Friday, September 12, 2008


I have a very special group of friends who are more than 'horse friends," more than "fun friends," and definitely more than "just friends." They're kindred spirits, and they're family.

We all live in various locations - the bulk of them are in the mid-Atlantic from Maryland to North Carolina, but we have some offshoot representation too (Tennessee in the house! Alabama in the house!).

Several times a year, if we're lucky, we gather collectively to rejoice in the spirit that exists amongst us. With this group I feel 100% comfortable sharing things I tend to censor with other friends and family. This might be surprising to some, since my life appears to be such an open book, and it's not as if the content is completely dark or sadistic - hello, it's me - but it's the things we often withhold when we fear we will be judged or ridiculed.

If I had to sum it up, I'd say the prominent tenet of our group is unfiltered, unadulterated honesty, which can sometimes be a big pill to swallow. It's a very special bond and as time progresses, it only strengthens. I feel like the range of emotions is enhanced when we're together. Observations are more astute, joy is overwhelming, tragedy is not crippling but cathartic.

We have suffered a loss this week. It is not our first, it is not our last. But right now it's the most significant.

Let's all honor the pony we knew as Eclipse, who gave his back to Jeanette and, in doing so, took her on a journey which led her to today. The pragmatic decision-making demonstrated in the face of sudden loss is nothing short of inspirational, and serves to remind me that when people are given the freedom to express themselves honestly, in environments devoid of fear of social scrutiny, they become stronger. They balance in the center of the emotional range unfaltered by the peaks and valleys inherent to human life.

photo credit: Allie Conrad


Jane said...

Yesterday while we sat with him, Jeannette told me Eclipse made her into the horsewoman she is today. All the empathy that flows from her to the horse is thanks to that wonderful gray pony who impressed the likes of Denny Emerson, who would crank the jumps to 4', and Artur Kottas, who rode tempi changes on him.

The pony never gave unless you asked correctly, but was always a kind ride. To his herd, he was the boss, to his humans - one part 3 parts courage to one part cowardly lion.

Lisa said...

Robby, you have described our small modest herd of peeps perfectly.

Eclipse was one of a kind. Bad ass, yet kind enough to let this drunken monkey climb aboard him in a field and midnight and canter around a field with nothing but her weight and a hope to steer him. He will be sorely missed.