There are a few things about which most of us know nothing.
Rendering a wild horse civilized is likely one of them.
This past week, we all had the opportunity to be introduced to that remote subject. Our tutor was none other than actor, daughter, sister, mother, horse breaker…..Amber Heard.
Asked to describe her childhood, by a defense lawyer in court, she complied. Seems her father was the professional – a Texan, a rancher, and a specialist in the art of taming equine mammals for use in either breeding or racing. As a young girl, self described as the one designated to “be the boy”, Amber was placed on the animal’s back as soon as she was able and taught the skills which, as she outlined, were twofold: a.) stay on the horse, and b.) stay on the horse.
Taming the wildness in these 900+ pound creatures was simple, yet profound: remain on the horse’s back, whatever it took, until the horse gave up trying to toss you off.
For as little as we do know of life even after living a few decades, many of us do learn the value of guiding metaphors. This writer could not miss the one portrayed by this story, nor its power over a growing girl’s future outcomes.
To what end would the young horse breaker mount the wild man named Johnny who said he loved her? His habits bred behaviors in both himself and her which, according to her account, became at times life threatening. Could he be tamed? The possibility was at the mercy of her resolve; she would stay on. Did he want to be broken? His desires ceased their power; she would stay on. Would she be thrown? She would get back on. Amber would remount her wild horse, and remain, until he let her stay.
None of us is immune to the forces which compel. Whence these arise can be found in our deepest past. How we are trained determines in large part the manner in which we face life’s obstacles, and what we define as these can become our targets.
Did the daughter of a Texas rancher set out to vanquish the howl of the wild? Clearly, she learned to fight the bucking stallion. But, did she choose her prey, or did it choose her?
This is something only the horse whisperer knows.
© 5/7/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Please respect your fellow creatives in the effort. Sharing by blog post link, exclusively, and not via RSS. Thank you.