This is the story of a woman and a horse who love each other. His name is Renn (Renaissance Painter).
Renaissance Painter arrived at Spirit Horse Ranch nearly 7 years ago on the first day of spring. He was a 10-year-old ranch horse and I lived my adult life in the city, longing for a place for a horse. When I saw him for the first time, I knew he had been waiting for me. Our ranch was purchased just for Renn, and he is my heart’s delight. Every day our connection grows and our spirits entwine deeper. Our Liberty Foundations journey has deepened our connection as my skill in his own language refines. When I awake he’s outside my window waiting—Healer and Stealer of my Heart.
One of the most joyful events in my life happened shortly before we moved to Spirit Horse Ranch. I had leased a mare at a local boarding stable when we lived in the city, and she was not for sale. I started searching newspaper ads for a suitable horse, and found an interesting ad for a sorrel gelding. The owner gave directions to his farm and his address. Three weeks later, when we were ready to get serious, I found that I’d lost the address and phone number. For some reason, I was obsessed with finding that horse, and we set out as I attempted to remember directions! Miraculously, we found the right place. I approached the fence, starting to ask about the sorrel gelding, and stopped mid-sentence, transfixed at the sight of a Pintabian (Pinto/Arabian) standing a distance away. The owner asked again what I was looking for, saying the sorrel gelding was sold.
At that moment any horse-trading skill I ever possessed left me. I was unable to speak as the horse in my sights turned his head and looked at me from a distance.
Ruella: He’s the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. (The horse exhaled, dropped his head, closed his eyes.)
Ruella: But he’s not for sale, is he?
Seller: Well…he could be.
Ruella: (Body language of a child on Christmas morning, running toward the horse.) Reeeally!
The horse exhaled deeply. I ran my hands over him, knowing I must have this horse. I asked if he were a safe horse, and heard that he was beginner safe, child safe, parade safe, etc…some of which was possibly true. I asked if I might ride him and retrieved saddle and bridle from my car. I asked his name. His name was Buck. I tacked up, mounted, and fell more deeply in love by the moment. He felt exactly right, except for a few ‘minor details’ which I flipped through my mind as ‘I can fix that’. But he wanted to please me so badly I could feel it. I dismounted and the conversation continued:
Ruella: I love him. He is just perfect. (Horse breathes out. Relaxes.)
Now for the good part
Ruella: Is he the same price as the horse I came to see?
Seller: This horse? (laughing) Oooh, no.
Ruella: Of course not. How much is he?
Seller quotes price 3 times the ‘other horse’ price.
Ruella: Well, I’ll think about it. (Very cool.)
Seller: I’m advertising him tomorrow. The first person who sees him will buy him.
Ruella: May I give you a check? Will you hold him for 3 weeks, until we close on our property? The answer: Of course.
Thinking back, I know if his price had been a million, trillion dollars, I would have had to find a way.
I returned the next week to ride him again. A stud colt in the pen charged us; my horse stood still, waiting until the colt was near; he struck, driving away the colt without disturbing my seat. I knew then that he would care for me. By then my horse had a new name: Renaissance Painter, as I already knew he was a renaissance, a new life, a rebirth for both of us. He asked me to take the bit from his mouth, and I did. We were best friends from the beginning.
Renn is a creature of myth, a Paint Horse Pegasus of the Plains who leapt toward me
Striking my heart, releasing a spring of creativity.
He is so much more than flesh, bone, brilliant mind, huge heart.
For a time I wondered if the carrying of my life's dreams and hopes would burden him too deeply.
He told me I had no heaviness, as he's the embodiment of those dreams and hopes,
Streaming pure energy and the lightness of unbridled joy.
I come into his presence filled with thanksgiving for the privilege of shared space
Asking nothing more, needing nothing more.
"I recognize in your teaching some Native American influence, and I think that's good. I think you bring a whole new perspective overlayed on what we've done before that may enrich and expand the skills we've begun to learn." --Dallas horseman Mike Hunter, commenting on our teaching at Spirit Horse Ranch Liberty Foundations
For the Horse,
(c) Ruella Yates, 2013