Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wheelchair bound horse gentler...

I was on a plane for the last two days and came across this article on Stanford Addison, an Arapahoe horseman who is confined to a wheel chair and "gentles" horses in a day.

It's beautifully written and very inspiring to me for more than one reason.

Not many folks know, but my father hosts a great deal ceremonies for healing - sweat lodges and long dances, although he is not, by birth, from an Indian tribe.

This Arapahoe man melds horses and spirit. He hosts summer camps with ceremony, with sweat lodges...

.....

Working with horses, for me, is intensely spiritual. It's not that I feel closer to God, per se, I feel more alive. More connected to some core element of myself.

Something about this story linked into that feeling of spiritual connection that I've been a bit relunctant to explore. Maybe because it feels too childish (which is tragic, when I think of it) or naive, or even dangerous. But it's still there, this feeling, waiting to be acknowledged.

For me, working with horses is more than animal training - or rider training. It's not just a ride, it's not just a goal, it's not just a challenge. It's deeper and I don't really understand why it should be. It's a tremendous amount of work, unpredictable, hot, sweaty, and at times a frustrating, irritating, disappointing day. Yet it's like cool water when you don't realize how thirsty you are. A precious gift, simple and satisfying.

.....



I can't imagine a life without horses now. It's changing me, changing how I look at things, bringing me to a contemplative space that's rich with passion and wonder. It's something I won't lose. But I have to find balance with it.

The balance is to not forget to keep my feet on the ground while my heart is in the sky. To be firm and consistent while not letting go of the exhilaration. To be a poet and a wrangler, braiding thought and action together in a sweet grass rope, and using it to rein my horse...



Read the article if you can.

5 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

He sounds like an interesting man. I'll check out the link.
I agree that working with horses is very fulfilling and also at times very frustrating. But the disappointing times with them are better than no time with them for me.

Melanie said...

Beautiful and well written. I can totally relate to you on the whole spiritual side of horses and horsemanship. I find the American Indian way of life fascinating, and hope to venture into a sweatlodge this summer.

My kids and I went to a pow wow last week, and I was forever changed. There was something so visceral (and touching at the same time) that I felt while watching those guys chant and play their drums. We ended up staying for over seven hours, and we were the only white family there...it was great. :)

Anywho...enough rambling. I will go off and read this article.

Pony Girl said...

Nice post! That horse gentler sounds interesting, thanks for sharing his information. That is amazing your dad hosts Native American ceremonies. Did you grow up with him doing that?

HBFG said...

Wow, what a nice post, I love the way you think about your work with horses. It's so inspiring and I am able to relate so well.

Thank you for "discovering" this man, I will get right on it...

:))

Breathe said...

GHM: I agree - a bad day with my horse beats a great day in the office.

Melanie: Pow wows are so powerful. Wait till you do a sweat lodge...

Pony Girl: My dad moved into ceremonial things after I'd grown up. He wasn't particularly spiritual when I was younger...

HBFG: Thank you!

All: wouldn't it be something else to take a clinic from that man?