Join Up

Join Up is the training of horses using their language to establish trust.

A three beat canter
sends you away.
I stand in the middle
watching you, chasing you.

We’ve been running for
too long now. You and I.
Your dappled coat has
darkened and mine has
too. When will you stop?

You snort and I sigh.
Is this going to work?
Will you ever trust me?
‘Join up’ they told me
would work.

Daylight fades and we
continue our dance.
I sit down, you slow
as ears flicker and
lick your lips.

Now that I am your herd.
I turn and see you chew
and stand,
feeling your breath dance
across my neck.

With a velvet muzzle
nudging me, I stroke
your long face. Admiring
the shades of grey
gracing your body.

We walk down the lane,
no ropes or harness.
Just you and I alone
no one else around
in the countryside.

Fiona Hodgkinson.

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