Sunday, April 04, 2010


"The Blessing"

Sherri Anderson is a dear Friend of THE FARM. On her initial visit here, I saw immediately in her eyes the connection and the recognition that she "got it". Sherri is a fellow Parelli student and sees through the big puff of personality that the horse often presents. She sees through to the instincts and constant awareness of surroundings. She sees their curiosity and often their fears. Sherri sees past the broken legs, the wounds filled with proud flesh, the blind eyes, the cancerous bumps, and the crippled feet. She sees the soul inside and, too, falls deeply in love.

Recently, I asked Sherri to share with us a bit of her spirit. She is such a gentle and easy person. Would she be willing to write a bit that we could present on this special Easter Sunday? And she did.

Thank you, Sherri. You can visit Sherri and read of her life's observations at And now, with great pleasure, I introduce to you my friend, Sherri Anderson.

I would like to share this little poem. I have kept it in my journal for a long time and it’s a pleasure to spend a few moments with it. After a long winter I think we all deserve to drink in the warmth and promise of nicer days ahead. I think it is a pleasant coincidence that it’s called “A Blessing” since spring blessings were mentioned in the Refuge Farms newsletter I recently received.

A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.

They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.

They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.

At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.

She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

by James Wright

This poem is also reproduced on a Minnesota rest stop interpretive marker on westbound I-90. I had the job of transporting a friend's horses part of the way on her journey to work on at breeding facility in South Dakota this past week. Fran Latane is a talented Parelli student on her way to becoming an instructor and she is meeting up with her mentor instructor, Farrah Green, who is on staff at this ranch. I can only imagine her excitement of working her Parelli magic with the dozen or so young horses that are being started.

I am so heartened to see how the Parelli method of helping humans and horses has grown. It was even more inspiring to see your beauties, Sandy, at the Gala, all decked out in their Parelli halters. Seeing the distinctive string halter speaks volumes to those who know its meaning: Love, Language and Leadership -- in equal doses. To the casual observer it just a string halter. To the student of natural horsemanship it says -- I care about my horse, I learned to speak the horse’s language and I will be a kind and just leader for my horse.

The poem, “The Blessing”, speaks to me through that profound communication between horse and human. How fragile and special the glimmer of understanding is when the horse seeks communication with us. It is through the grace of God, Sandra Gilbert, volunteers and supporters, that the great and noble horses at Refuge Farms have received that blessing of being heard and protected.

Thank you, Sandy, for the opportunity to share.
I have received so much inspiration from your blog and your organization -- not to mention the wonderful horses whom you give a voice through your works. I hope to have a few more "thoughts" to share along the way.

Keeping it natural,
Sherri Anderson - "saddlebagsher"

photos by Frances Latane

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