Yesterday my daughter met Foxie. I knew from the outset that she would fall in love. Not because Foxie is the perfect horse, but because my daughter is an animal lover through and through, and her heart is more than tender.

There was a spark. A current that ran between their eyes. I don’t think I imagined it. My daughter’s eyes are kind and brown, the color of rich earth. The mare’s eyes are brown too, a deeper shade. Both girl and horse seemed to have a softness when they studied each other. What is it that draws us close to another being – animal or person?

I have held myself apart from horses for the past many years. A month or so ago, I first allowed myself to look at pictures of horses for sale on Facebook. At first it was a test. How would I feel? Would there be a sting of grief or the ache of hardship? Would my eyes glaze over with the impossibility of opening my heart that wide again? Perhaps that was my expectation. Instead, I found myself, after a long winter, awakening. I didn’t know what I was looking for.

As I scrolled through photos of horses one picture caught my eye. It was of a large pony with a forelock splashed, across his face, and an expression that said, “Hi! Nice to meet ya!” From the comments, I could tell he had already been spoken for. I told a friend about him and how his look had touched me. He reminded me of my childhood pony Cochise. “That’s a face I can trust,” I told my friend.


Cochise, circa 1971


a couple of years later at a horseshow

The next time I saw that expression on a horse, I didn’t hesitate, but right away messaged the person who posted it. The mare was small, right on the line between pony and horse, a Palomino so pale she could have been white. She was a 13-year-old Quarter Horse who had been used in a therapeutic riding program. The barn manager said I could come and see her any time. I visited her once and brought my daughter the second time. Next week, we will bring her home to the barn for a trial.

I am old and wise enough to know that there may not be a happy ending. My daughter’s heart will break if we find a flaw we cannot live with. But we must move through this process, open ourselves to what will be, allow our hearts to beat in time with another. Wisdom is not gained lightly.

I believe in the beauty of narrative…the unexpected turns in the road. I am not the creator of this story, simply an observer documenting these days. But I believe in hope and in God’s timing. After all, today is Good Friday.


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