When the world feels crazy, I seek the solace of a horse’s neck. That’s the spot for me, and it always has been. When I was a kid, and things were rough at home or at school, I could always burrow into that warm nook, burying my head under a silken cascade of mane to feel safe, to feel home, and to feel love. As a teenager, when hormones transformed me into a half-human, half-wolf creature ready for a fight around every corner, I would decompress in the company of horses, my blood pressure dropping, my heart finding its stride with the syncopated rhythm of deep peace.

Whether brokenhearted, temper ignited, or limping pitifully along with the indignant tragedy of a bruised ego, I would drive to the barn and sit in the feed trough, knees tucked up beneath me while they ate at my toes. There I would cry the big, drowning tears of a living girl with a beating heart. Their kind eyes fringed with gently dusting lashes would behold me, their alert ears, cocked patiently in my direction, would hear the confessions of unspoken prayer. Horses bore witness to the pain of my youth, and their presence carries me still through the turbulent world. I continue to be infinitely grateful for the balm of their sweet musk and for the perfect arch of their divine necks, which remain my infinite solace.