It began with hairy knees.
My first words: Momma, Poppa, horse.
An unspoken agreement,
between ridged and smooth hooves
shod in steel, unmoving next to my small feet.
Lifelong passion began with pats on that jelly muscle
just by the elbow,
eye tracing the long vein to the whorl. Boy or girl?
Even as the view grew level with withers and mane, breathing,
stillness began every approach. Breath of shavings, manure,
sweet scent of horse hair, dander, being.
Eventually on board and watching swiveling
ears, my hips following lanky walking strides,
two made one yet two, me leading and following
listening and learning, striking out together.
Coming to know our very thoughts, intimate, connected
but always horse and then human.
Our gallop along the top of the steep-slope hay field,
leap over oxer and six strides to the roll top.
Elegance and grace, a dance between the natural being
between my knees and my soft connection in the reins.
May I never falter on my own two feet again.