There’s a common saying among people who work with horses: the horse is a mirror. Horses communicate with one another using primarily their bodies; they’re expert readers of body language, even ours. If you’re nervous, the horse can read that. If you’re confident, they will respond to that. To work well with horses, you must exude serenity, even when you don’t feel it.

I’ve had a horse named Rouk in my life for nearly three years now. A racehorse who once belonged to a prince, my partner and I found him being given away for free on Facebook when his…

Our flat in the city had a small square window looking out into the branches of a tall eucalyptus tree. Lying on the mattress on the concrete floor of our apartment with the window pushed open, I could hear wind rustling through the leaves even as traffic passed and people shouted in the street below. Its branches filled the frame like a painting.

The old tree was growing in a tiny empty lot; a rare thing in our neck of the woods. The lot was fenced off, and judging by the rate that the skyline was growing, I guessed it…

Alex Mullarky

Writing about the environment, animals & adventures. National Geographic Explorer and veterinary nurse-in-training.

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