Janet Biggs, Part 3

"You ever look at who rides and who doesn't? Who's good and who isn't? Look sometime. Look how few ever let the animal run things. Even with a bad horse, you got to let him, you got to at least once, else you never know what he has to give you. But everyone holds on so tight. Doesn't work, all that fighting. We all know who's stronger. But you give a little, especially to a bad horse, let him see you trust him a bit, sometimes he'll trust you back. That happens, you got it made. He'll go for you like he won't go for nobody else."

Heather Lewis, House Rules

DYSART: With one particular horse, called Nugget, he embraces. The animal digs its sweaty brow into his cheek, and they stand in the dark for an hour--like a necking couple. And of all nonsensical things--I keep thinking about the horse! Not the boy: the horse, and what it may be trying to do. I keep seeing that huge head kissing him with its chained mouth. Nudging through the metal some desire absolutely irrelevant to filling its belly or propagating its own kind. What desire could that be? Not to stay a horse any longer? Not to remain reined up for ever in those particular genetic strings? Is it possible, at certain moments we cannot imagine, a horse can add its sufferings together--the non-stop jerks and jabs that are its daily life--and turn them into grief? What use is grief to a horse?

Peter Shaffer, Equus


"There is nothing closer than working one-to-one with a horse." She spoke of the "give and take" between rider and horse, the power surging beneath her, and the "flowing sense of oneness" during the jumps. Then, when she fell, she had the dismaying shock of recognition that the oneness was lost. Although some horses were more skillful than others, she believed that a fall was only rarely the horse's fault, but resulted from something the rider did wrong or from the horse being so finely attuned to the rider's mood that it sensed and reacted to the lack of confidence or control. She wondered if the horse sensed a change taking place in her.

John E. Schowalter, "Some Meanings of Being a Horsewoman"

The horses were already moving. He took the first one that broke and rolled his loop and forefooted the colt and it hit the ground with a tremendous thump. The other horses flared and bunched and looked back wildly. Before the colt could struggle up, John Grady had squatted on its neck and pulled its head up and to one side and was holding the horse by the muzzle with the long bony head pressed against his chest and the hot sweet breath of it flooding up from the dark wells of its nostrils over his face and neck like news from another world. They did not smell like horses. They smelled like what they were, wild animals. He held the horse's face against his chest and he could feel along his inner thighs the blood pumping through the arteries and he could smell the fear and he cupped his hand over the horse's eyes and stroked them and he did not stop talking to the horse at all, speaking in a low steady voice and telling it all that he intended to do and cupping the animal's eyes and stroking the terror out.

Cormac McCarthy, "All the Pretty Horses"

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