Thursday, April 5, 2012

What It Is

I have been wanting to start a "real" blog for a while now, and what I most often find myself writing about is horses.  It only makes sense that I dedicate this one to Coro, short for MVR El Corazon, my non-gaiting Paso Fino gelding who I have loved since I was fifteen years old, as they say, at first sight.  Here is what I have been thinking about...

I'm feeling really emotional about Coro lately. We had some ups and downs riding-wise over the past couple of weeks, but ultimately I still feel so happy and proud that he is mine, still, after all these years, and so grateful that we've had this second honeymoon together. He will turn 23 next week, my silver love. This time last year it was unknown whether I would be able to keep riding him as I worriedly awaited his heart ultrasound appointment at Littleton Equine. The results were primarily positive, although he has valve degeneration that is going to continue, and we went on to have the most amazing summer and fall, more than I had gotten to ride him in over ten years. Last September we had our first lesson with my trainer, who has been such an encouraging support, and while we haven't made any grand leaps in progress, he clearly enjoys the work, and between that and the right feed & supplement equation that I finally landed on, he is more fit and flexible and our communication evolves every day. He has never been an easy horse. We still have moments that he gives me the proverbial "middle hoof" and insists that he cannot possibly give me any bend to the left, move his butt over, or walk calmly home from a trail ride. Then there are the moments where he leans his head against my chest, practically puts his halter on himself, circles when I've only just begun to think about circling, lifts off so delicately into a beautiful canter. I told my trainer last week that the day I got him remains, through everything, one of the best of my life.

 He came back to me through tragedy, my mother's last gift to me. In an inscrutable circadian twist that I may never make peace with, the day Coro became mine and the day my mother left the earthly realm are the same, eighteen years apart. The best day and the worst day irreversibly intertwined. "We'll take him," she said, the dark pewter youngster spooking at his shadow. "Maybe Lara will want to keep Coro," she said, in those last weeks as we planned for her absence. Our two horses were born a mere day apart. Forever bound by time and the blood that runs in horse and human veins. If not for the distraction of finding a place to keep them, arranging their transportation, the responsibility of managing their care and feeding, the impetus to get dressed and leave my house every weekend and immerse myself in the landscape of Lost Canyon and the reformation of my bond with Coro...I don't know how I would have managed those first months, that first year. You see what I mean about the profoundness of things lately? This was meant to be a record of my last few rides - it's become a map of these almost twenty years I've shared with El Corazón, mí corazón, my heart. If you've shared your life with a horse, you know. The relationship with them is unlike any other. They send us into elation and despair. We keep coming back. We have to. Something in their eyes and something both primal and refined draws us back to the beginning. They meet us there. They carry us. They carry us home.

~ L

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