We have some recommended reading for our cowgirl yoginis: Linda Kohanov's The Tao Of Equus examines the horse-human relationship in detail, and how horses can awaken our intuition. I'm reading one of her other books entitled Riding Between the Worlds: expanding our potential through the way of the horse. My fave chapter so far in the latter is called "does the horse have a Buddha nature?" and the following quote is a lovely link between horses and our yoga practice:
If the horse has a Buddha nature, it's definitely of the Zen variety. These animals embody many of the attitudes and skills people develop through this practice, including the ability to engage fully with reality. What seems so difficult for a grasping, hoarding, controlling, competitive human being comes easily to a highly social, intensely aware, nomadic prey animal. Horses are actually hardwired for the state of non-attachment championed by the Buddha. In the wild, they don't defend their territory, build nests, live in caves, or store nuts for winter. They move, unprotected, with the rhythms of nature, cavorting through the snow, kicking up their heels on cool spring mornings, grazing peacefully in fields of flowing grass...Humans spend so much time and energy judging what should or shouldn't happen, what they should or shouldn't feel, that they sacrifice their ability to enjoy or adapt to what is happening...horses...never lose contact with the fluctuating nature of existence. "Be like a mirror", wrote the Chinese sage Chuang-tzu. "A mirror does not search for or create things, but welcomes and responds to all that comes before it." This in essence describes the eternally reflective mind of the horse.
I haven't found anything better than riding and yoga for helping me feel more connected to the rhythms of nature. We all have these rhythms inside, regardless of our surroundings. We just need help accessing them.
It hasn't even arrived from amazon yet, but my new fave book is Cowgirl Smarts: How to Rope a Kick-Ass Life. More to come on that, I am sure...meanwhile, off to kick up my heels.