Comment: Stable Minds

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Stable Minds

[ I share some of my favorite snippets of horse sense, and sensibility ]

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'To me, horses and freedom are synonymous.'  ~Veryl Goodnight

Barracuda, it comes down to lessons in communication and relationship, doesn't it?

'Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.'
~Ronald Duncan, "The Horse," 1954

'A man on a horse is spiritually as well as physically bigger than a man on foot.'
  ~John Steinbeck

When I want to cheer up I saddle up, ...

'There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.'  ~Winston Churchill 

but I have a particular fondness for my relationships with draft horses.

"There are unknown worlds of knowledge in brutes; and whenever you mark a horse, or a dog, with a peculiarly mild, calm, deep-seated eye, be sure he is an Aristotle or a Kant, tranquilly speculating upon the mysteries in man.  No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.  They see through us at a glance.  And after all, what is a horse but a species of four-footed dumb man, in a leathern overall, who happens to live upon oats, and toils for his masters, half-requited or abused, like the biped hewers of wood and drawers of water?  But there is a touch of divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse, that should forever exempt him from indignities.  As for those majestic, magisterial truck-horses of the docks, I would as soon think of striking a judge on the bench, as to lay violent hand upon their holy hides."
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"Among all the sights of the docks, the noble truck-horses are not the least striking to a stranger.  They are large and powerful brutes, with such sleek and glossy coats, that they look as if brushed and put on by a valet every morning.  They march with a slow and stately step, lifting their ponderous hoofs like royal Siam elephants.  Thou shalt not lay stripes upon these Roman citizens; for their docility is such, they are guided without rein or lash; they go or come, halt or march on, at a whisper.  So grave, dignified, gentlemanly, and courteous did these fine truck-horses look - so full of calm intelligence and sagacity, that often I endeavored to get into conversation with them, as they stood in contemplative attitudes while their loads were preparing.  But all I could get from them was the mere recognition of a friendly neigh; though I would stake much upon it that, could I have spoken in their language, I would have derived from them a good deal of valuable information touching the docks, where they passed the whole of their dignified lives."  ~Herman Melville, Redburn. His First Voyage, 1849