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Riding on Horses’ Wings

Reimagining Today’s Horse for Tomorrow’s World

Janet Bubar Rich

The bond between humans and horses is deep. For humans, horses provide freedom. Riding on horses and horse-drawn chariots or carts has allowed humans to go farther and faster than they could on their own. Horses (now high-horsepower cars) are our wings. As a result, their images show up in our dreams and our personal and cultural stories as symbols not only of freedom, but of power, swiftness, nobility, and beauty. Equine images empower us to ride on inner journeys, explore the mysteries of the soul, and carry the human spirit forward. In bringing to life the horse tales of many cultures throughout the ages, Riding on Horses’ Wings is as whimsical and magical as it is inspiring. From the white-winged Pegasus and part-human Centaurs in ancient Greek myths, Epona in ancient Celtic lore, the eight-legged Sleipnir in Nordic tales, and Kanthaka in Buddhist lore, to the many horses in Native American mythologies and today’s literary and fine arts, movies, YouTube videos, and beyond, horses touch our hearts and elevate our imaginations. In this book, Janet Bubar Rich taps into our love of horses and horse tales, inspiring us all to take life by the reins, make the changes needed to improve our lives, and create sustainable futures for horses, humans, and other species on earth, our home.


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1. Introduction


Chapter 1 Introduction Riding on Horses’ Wings: Reimagining Today’s Horse for Tomorrow’s World speaks of humans’ deep-seated love of horses and the horse tales that have permeated our diverse cultures across the globe for centuries. It speaks of humans’ enduring love of swift powerful horses as expressed in myths and dreams, a love that, in our technological age, has become the love of cars with high horsepower, a term coined by James Watt in the eighteenth century for a unit used to measure the power of engines. With concerns about the effects of human activity on the earth and its inhabitants, this book puts forth a call to channel the love of horses to a concern for horses’ survival, the love of riding to an effort to reduce driving, and an obsession with horsepower to the power of humans to make changes needed for the survival of horses and other species on earth, our home. Finally, it looks at wondrous horse tales that speak to the human soul in cadences only tales of horses can. Galloping through myths, fairy tales, and dreams, horses inspire those who behold them and lift the hearts of those who befriend them. From the white-winged steed Pegasus in ancient Greek mythology, Epona in Celtic mythology, and the kelpies in Scottish folklore, to Sleipnir in Norse mythology and Kanthaka in Buddhist mythology, magical stallions from diverse cultures have been romping around the human psyche for eons. Now in the literary, performing, and visual 2 riding on...

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