Posts tagged: horse poetry

Award-winning Author Sandy Nathan’s Poem Is Featured in Cowgirl Magazine!

Author Sandy Nathan riding the real Azteca at the Monterey Peruvian Paso Horse Show.

Click on the link below to see a pdf of the entire Cowgirl Magazine article. Some great photos of beautiful people and horses. (Plus a selection from my poem.)

COWGIRLmag_The Peruvian Horse

Here’s what Cowgirl Magazine printed of my poem:

AZTECA - This is the selection from the poem in Cowgirl Magazine.

Wow! When editor Deborah Donahue contacted me to ask permission to feature portions of my poem “Azteca” in Cowgirl Magazine I was really surprised. Why? I’d forgotten about it. I wrote Azteca in 1996. The poem swept the Peruvian Paso world when I wrote it. I heard it was translated into Spanish and sent to South America. I stuck it on one of my websites and went on to write other things. (See the end of this article for information about me and my writing.)

People are largely unaware of the spiritual synergy possible when humans meet horses. I’ve been aware of it for many years. My first spiritual experiences happened when I was a young teenager riding my horse through the redwood forests of California’s Coastal Range. Riding through those silent places with the redwoods reaching for the sun like living spears became magical, sometimes. All that existed was me, my horse, the redwoods and motes of light drifting down lazily from the sun. Boundaries shifted and broke down. All of it merged, the forest and my horse and I became one.

This unitive experience is only the beginning of the spiritual gifts horses can bring, which I found out as years passed. In the poem “Azteca,” I toss together what happened to me in those early trail rides and the explosive, transcendent experience that I found in the show arena.

“Azteca” is based on an experience I had in the Amateur Owner to Ride class at the National Championships in LA’s Griffith Park. Happened the first time I rode in national competition. It happened again the next year on a different horse, also in the National Championships. The stress of competing at that level tossed me into Nirvana. Such experiences are the best reason I can think of for showing horses. Shows can pop out transcendent experiences such as the one described in “Azteca.”

Azteca is a real horse. We bred him and owned him for many years. He was one of the hottest––most energetic and spirited––horses we’ve bred. Azteca is now in his mid-twenties, sound and healthy and doing occasional work on a ranch.

Here’s the whole poem. I hope you enjoy it.


Azteca, as noble as his name.
Flaxen locks tumble down his classic face,
splash hard on a shoulder sloped so fine.
Slick copper flanks slide
into flashing legs,
stop at tendons, carved taut and dry.

Azteca, as noble as his name,
steps out over rocky paths,
picking through obstacles,
white legs dashing
a four beat gait.

Azteca, as noble as his name,
carries me up rocky roads,
past people, cars and town.
Our far beyond it all, to lands
where panthers roam.

Azteca, swinging his Spanish gait,
tireless legs slashing,
carries me through the
brilliance of it.
Moves me past
mountains, lakes and eagles
into another realm.

Suddenly––we are higher than the eagles,
flying past the stars.
The heart of me is pierced by it,
the awful, roaring beauty
of sky and rocks and sun.
Of my horse and I alone in it,
a solitude of joy and pain.

My heart aches with what I see
above, below, around me:
nothing but exquisite space.
And streaming through that vapor,
God’s true face.

The bliss of being part of it rocks me,
sweeps me wide.
Tears burst forth so sweetly
as my soul shouts out its cry––

“Thank you, Lord, for making me,
for making this good horse.
Thank you for this moment,
your gift of grace to me.”

These words of thanks
raise me high again,
’til the mind’s distinction
‘tween world and horse and I
loses fascination,
lets go its deathly hold.

In a flash, all fades out–
no horse, no rider, no mountain,
neither sky nor sun.
Naught but God’s creation–
mountain, horse, and I are one.

Sandy Nathan
Copyright 3/17/96

Sandy Nathan and Tecolote

Author Sandy Nathan writes to amaze and delight, uplift and inspire, as well as thrill and occasionally terrify. She is known for creating unforgettable characters and putting them in do or die situations. She writes in genres ranging from science fiction, fantasy, and visionary fiction to juvenile nonfiction, spirituality and memoir.

Mrs. Nathan’s books have won twenty-four national awards, including multiple awards from oldest, largest, and most prestigious contests for independent publishers. Her books have earned rave reviews from critics and reviewers alike. Sandylives with her husband on their California ranch. They bred Peruvian Paso horses for almost twenty years. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.

Would you like to know more about Sandy Nathan’s writing?

Sandy’s Amazon Author Page. Click here of on image.

They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the earth, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––An angelic girl shows up on the sidewalks of New York City in 2197. Or is she a girl? Jeremy Edgarton, teenage genius and revolutionary decodes the transmissions. They say the world will blow up tomorrow morning.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    Sam & Emily––Can love live in an echoing cement bomb shelter three hundred feet below the earth’s surface? Find out in Sam and Emily as headman Sam Baahuhd falls in love with a beautiful assassin.

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