All this talk of red mares is nothing new.
Feisty. Furious. Opinionated. Difficult. Unpredictable. The category of options in the red mare handbook written by humans who prefer not to be stereotyped thank you very much.
Oh, a chestnut mare, they say.
To which I say, I have two.
Nadia. Let’s start here.
Nadia’s eyes are a deep well of molten chocolate. You can lose yourself in their liquidy gentleness. The wrinkle of slight concern that frames belies a vulnerability. A tussle between wanting to be safe in the world and perhaps a fear that she might not be.
Sometimes I want to stroke that line above her eye and say, it’s ok. Your place is here. You’ve already arrived.
Her body is strong, powerful, explosive. To rest a hand on her neck is to feel a strength I would never be privileged to experience alone. And yet each day, she lends me her speed and her grace and athleticism, and I’m lifted and carried in many ways beyond what is physically possible.
She has a dimple in her shoulder, and a little tear drop scar under her eye. I often wonder how it got there.
She worries away from her herd, but she lends her trust to me, and I do my best to hold it. My work is to get better at holding the privilege she grants me every day so I’m big enough to meet it.
Ah, you may think, these are the words of a romantic. Or perhaps, a dreamer. And to both you would be right.
But to me, they are also the words of a realist.
Because to me, this is the truth of the chestnut mare in my paddock.
And to see anything less, to experience anything less would be to do her a disservice.
So when I read the words of others, like I did today, dissing the chestnut mare, I smile to myself and think, you’ve missed a trick my friend, you’ve really missed a trick.
And I open the metaphorical gate and hope they land up in my paddock.