Horses Have No Nationality, Religion or Politics. O, the Wise Horse…
Two beautiful Bay horses: throbbing, pounding angels sent to Earth to thrill and bless the human heart. At first glance, I couldn’t tell whether they were Arabians or Thoroughbreds. Didn’t matter: they were gorgeus. Tails flying, heads bobbing. The number, 2, graced the outside horse, who would go on to win the race. For some reason, that photo of those horses captured my heart in that moment, and made my spirit soar.
I realized, also, that I couldn’t really tell if Ramzi’s horse was an Arabian, a Thoroughbred or an Arab/Thoroughbred cross. Didn’t matter: all my heart saw was a gorgeous, swift horse beating another gorgeous, not-quite-as-swift horse. And the winner’s circle showed smiling faces all around, gentlemen who love the horse with whom they are affiliated, and who are proud of him.
This horse, this winner’s enclosure, could have been anywhere: Bahrain, Dubai, the UK, Australia, the U.S., Mongolia or Japan.
Horses have no nationalities:
One might be able to guess the approximate ethnicity (and thereby, maybe guess where the race happened) of the human connections in a winner’s circle picture–but never the horse’s. Why? Precisely because horses have no nationalities: horses are studied, known and separated by their breeds–but no genetic markers exist that result in physical manifestations, indicating country of origin.
Just as there’s no such thing as a Canadian Goose (they’re Canada Geese, i.e., from Canada)–horses don’t have accents when they neigh. (Note that our Canada Goose friend is mocking those of us who didn’t heretofore know that…) 😉
Horses understand English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Hindi, Icelandic and Arabic–but they don’t speak those languages. They are bred in different countries–but that fact does not give them the ethnic qualities of the humans in those places. (“Just ’cause a cat has kittens in the oven…doesn’t make ’em biscuits.”)
They speak, Horse, and the humans who love and work with them must learn to communicate in the horse’s native tongue–not the reverse. (That is, only if the humans are to enjoy a truly succesful relationship with said horse. In fact, it’s exactly that humancentric mistake–people expecting horses to understand them and act accordingly, instead of the reverse–that the potential relationship becomes a mess. Humans are great at farkakte-ing things up by trying to take control of a situation that requires cooperation, rather than domination. But this is a case study for another article, another time.)
I delighted in the fact that I had to figure out where the race took place, in that first photo that I saw. That it wasn’t obvious. (Interestingly enough, the #2 on the horse is an Arabic numeral, the standard expression of numbers. We stopped using Roman numerals some, oh, 2,000 years ago. Except for Super Bowl Sunday.) But because Arabic numerals are the way in which we Westerners see and use numbers–the number on the horse was no clue as to the nation of equine origin, or of the race, itself.
The Horse has no religion: he knows God, the Divine, on a level of intimacy that’s almost unfathomable to mere humans: that of the Creation, directly in contact with the Creator at all times. (I heard a preacher ask once, “Have you ever seen a robin on Valium?”–as he talked about animals’ innate trust in their Creator to provide for their needs.)
To The Horse, politics mean nothing. That horse doesn’t care if there’s a Sheikh, Emir, President, Queen, Prime Minister or Emperor at the helm of the country where he lives. As long as he’s owned and managed by nice people who feed and protect him–he’s good. No need to get a gigantic equine ulcer reading the Politics page of the local paper.
Horses, as I’ve written many times before–and all we who love horses know–horses are innocent.
They’re innately kind, and–considering that they’re enormous, compared with their human handlers–
horses are gentle. Consider this:
Prey animals to the human predator status, horses’ natural inclination is to fall into line behind an Alpha, for the Alpha’s job is to protect them. Good Alphas–that is, kind humans of good intentions–always have the well-being of their horses uppermost in their hearts. These three personality traits can be the only explanation, as to why a 1,200-pound animal would submit (and not trample to death, just for giggles) a two-legged, forward-eyed being who weighs in on average less than 1/6 the horse’s mass.
Let’s face it: ironically, horses are just better at being humane, than are humans.
And, The Horse’s mastery at being humane is directly attributable to their utter detachment from religion, politics or national pride.
Horse racing may be the one place on Planet Earth wherein a woman or man’s faith, politics and ethnic origin are both ignored because they’re unimportant–and at the same time, celebrated. Our differences, and the things that those differences bring to the sport–are the things that unite us. But those differences don’t have to translate to warfare outside the racing oval: if only we mere mortal two-leggeds could learn to observe The Horse’s Zen-like detachment, and integrate that which is inborn in horses, into our own culturally-informed beings. To quote the song, “What a wonderful world this would be…”