Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Horses Are Light And Air And Wind And Sky

 (For Keil Bay, 1989-2023)

Horses Are Light And Air And Wind And Sky

Are guardians who gallop alongside cars, always with you, always there. They are winged creatures, though their wings are invisible, carrying you away from things and also toward things. 

Horses hold space and energy, read minds, siphon insights that may otherwise be elusive. They move in rhythms that match pulses, heartbeats, breath, the alternating skip you do as a child, the way your brain processes neural impulses. 

A horse comes to you when you need him, carries you past a mirror which reflects your best self, lays his muzzle on your shoulder, lifts a 70-pound bale of hay in your path in his teeth and tosses it aside. A horse comes to you from dream time, from child time, from the time before you knew what time even was.

Horses sing and scream and snort, gaze without blinking into the deepest part of your eye, smell, and sometimes lick, your hands. A horse listens when you whisper, better than a therapist at detecting the things you do not say.

Horses find the girls who need them. Horses tell the truth and keep their promises. Horses surround you and lift you off the ground to keep you with them. Herd mind. Herd hooves drum-beating time.

Sometimes when you stand beside a horse’s shoulder, hand on wither, hand on barrel, he turns and curls you into the space between his head and heart, a small circle of protection, impenetrable circle of safety. 

When you dream about a horse you’re not dreaming, you are galloping through another galaxy, exploring deep space, tracing neural networks, resetting your vagus nerve. 

When a horse leaves, you send a piece of you with her, and she leaves a piece of her with you. The conversation you started never stops. The partnership you forged never flags. Sometimes you see her galloping the perimeter of the farm, keeping time intact, opening windows into other places, other ways of being, places not yet named.

When you ride a horse you carry that forever in the skin of your calves, feet hanging weightless, a lifted back bearing you across boundaries of time and space, faster than you think you can go, to a place you came from but don’t remember until he takes you there again.

-Billie Hinton

Autumn Into Winter 2023, Daily Readings 4 and 5 (a Keil Bay edition)

 Yesterday’s card, which I didn’t get around to posting:

Ladybug and Sweet Pea are happiness, good fortune, a journey. I felt the joy of this card yesterday morning when I pulled it randomly from its deck, and honestly I feel it this morning even after last night’s huge loss, because when a horse goes peacefully, I think all horse women feel the happiness of that journey. I can say this morning that without question, my journey with Keil Bay has been one of happiness and good fortune, from the day I met him until now. 

This morning’s card brought me to tears and then quiet sobs. If an illustration were Keil, this is it:

Modest fortitude, the benevolent king, that is who he was and is. And brilliance of mind, body, spirit. When I pulled this card and turned it over, I wasn’t surprised. This is the kind of presence he has in the lives of those who love him dearly. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Goodbye, Our Beloved Keil Bay


Keil Bay had a flare-up of EPM this past week and was on treatment for it since Friday. His right hind fetlock was puffy and we think he may have had an abscess brewing. He had his favorite body work, chiropractic care, on Saturday that helped and then acupuncture and a Legend injection yesterday, and his day was good as was his day today. Although not moving normally, he foraged for grass, hay, and acorns with his herd. 

Tonight when we went out to feed dinner tubs he was lying flat out in the grassy barnyard, very still and peaceful. He got up about 15 minutes later and was calm but not really able to walk forward. When he tried to walk he was only able to go in a circle. 

He had most of his dinner tub, many peppermints, and his vet arrived 45 minutes after that. He was surrounded by me, my husband, and both my young adult children, who grew up knowing the Big Bay and loving him. 

Moments after he took his last breath, the barn lights went out for a few seconds and the big bang of a transformer blowing in the distance sounded. Later, after the vet left and we were still with him, as he lay with a peaceful eye and covered in flowers my husband picked from our beds and his blankets, an owl hooted from the big oak tree at F, five separate times. 

The stars were bright in the sky. 

I know it was the right time and I feel grateful nothing that could have gone terribly wrong did. I’m going to be crying for months I’m sure, off and on, as we all try to reconfigure. Cody, Little Man, Rafer Johnson, and Redford stood silently watching as all this happened, and after he was gone they whinnied and brayed. It’s hard to say goodbye to a horse who was so good and so present in our daily lives. 

We love you, Big Handsome Bay. You’ve been my dream. We’re grateful you lived 34 amazing years. I wish I’d been with you every one of them. 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Autumn Into Winter 2023, Daily Reading, 3

 PATIENCE. Needed this today and it has helped to have this card front and center all morning. 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Autumn Into Winter 2023, Daily Reading, 2


Key words: faith, patience, light and dark in balance, creative solutions. Here’s to bringing this to all areas right now. I am worried about the Big Bay but he is out foraging in the barnyard and while he is clearly off in the hindquarters, he seems pretty good. 

If you appreciate the art of these cards as much as I do, support the creator/artist by purchasing HERE.