Carrying the huge white plastic laundry basket up from the laundry room at the main house along the horse pasture fence I caught sigh of Denali grazing the plentiful late spring grass. Captivated, I set my basket down on the driveway, ignoring the internal thoughts of chores and the mundane. I climbed through the fence, grabbed a generous handful of mane and swung on bareback. Denali settled back into eating peacefully, but another villain had hitched a ride into this sanctuary: my cell phone. I soon found myself hands free of my little mustang answering texts.

All at once Denali caught sight of the gaudy unnaturally white laundry basket behind her. With springtime and mustang reflex she half reared and bolted, somersaulting me off her right hindquarter.

Humiliated but not hurt I rubbed my side as she casually wandered back to let me get on again. I swung back on but this time I remained fully present, taking everything in.

That evening with the vision of her rearing, twisting and bolting still burned into my mind as I somersaulted off of her I painted “Ambush.”

The lines I painted are similar to a charcoal sketch. It took several attempts to develop the image since watercolors can’t be erased. The colors and lines are very primitive. Looking back perhaps it is a tribute to all the instinctual powers of survival horses possess.


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