Moonsong Highlight: G

*Moonsong Highlight: G!*

That which He said to the rose,
and caused it to laugh in full blown beauty,
He said to my heart,
and made it a hundred times more beautiful.


I’ll never forget the first time I turned “G” (LC Galanton) out into his paddock. This mythical, majestic Spanish PRE stallion, larger than life, with his long braids dancing along as he piaffed and jigged his way out of the barn…neck arched and giant muscles rippling under his sheet. I led him with some calculated amount of feigned confidence, feeling insignificant and inadequate. I was in the presence of something otherworldly. I was so vulnerable.

It had rained earlier in the week but the footing was safe for turnout. We walked through the gate together and he tossed his head, impatient for me to release him. I asked him to settle, and he did, quivering all the while with excitement for whatever it was he was about to do. I unhooked his leadrope and we went our separate ways, but I turned around just in time to see him blasting full-speed across the paddock, bounding with exhilaration. I expected some jaw-dropping acrobatics, perhaps some naturally perfected “airs above the ground”, athleticism that only a body like his could produce. I was prepared for something magical.

But no. Instead, he made a beeline for a giant puddle in the corner of the paddock and as I muttered a fearful, “Noooooo!” under my breath, he went for it. Down to his knees, nose first, sliding to a slow and mushy stop and then purposefully submerging himself deeper and deeper into the mud. Both sides of his body, his cheeks and then his entire head, his beautiful mane and tail. Everything was covered. After he’d sufficiently caked himself, he stood up, his bright blue sheet filthy and hanging crooked across his tummy, and shook like mad, smacking himself in the side of his enormous neck with his wet braids. He groaned, sighed, stretched, licked his lips, and finally, looked over at me as if to say, “Did you see that? That was so awesome. Bet you can’t do that. ”. I gazed at him and giggled, appreciating his brazen silliness, admiring his perfection. As we stood across from each other in the stillness of the afternoon, I felt as though he had literally grown out of the earth. He was substantial, solid, tethered…reliable and sound…voluptuous yet contained…wise, and pure.

“G” was all of the things I was not, at that time in my life. I’d just been swallowed up by grief and some trauma, and was swimming around in a murky fog of desperation that we’ve all known at some point. The fear inherent in the suffering left me feeling lost and disoriented. What and whom I needed most were gone. I was reeling, not knowing what I was seeking, floating around in my own mind. And there he was, offering nothing but his shameless presence, being in his own unique body and allowing me to witness the intricate and beautiful details of his life. As impossible as it seemed, with all of his physicality and authenticity, “G” was also transcendent. He mystified me. He saw me. I mean, REALLY, saw me. He knew me better than I knew myself. He required me to be present, and in that presence I found the truth again.

Over time, our relationship evolved in ways for which I will be eternally grateful. Through our interactions, I’ve been reminded of the similarities and differences between participation, communication, and play; limits, rules, and boundaries; respect, devotion, and love. On days of the week when I know I will be with him, I’m absolutely giddy. I often feel as though I’m touching him before I actually am. And when I finally lay my hands on his magnificent body, there is an electric, magnetic, and colorful energy that guides them.

“G” is impressive to spectators, to say the least. He is important and powerful in his professional discipline. He is esteemed as an athlete and as an example of his breed. He is revered by humans and horses alike. To me, he is all of those things. But he is also a copper penny in the sun. He is a mud muffin in the rain. He is a fiery ember on these coldest of days, and he is the breeze that sang to my broken heart until it bloomed again. Being in service to him is one of the greatest gifts of my life.