How Horse Ownership Promotes Wellness
by Catherine Madera
As I write this it’s nearly September, one of my favorite times of the year. I love September’s warm days, cool misty mornings and the smell of sun dried grasses as I ride down a favorite trail. I love blackberries picked warm off the vine and made into cobbler (the only time I actually enjoy that particular plant).
This year, however, September snuck up on me after a couple of weeks of rushing through summer, trying like mad to enjoy its last days. Some of the horse chores and riding had been temporarily put aside and I only saw my “guys” at feeding time. Instead of enjoying the fun of the season the rushing around induced stress, not bliss. I felt a sort of mental and emotional backlog, an inability to feel in rhythm with life.
Gazing out my kitchen window one morning, I noticed heavy blackberry vines drooping over the electric fence and knew with certainty it was shorting out. This chore regularly needs doing but, just as regularly, is abandoned for something more pressing in the moment. Grabbing my gloves and a pair of garden shears I walked through one of the pastures and got to work. While snipping back the long thorny arms of the bush I caught sight of a bunch of ripe berries, just waiting to be picked. Time seemed to slow as I listened to insects buzzing in the air and I breathed in the smell of crispy golden grasses. Behind me the thud of approaching horse hooves announced a curious friend. I picked some berries to share and my heart whispered: Welcome, September.
Grounding busy humans in the moment and returning us to the rhythms of life are a gift of living with horses. In my opinion, it is the best sort of wellness program.
I hope you enjoy the magazine this month. Learn how StallGem can improve barn, horse and human health along with our regular columns designed to enrich your life with horses. As always, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally Published October 2014 Issue
Catherine Madera served as editor of the Northwest Horse Source for five years. She has written for numerous regional and national publications and is a contributing writer for Guideposts Magazine and the author of four equine-related books. She has two grown children and lives with her husband and three horses in Northwest Washington.