Wild Hearts Belong In The Wild
(to those people (women!) who complain about me showing my skin too much – get over yourselves! Nudity is beautiful. Woman’s body is beautiful. Nature is beautiful!)
As I promised before, here is the person who came up with the most creative name for someone like myself…
Our raw souls are tempered by the rawness of her soul the softness of her smile and the openness of her heart
This, Gaia This, Mother Nature This, all and everything is but a footprint upon the existence of the path yet to be trod and you, Elena, are The Walker of Dreams ~ Martin Shone
Uruguay is one of my favorite countries in the world. Yes, it’s the people, nature and the freedom, that ravished my soul.
“El Galope“ ranch is one of those places, that will never leave you. When you step onto the grounds, you will never leave whole. The muddy soil, the warmth of the people who’s hearts don’t lie and the horses, who’s eyes force you to let go, will somehow, rip all your walls down. No matter how high you’ve built them up, they will come crashing down…
This is a land of love, pride and passion… this is Uruguay.
There lives a horse, in Uruguay… by the name of Relincha. The wild, untamable, stubborn soul. She is an actress, who will put on a great show and make you lose all your balance. She will stomp and bite and throw you from side to side. This is the horse that the owner of the ranch, Miguel Zubieta, thought was a great match for me.
Well, Relincha and I did not like each other one bit… Miguel put on a saddle, I put on all imaginable stuff to protect oneself from the fall and we left the ranch… Relincha was a true nightmare and I was a rookie. My blood boiled every time I tried to send her for a gallop and she just gave me a few seconds of a weird run, that looked nothing like a gallop. My boots kept sliding off, Relincha was having a laugh, I bet.
My helmet was getting in the way, was pissed and a very unwelcoming thought creeped in – “damn it, bet I look like a sack of potatoes right now”. I was not a
rider that day, in fact, I was just someone who happened to have a helmet on and cowboy boots, by pure accident.
Really, I haven’t been on a horse in many years and Relincha was probably not the best horse for me. However, Miguel was confident, that we are made for one another. After a few hours of struggle I eventually changed horses. I’ve lost the dance, I was weaker. Relincha was The Leading lady and I was a fucking extra… once again.
After a few days of living the simple life, feeding horses, watching sunsets, having hot saunas and standing naked under the milky way with the wind through my hair.. My soul craved a second chance.
I asked Miguel if it was possible to film me riding horses within the ranch, but this time bareback. Since you must wear a helmet and a saddle when riding outside the ranch, it had to be done within the grounds of El Galope. I have never ridden bareback before. Mateo Zubieta is the son of Miguel, who happened to study film-making. He was thrilled to do something creative.
Miguel gave me a bucket with food for the horses and I went in, to try to get the one that was really easy to ride. Since I knew Relincha, was not the one for the easy bareback ride, I had my eyes on one of the most calm ones. Unfortunately for me, Relincha pushed all the horses away and stomped through the mud towards my bucket with food. I was trying to get her away, but it was too late. She won, once again. “Well, guess you will have to ride on her.” with a smirk and a giggle, muttered Miguel. “Not funny!!” I replied, while stomping my boots deep into the mud.
Miguel and Mateo just laughed.
So I walk Relincha out of the mud and it’s just me and her now. Took the brush in my hand and tied her to a pole for cleaning and brushing session. Because Relincha is so wild, she loves to get mud all around herself, plus, she’s white and all the mud becomes too visible on her coat. While I’m brushing her, she decides her usual shenanigans with me, by hitting me with her head. So I pull her really close to me and stare at her. Eyes to eyes; “Not, today, Relincha, not today. Today, you will have to share the limelight with me”… “Today, I’m in charge!” words became like the chant in my head… with every brush stroke I kept saying it.
I kept talking to her “I’m just like you, Relincha, You don’t have to fight me… I won’t do you any harm…you can trust me”.. “I get it, Relincha… I understand.”
Mateo left somewhere, so did Miguel… the brushing is done… I grab her hair and try to pull myself on top of her.. she resisted a couple of times, but I held on tight and my energy changed. She could feel that the energy within my body was not the energy of the one I had the first time around. It changed.
