Bucharest, September 25, 2003
Some men just have such heart and courage. And sometimes I get to meet them. They then have a place in my heart forever. What to say about such a meeting. The man who's been buidling a hospital as well as a small safe village for HIV kids since the early nineties is Mino Damato. A modest and gentle intelligent man. Just the best. This sunday I will gather a busload with craft people. Dance, martial arts, actros, clowns, ,journalist of integrity, camera and a photographer and we will turn the kids heads upside down with fun & games and finish with a small screening of 'BLIND FURY'.I will report more later.
Now I'll just tell you about my 3-hr horseride with the mountainman / police / customs guy. I was not sure if I would be able to accept this loose invitation to go for a ride on the same day. The kids of course had my priority. But I brought my ridingboots just in case. But it worked out. As you will probably figure the above institution is an unusual combination. At lest I would expect a person who wears that many hats would be a man with heavy loads on his shoulders. If this was true. It did not show. The man in the intimidating horse brigade outfit with very high cap measured around 6.5 and so did his horse. A mighty and on occasion nasty stallion 19 yrs old. Both were mature males and did not show their age other than when they smiled. Their teeth betrayed some years. The mountain man did not seem to smile much and the horse certainly would hide his sense of humour behind a strong balled macho wall of pride.
They had prepared two horses.One brown, English blooded horse with sensitive mouth and smart brains, and one white horse with more passion but less sensitivity. I went for the sweet brownee and rode for an hour on its back. It had a longer stride and hardly panicked. Water was somewhat delicate but no problems there. The mountain/horseman would not speak much. It's just that way. My other new found lovely comrade in arms was my kendo teacher. A horseman by nature and someone who rides three times a week. He talks a lot and very loud. He is excited most of the time. He's an expert in martial arts and has found a friend in me. He told me that he tried the stallion once. The stallion only takes to a few other people. He was on in 3 sec and off in the next 2. LOL. Both of them for a brief moment. Men at play. The mountain man revealed he had been close to being killed in his years of experience. But the love for his stallion was amazing. The stallion had saved his life recently. How? Nasty people had tied a wire between trees that would behead him instantly if he would pass through. The stallion had just stopped and refused to move. Until he understood the problem and discovered the wire.
Anyway. In the usual break for older men we had to cross a small stream. The two of them got off and crossed it and I said, I can go across here and took the stream with a few steps. The mountain man's eyebrows raised slightly. No words there. We all took the tree we liked and did a pissing contest less bothering about who'd win. Just that way. Then, my kendomaster said to try his horse. I said allright, but I hate the British saddle. So let's forget it. I'm happy here. My saddle was Austrian and in its design as old as Napoleon's ass. They said no problem and changed the saddle. Turned out brownee felt uncomfortable with it. She'd never had that saddle on her back. And as you may know animals are very strict about habits. So I rode the white for an hour. My back was steel this day and my knee was pissed off a little. But allright though. It was such a nice ride. The white horse had a nicer trot and a little more umph. As we returned the sun was really low. What a day it had been. The mountain man turned to me and said. In Rumanian. My stallion, you want? I looked at the high back of this mother. I mean, I am shooting a movie here and I said ok. So typical of me. Am I crazy or what. The stallion's balls and hips had been swinging in a very attractive way. It's different. They carry themselves. Their legs come up a little higher. They want to be seen and appreciated. The two mares were on their way to the fresh hay. The boys took the stallion into the sandy circle with a fence around it. The sun just set as I climbed up.7 hands or something. All muscle, pride and attitude. I loved the feel of this horse and felt I'd be ok. I said. Let go off the reins and started a walk. Around. A few times.
This horse felt like a home. On the range damn it. Was I wrong? Would I find out the high and hard way. I decided to try a short trot. I love this. It's special. Contolled. Almost the same speed as a walk but it concentrates power and will and shows the horse energy. He still had some left. The horse did what I asked for. He must have looked just gorgeous. After this I tried a controlled gallop. As he entered into this routine he started to kick a few time and bucked as well. I know this from a long long history of bucking horses and I think I got the message. "O hell,guy, I have been walking for three hours. I've done a few tricks here. Now the hay is waiting. The mares are hanging out for me. Enough already.
I mumbled allright, don't get freaky or upset. I'm not that stupid. So I parked the horse in front of my two partners. The mountainman had a very big big smile. I could tell how much love he had for his horse. It did good. It behaved. As I straighten my own ever bent limbs and tried walking he stopped me and said. One moment. He talked to the kendoman for a while. It was a speech
It came down to this. First of all he was amazed I was such a horseman. But he was more amazed about what I had just done. He said 'my horse hates the short trot. He has never done this for me or anyone.You are good'. And he smiled big big big. I tell you. This is what I live for as well. As he was telling me what do you think his nasty stallion is doing. His head is under my armpit. He's rubbing me there like a dog and saying 'Come on. Not so bad. Pet me and some sugar would be a really good thing'. I had one small lump left in my pocket. Gave it to him. I think I saw him smile as well.
Day out of Days List