I had always admired his sweet red face when I called him to the gate. Now I
notice how the trees in his field change color with the light and the seasons.
I listened for the clinking of the tags on his blanket when he walked toward
me in the winter. Now I turn up my face to the sky to see how brightly the stars
shine while waiting for my other horse to come snuffle for treats.
I laughed until my sides ached watching him run into the water like a little kid
on the first hot day of summer. Now I always look at the pond to see how beautifully the light reflects off the water.
/ Memory Bank /
My heart took pictures at each of these small-yet-important moments, and so
many more, replaying them through my mind when I missed him so much it felt
my heart would truly break.
I took a page from his book and began to savor small treasures even more
deeply. The taste of a cup of coffee in the morning. The smell of my favorite
perfume. The way the stars reflect off freshly fallen snow.
I mention each of these if I am with someone, wanting to share in something
so small, but so significant in the cultivation of awareness and gratitude.
Mindfulness is a not a knee-jerk reaction; it’s a cultivated response to the world
around you. Don’t wait. Learn what your horse has been telling you since you
learned to love him: Be here, now.
We truly are the lucky ones.
Based in Lexington, Ky., SARAH E. COLEMAN has a soft spot for chestnuts with chrome, including
her off-track Thoroughbred, Chisholm.
At least once in every interaction you
have with a horse, you should pause to
realize this: We are the lucky ones, to be
surrounded by these amazing animals.
Don’t lose sight of what a gift that is by
spoiling your time to decompress and
connect with another living being by
being only halfway present.
/ The Best Teacher /
I put my old horse down on June
29, 2015. I knew from Feb. 10 of
that year that time was short—I just
wasn’t sure how short. I loved him
beyond reason, but knew that keeping
him here with me would be selfish.
In the last months of his life, we did
a role reversal. Instead of me teaching
him, I let him teach me everything
he knew about being an animal that
lived only in the present. In that too-brief time, he taught me more about
life, love and living than I had learned
in my entire 34 years on this earth
prior to losing him.
YOUR HORSE LIFE