Curiosity Opens Exploration

I often find pleasure and relief in my daily desire to explore new discoveries. Every horse throughout my day has a message to convey. Mornings are full of conscious clearings of tension and residue from my prior days experiences. When I practice this I am able to receive what feels like little pearls from each horse. For me this is a type of giving up self to open my ability to receive.



One particular horse who has been in my life for over 20 years is a stunning Quarter horse Arabian cross with the name of Henry. He brought a gem of a message to me years ago that went deep.

Every time it was Henry’s turn to be worked with, I approached him with a feeling of excitement because he is very alive and full of expression.

As Henry developed and strengthen over time, he became very athletic in his ability. I found he also would have a stiff and rigid feel in areas. Daily I would ask myself what is this resistance which I am feeling? After ruling out important to consider possibilities like teeth, saddle fit and hoof care,  I became open to explore other answers to this accumulating reoccurrence.

One day I decided to take Henry to a clinic and ride In front of  a knowledgable horseman. Within minutes of my private lesson I heard the clinician contribute some valued words of wisdom. He said ” Donnette how about ridding a different horse today ” I was confused and perplexed what he meant and asked him to clarify. The Clinition continued to say give Henry another name and approach him as if you have never met him. I became curious and willing to explore this new idea. I renamed Henry  with a name that was completely different from the identity I felt I knew him as. I named him “Mr Clarity ” instantly I felt a shift in myself and how I was relating to him. I completely felt a new birth in our relationship. There was a new freedom in both of us and I no longer felt the concerns I previously had as I began to let go of their existence.

My relationship with Henry was transformed as I completed the session that day. He was Mr. Clarity as he showed me that I was not allowing him freedom to be who he needed to be and move his body how he needed his body to move. He showed me how I was restricting him. He was clear with me and I missed it.

By removing my (SELF) from the situation and becoming curious I clearly received  a pearl from this beautiful horse Henry.
“The Zen master Dogen said, “To know the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things.”  The only way to forget the self—to realize the fixed intrinsic self does not exist, is to know the self. By exploring and knowing ourselves fully and completely, we becoming curious about this thing called my life and about this person called me.


Curiosity opens you to explore and receive 

In your discoveries, become complete in your clear inner knowledge of knowing your full self 


By Donnette Hicks

A Letter To Self

I am taking a workshop called ” Life Course ” in this corse I was asked to write a letter to my self.  It resulted in becoming this poem. If you wrote a letter to yourself what would it say?



Dear Donnette

How can I convey

How I believe in you

Your heart expands

In rays of light

You inspire

Wings of flight

I am your inner you

I hold your hand


We explore what’s new

I hold your tears of rain

Keep you safe

Through human strain

I acknowledge your

Melting pain

I am here

Always here

In this heroic space

Resonating within

I am your soul

Your sacred waters

Twirling swirling


My truest friend

How can I convey

I am illuminating

In your hearts breath

Loving you into





I Now Stand


My body aches
From a world
That takes
I unraveled and wanted
Believed what was flaunted
But was
Cut down
Yet my roots grew
And found a way
To sprout and sway
Into the light
My insides illuminated
Thriving wings
Opened and culminated
I now stand
Observing the land
Spinning in sand
As I leap
Into the sea


Poetry & Photography by Donnette Hicks

Equine I Rise To Your Voice


I feel your four legs walk
Articulating both me and the
Ground we move upon
I wonder if you know how humble I am
Reaching for the soul of your earth
Listening to the beat of your heart
Seeking to find a way Into your world
Ashamed I ask you to fit mine
A touch upon your satin coat
Releases the aroma of grass
Reminders of your ancestral path
Forgive the void of time between
Humanity and your noble nations
How can I ease your bondage
You did not choose
You were born into this world of
Fenced-in limitations
Equine is it enough I hear your plight
I see your sacred innocence
Stepping into the creek to drink water
I feel your reach into its coolness
Quenching our concerns
Gratitude lingers
Your delicate simplicity
Bridging with my respectful admiration
I am committed to rise to your voice

Poetry & Photography by Donnette Hicks 

Inner Alchemy


A personal inquiry
Into how
The horse
Teaches me
Humility and desire
For my heart
To seek and
My inherent

Peering Into Existence



It looked very soft and fragile
Vast and untamed
Swirls of wonder
I find a moment of expansion
As I realize my size
A universe of grandeur
Right before my eyes
Peering into existence
Formations tussle and curl
Wings of flight
Fumble and furl
Piercing this

Poetry & Photography  by Donnette Hicks

You’re A Lesson


You’re a lesson
Not a friend
Teaching wisdom
In the end
My heart is tender
My soul is bright
Fragile crystals
Lift in fright
Frozen spines
Cold with deeds
No longer griped
Fractured Needs
Feel my warmth
Feel my rise
Reflecting love
In my eyes
You’re a lesson
Not a friend
Teaching wisdom
In the

Poetry & Photography by Donnette Hicks 

I Trace Your Exisitence



In the inner quiet
I trace your existence
I feel your fear
Frozen in silence
I still see your beauty
It exists inside of me
I sense sacredness
Among Chaos
Breaking through your fortress
As I am your reflection
I am love
Whispering through
I am you

Poetry & Photography by Donnette Hicks 

The Heart of an Lioness


Why do I always love anyway
Because I have the courage
To see innocence
I have the prowess to embrace hate
I have the guts to forgive
I choose to absorb direct hits
Compassion is my reflection
I will not be chained by fear
I will not be tainted by pride
When I am kicked down
I rise with resolution
I stand in gratitude for my trials
I might feel torn and beaten yet
I am limitless in my capacities
Accessing the woman of valor
I am
I will
Love anyway
I advance with
The heart of an

Poetry & Photography by Donnette Hicks
Inspired by Dallas Sweat

Take A Breath And Pause



I learned to appreciate and acknowledge my horses efforts. Knowing that I desired improvement is one thing. Constantly driving the horse to change is another. The constant desire to do better is a human idea. I had to consider how the horse receives my human energy. I became aware I constantly pressured and pushed for more.

I finally learned the distinction that this undercurrent pathology is born from a false belief that all my efforts are never good enough. This is a human condition which the horse has no understanding of and translates into instant resistance.

The horse can not hold up under this type of drive. They will reflect their unhappiness in both physical and mental suffering. I had to face that I was constantly making things happen.


I became aware of this through getting in front of a knowledgable clinician who introduced to me to the value of learning to pause and take a breath before asking my horse to do a task.

The horses I worked with soon began to relax and flow underneath me with rhythm and energy. All I needed was to pause and take a breath.

Create relaxation 

Take a breath and pause 

Allow energy to flow 


By Donnette Hicks 



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