Resolution Ride

By Michelina Docimo

Roberto Dutesco's Wild Horses of Sable Island.

This entry is about horses.  It contains three vignettes that are each unique but share the common theme of the bond between horse and human nature.  Please take the time to read through the links to create a complete picture of your own…

Last year, as usual, I made my list of resolutions and noticed that “go horse riding.” was one that kept re-appearing year after year.   2010 would be the year I would go and it was.   From Black Beauty to Rainbow Brite’s Starlight, and an avid collector of My Little Ponies as a little girl, I’ve always loved horses, their elegance, their gentleness, their swiftness, their sparkiness, their spunky names.  My equine affection may be astral induced as I was born the Chinese year of the Horse.  So for my birthday I gifted myself with a horse riding lesson.  It was an afternoon delight, from cleaning Buster’s hooves to petting his brown mane and caramel coat, hitching the saddle, and holding the reins.  It was amusing to tap Buster’s belly with my heel and lead him around the ring (actually it was more that he was leading me, but the instructor said by his neighs and teethy smile, he really liked me.)  A few years older than me, I trusted Buster knew his way around the arena and had plenty of experience with beginners.  After my lesson was over, I wanted to get back on again.  When I put both feet on the ground, it was as if I had been separated by the wind.  Of course Buster was galloping a gentle trot, but in a short span of time I felt transported into another realm, enlightened.   Whenever I pass by the stable, I look for Buster and whether I see him or I don’t, I feel a stronger connection run through me from the earth to the sky.

A few days ago, I came across a New York Times article, Hardships of a nation push horses out to die: Long a part of Irish culture, creatures are now paying a price for government’s swinging austerity measures.  I read in horror as the author painted a once lush green Irish landscape abundantly dotted with horses now converted into a wasteland of economic bankruptcy and environmental crime.  No longer able to afford, the maintenance associated with keeping a horse, many people are setting them free to roam asphalt streets where there were once rolling pastures.  Helpless and succumbing to ill health and injury, these horses bred in Celtic tradition and culture for thousands of years, are being shot to death.  Creation destroyed.  The soul closed.  Because a country drowning in financial debt is blind in seeing where its greatest wealth lie.  Not every corner of the map is meant to look the same.  But for the sake of keeping up with other neighbors (also failing in the global economy), we mistake real estate development with the advancement of humanity.  By killing these horses, we are severing yet another bond with nature and life.

Antipodal to Ireland’s decimation of horses, history, and culture, is Canada’s preservation of its wild horses on Sable Island.  Please read Richard Friswell’s story of photographer Roberto Dutesco’s 16 year exploration into these untamed creatures’ existence, living on their native island with no trace of man.  Dutesco’s experience transcends art as his pilgrimage reaches a spiritual realm of communion with the inhabitants of this untouched slice of sand in the ocean.  You simply must read this story.


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