around horses. Horse girls can be of any age, although the term typically refers to young women aged 10 to 29.

In grade four, one of my classmates decided she was a horse, and proudly whinnied through lunchour, flicking her long yarn tail. 

Maybe young women love horses because they can relate.  Because they can be safe with each other, and ride together with wind in their manes, collaborating to temporarily escape forced domesticity or worse.

But think on this: the head of an equine herd in the wild is an older mare, not a stallion. The lead mare is unambiguous in her communication, has the trust of other members of the herd, and, while her behaviour may not always win her friends, she is always respected.

You are horse kin.

Dr Hanggi, presenting a review of her research at the Equine Research Foundation into equine cognition, perception, behaviour, and training to the annual convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in 2005, said: “People proclaim that horses react only by instinct, that they are just conditioned-response animals, that they lack advanced cognitive ability, and that they have poor visual capabilities.”

HOWEVER

“Most recently, and unexpected by many, Equine Research Foundation horses have solved advanced cognitive challenges involving categorisation learning and some degree of concept formation.”

Horses have been under-fucking-estimated.  They are smarter than people give them credit for.  You too.  Those who have seen you as prey have no clue how smart and strong you are, how powerful you have always been.

REMEMBER

“Inside every gentle horse is a wild horse”

Abigail Boatwright, a horse trainer writing for Horse Illustrated Magazine reminds us: “Inside every gentle horse is a wild horse”

Inside of every gentle Witch is a wild horse too.  You are horse kin.  You are wild beyond all domesticity.  Present us, whispering, with a sugar cube and we may decide to give you a ride, help you carry your load.  Come at us with a whip and we will buck you off our backs and trample you til our hooves are bloody.  We are horse kin.  We are a stampede of freedom, wild-maned and running free.

We are The Mares of Diomedes – a herd of man-eating horses in Greek mythology. Magnificent, wild, and uncontrollable.  

Some versions of the myth say that the mares also expelled fire when they breathed.

Inside every gentle horse is a wild horse.

We are Epona’s horses who were leaders of the soul in the afterlife ride.

Inside every gentle horse is a wild horse.

Audre Lorde told us: If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.

So the choice arises again: escape or be eaten.

The British Museum suggests that “for 5,000 years the horse has been an ever-present ally in war and peace. Civilisations have risen and fallen on their backs and evidence of the horse’s use is everywhere to be seen. Yet somehow, following the increasing pace of mechanisation in the 1930s, we have so quickly forgotten how indebted we are to this animal.”

You are horse kin.  How quickly we have forgotten how indebted to you we are.  How every Witch has carried this world on her back.  In War, in Peace – as soldiers and saviors, messengers; the first information highway was your sweat. 

What else of you has been forgotten?  What else of you has been diminished?

In her book You Are The Medicine, Asha Frost tells this story:

So let us escape together.  Let us be wild, magnificent and uncontrollable.  Strong, smart, capable and fast!!  Let us find our joy – let us open our earliest eyes and see it galloping around us.  Let us lead souls to ride.

Let us be the horses that Apache warrior Lozen rode into battle – outlaws for a just cause.  Willing to join the fight.  Rearing up and plunging ahead to lead the way.

We are horse kin.

We represent power, freedom, movement, evolution.

We have Witch Power.  Horse-Power.  Tireless stamina.

In Chinese mythology, the horse is a divine being believed to be an embodiment or reincarnation of the universal god.  You are horse kin.  

The embodiment of goddetc.

If we must wear shoes, let them be lucky.

In the Irish story of the blacksmith and the devil, one day a blacksmith was forging horseshoes. The devil appeared and demanded his own shoes for his own hooves. The blacksmith, recognizing the devil, took a burning hot shoe and nailed it deep into the devil’s hooves. After walking away, the devil was in such excruciating pain, he ripped the horseshoes off and swore he would never go near one again. Thus, the tradition of hanging a horseshoe over the entrance of a house to ward off evil spirits was born….Other legends said that witches were so afraid of iron horseshoes, they traveled on broomsticks instead of on horseback.  Because we are wild at heart, we fear domestication, the implication of ownership or servitude.  We are horse kin.

Inside every gentle horse is a wild horse.

In “She had some horses” poet Joy Harjo, the incumbent United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that honor, wrote:

She had horses who called themselves, “horse.”

She had horses who called themselves, “spirit,” and kept

their voices secret and to themselves.

She had horses who had no names.

She had horses who had books of names.

Inside every gentle horse is a wild horse.

Be a show pony or be a Trojan horse with a secret power hidden inside.

Inside every gentle horse is a wild horse.

Call yourself spirit.

Find your joy again.

Be very persistent.

Run wild.

You are horse kin.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/141852/she-had-some-horses-590104cf40742

https://freesound.org/people/craigsmith/sounds/437110/

https://freesound.org/people/craigsmith/sounds/479682/

https://people.howstuffworks.com/horseshoes-lucky.htm