I watched this young man work with his horse for close to an hour, and heard more coming from him than I have the words to express.
Opening the gate to let him into the arena, his eyes met mine, looking down at me from the back of his horse. His mouth didn’t move, but his eyes smiled in thanks. Young eyes, but wise somehow; a wisdom beyond what can only be 17 years of life.
Quiet, ever quiet, an inner stillness that his horse echoed. Yet, the pair was always in motion. Each movement was effortless, flowing and wild with potential.
In a relaxed lope, the horse’s ears back to listen, the loop swinging overhead melted into the launch with a flick of a wrist. The horse’s rump drops, planting his feet underneath while his rider steps off and down the length of rope.
Still in fluid motion, he turns, drops his weight against the length of the rope while the horse backs. Heels dug in, the horse pulls in a tug of war that left six feet of groove in the dirt of the arena floor.
An unseen cue and the horse stops. Upright again, the wrist flicks the rope again, this time to ask the horse for slack before dropping the end on the ground. When he dropped his head to hide under his hat, the horse dropped its head too, waiting for a graceful, effortless step back into the saddle.
Before the seat of his pants hit the saddle, the horse was in motion again, slowly trotting forward while the hand coiled the rope. Moving into a liquid lope, the wrist is again flicking the loop overhead, ready for another throw.
Soundless, quiet, stillness; liquid motion.