Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Force of the Horse takes no Vacation

Straight from the Horse’s Heart

by R.T. Fitch, author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart
Notes from the Road – The Journal

Terry Fitch in Pyrenees Moutains
Nature photgrapher, Terry Fitch, with horses in Pyrenees Mts, Spain - Photo by R.T. Fitch
(Barcelona)  Our thoughts were not on horses, in fact, the subject of horses was not even on the agenda.  We were in Spain, northern Spain and as we were aware it is the motherland of the great Andalusians but we had not seen any, to date.
Our intent, for the day, was to enjoy a chartered min-van ride up into the Pyrenees Mountains which make up the border of Spain and France.  We were a small group, an Australian couple, three folks from Tobago/Trinidad, a gentleman from Poland, the Americans (Terry and myself) and our French guide; a happy go lucky group of international travelers, thrown into a Volkswagen bus for a day and in search of a good time.  We were not disappointed.
There is no need to detail the stops in the small towns and visits to local markets, as we worked our way up into the mountains, but what does bear mentioning is that when we stopped for lunch we were hit by a tremendous thunderstorm that cleared away to reveal a winter wonderland only a few hundred meters above us.  We pressed our driver to climb higher even against his warnings of road conditions and high winds but we would have none of it, we wanted to play in the snow amongst the rocky cliffs; so onward we progressed.
I don’t know who saw them first as I was mesmerized by the sight of the wind stripping the snow off from the peaks with the dark blue sky behind but suddenly a cry went out that there were horses and yes, beside us on the rocky, slush covered trail were horses, standing in the wind and snow paying no attention to the humans in the little metal box beside them.
Pyrenees Colt
Pyrenees Colt - Photo by Terry Fitch
We were at 2,500+ meters in a very remote portion of the countryside; what were horses doing here, no one had an answer.  But then again, no one waited for an answer as the van was cleared of occupants in seconds and despite the near hurricane force wind and arctic temperatures our international band of travelers were scrambling for spots on the trail and clicking shutters in an effort to capture this magical and unexpected moment.
Terry’s camera clicked away as we whispered and moved amongst the herd.  These horses were like none we had ever seen before and although wary of our imposition they did not move away if we simply glided quietly around them.  Our time was short as the cold penetrated our light clothing quickly, but the moment lingered for hours.
Once back in the van the chatter picked up when our fellow travelers learned of our bond with horses.  Questions were asked, misconceptions were dispelled and many awareness’s were heightened.  What had started out as a simple ride in the remote mountains had turned into a lesson on the spirituality of our kindred companions, the horse.  Terry and I held each other closely as the hours ticked away, on our trip back to Barcelona, and each inquiring question came further and further apart.  Our companions were nodding off to sleep with smiles on their faces, new converts to the way of the horse and all the beauty that they bestow upon us.
Terry laid her head on my shoulder, squeezed my hand and whispered, “The Force of the Horse has followed us”.
I quietly nodded.
As visions of our American wild horses raced across my mind a voice whispered into my right ear, “can we go see the wild horses in Mongolia next?”
I held her closer as both of us heard a gentle whinny, far off in the distance.
The Force of the Horse® is with us.

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