Hand Grazing Zen

By Terry Golson

Some people meditate. I graze horses.



There’s something about a horse eating grass that is calming and centering to me, which is ironic because a horse has huge teeth that he uses to rip and tear. It’s noisy and there’s nothing dainty about it.



At Tonka’s barn there’s a grass paddock that we can turn our horses out in for up to a half hour each. Longer than that and they would soon wear it down to dirt. But even if I do let Tonka out there for his allotted time, I still take him out for a session of hand grazing. It’s as much for me as it is for him.


long grass


In all honesty, I can’t bear those meditative moments at the end of yoga class. They make me tense! But, I can stand absolutely still, with my hand on a rope attached to a horse that’s eating grass, for ages. It’s my zen zone. My mind fills with peaceful munching. Bad news fades.

It doesn’t have to be my horse, either. This is Zak.




Here’s another short video clip of Tonka grazing. I hope that it gives you a little peaceful moment, too.

8 thoughts on “Hand Grazing Zen

  • Durbin Goodwin

    The shear joy of Tonka having his green grass. He is so at peace and happy in his world. Oh that we could take time to appreciate the simple pleasures of life.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Being good horse owner requires you to slow down and do things like hand-graze. I’m so grateful to have to do this “work.” 🙂

  • Gin

    I feel the same as you. I can pretty well empty my mind of almost all thoughts and just “be” when I hand graze a horse.

  • Tracy

    One of my favorite places in the world is to sit in the corner of a freshly cleaned stall, smell the pine shavings and listen to my horse, any horse, eat their grain. I don’t know how they do it, but they make it sound like the most glorious entree ever. Combine that with the other scents such as warm horse flesh, the many comforting sounds– the gentle shifting of weight, the soft nickers of horses down the aisle, even the distant meow of the barn cat. Barns are my church.

  • Sue Talbot

    Same as sitting on one’s stool in the hen yard, don’t you think? I find great calm amidst the cackling!

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