They both showed up, with a surprised look on their face. “Elena, You forgot this..” , Miguel hands me the Crop/Whip. “Don’t worry, you won’t hurt her with it..it’s for training, it will show her who’s the boss” …
Mateo filmed me for the first 15 minutes. He was actually surprised, that Relincha and me flowed so nicely together. There was only once when she kind of resisted and tried to get me off of her… with the words “Don’t you fuck with me, darling, I’m more stubborn than you!” our friendship blossomed.
With every circle that I send her into, every turn, every run, every zig zag, every neigh and every wind that brushed our hair, Relincha and I became ONE. There was no more walls or masks. There was no more acting. We trusted one another with our most treasured jewels ~ our souls.
Mateo left. It was just Relincha and I for a few hours… just being together. She didn’t resist anymore and I wasn’t afraid. We both beautifully surrendered to this moment and to each other …
I saw Monica, wife of Miguel, drive into the ranch. She passed us by with a question “So, who’s taming whom?”
“each other” – was my reply.
The sun was high and beating down on us, but it didn’t matter… it was such a peaceful and beautiful couple of hours, that I would give anything to be able to experience that connection once again.
Far away by the gates to the main grounds I see Miguel. He’s motioning for us to get home… I start to send Relincha into a trot, but then Miguel yells “Faster, Elena, go faster!” … “Right now, just go! Gallop!! “
“Are you crazy, there’s not enough space here!!!” I yell back at him.
“Just go!!” – he insisted.
By this point, there was no telling between our souls… we were ONE… I used my whip once, loosened reins and gently sent her forward…
She just took off… We melted into a beautiful, strong, graceful gallop…
I didn’t want it to end…
Freedom, Trust and Love.
By the gates, Relincha and I stopped in front of a cheerful Miguel, who was clapping ;
“I was watching you the whole time out of the window. Today, you were the boss”
“Today, Elena, You were a real Rider, a professional!”
I just clapped my hands and jumped up and down like a kid…
“Today, I was the truest and purest ME…”
I had to take Relincha back to the others… picked up the reins and walked by her side.. quietly. Relincha walked inside the muddy surface, while pushing other horses away with her strength. She stood there, proud and untamed… “her soul will never be tamed” – I thought to myself.
Relincha looked at me for a few seconds with a very peaceful and quiet gaze. I tried to come closer and say goodbye, but she made a very loud and wild sound and resisted, by stomping through mud, towards the trees.
My wild heart, has once again, found a home…
Even though I consider myself a writer, it will be hard to put into words all the magic that is – El Galope and how it made me feel. This is not just a ranch and you are not just a guest … For me, this was a home and I was part of the family.
The nature, the horses, the delicious home-made food, the sunsets, the milky way, the wine, music and intimate conversations by the fire…
Laughter, tears, sounds and scents, will tell a story… your story.
The morning kiss on the face by one of the dogs, the freezing cold outside shower, that pokes your skin, like needles after a hot sauna. Standing naked and ONE with nature under the Milky Way with a glass of incredible red wine…
That first bareback gallop on a horse that shares the same spirit as you… The one, that is so hard to tame… The pure joy of knowing that for a moment, she trusted you with her soul.
The tears of compassion, for one of the animals that is in pain.
The sound of crackling wood in the fireplace… the candlelight and the African rhythms that take you to the core of wilderness, warmth, peace and truth.
Nature will never be impressed with your status, color or religion… it will, however open itself to you, if you dare to open yourself. Here, you have a chance to forget what is not important and get closer to what is …
The REAL you.
My heart is still there.
Can’t wait to return..
Nobody else but a writer like you could express your experience (and ours) in such a way. I hope we can meet each other again either here or who knows where. It was a pleasure and a discovery to get to know you. Relincha is waiting for the wild small person. Thank you so much and keep on devouring life!!
~ Miguel Z, Owner / Manager at El Galope August 13, 2014
The woman behind The Wild Heart…