Hovering Lightly and Burning Brightly

Hovering Lightly and Burning Brightly

(© 2018 Kip Mistral. Illustration “Holiday Time” by Heywood Hardy [1842-1933])

I dreamed this morning, literally, that I am wandering through a busy outdoor market. It is an old country market with much tradition, animals and all kinds of rustic things for sale by generations of people who know each other. They are friendly and chatty, and I find myself talking to many women who have spent a lifetime with horses. They all have different stories about their experience and I am struck with the richness of their memories. Naturally, being a journalist I start thinking what a fabulous article it would make to bring these conversations together in one place, woven together in a sort of tapestry.

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Riding the Labyrinth with Valentín

Riding the Labyrinth with Valentín

(© Kip Mistral 2018)

The labyrinth is a archetypal symbol that has appeared in pan-global culture, art and literature for thousands of years. A formal labyrinth created for meditation appears to meander in circles, but in reality is a purposeful path that focuses our attention in a powerful way on a personal pilgrimage experience. The word labyrinth can also describe a place, as in a garden maze, full of intricate paths and blind alleys, or as in the myth of the Minotaur, who is found in a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers on the island of Crete in Greece. Finally, it can be used to describe something extremely complex, intricate, confusing, and even tortuous. And why would I use that word in the title of a blog post that also includes the word “riding” and the name of my beloved Valentín (Val for short)?

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Kip Mistral: On Creating a Horse-Human Partnership

Kip Mistral: On Creating a Horse-Human Partnership

(© Kip Mistral 2018. Horsewoman Petting Dog by Alfred de Dreux.)

Recently I was asked by the lovely folks at www.horsesandfoals.com to contribute to their “expert roundup” to answer the following two questions:

1. How do you bond with your horse so that you can get him/her to trust you? and 2. What is your best tip for bonding with a new horse?

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The Pleasure of His Company: On the Rider’s Journey

The Pleasure of His Company: On the Rider’s Journey

(© 2108 Kip Mistral. All Rights Reserved.)

One soft spring morning long ago, air perfumed with the fragrant blossoms of our home’s citrus orchard, I stood with my back to the living room screen door I had left open as I concentrated on a phone conversation with my mother. Yes, I assured her; I had finished vacuuming the house and was now shaking rugs on the back porch. Suddenly, I felt warm breath on the back of my neck. I froze in fear—I knew I was alone in our house! Dropping the phone, I shrieked as I whipped around to face the intruder.

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