The Horse Tamer

This is the story of a horse tamer who was neither the richest nor the most famous of his time, but was the happiest at his job. A tamer that many people had never heard of, but that the people who were lucky enough to buy one of his horses could not be more grateful to him for the nobility, gentleness, and unmovability of the animals.

In his work, this tamer grouped his horses depending on their age. Thus a first group appeared where the newly arrived colts swirled. These little ones, overflowing with energy, chaos and disorder, were taken to a great plain to trot freely, within the limits of a large enclosure. Some of these horses mysteriously disappeared. They used to be the ones who followed the most erratic paths, the ones who followed their impulses even when that resulted in incoherent responses. Of the thousands of horses that arrived at the enclosure, only a few dozen ended up persisting in this first phase, disappearing into thin air all the others.

These “survivors” became part of the second group. Horses that were already losing that chaos, that let themselves be touched and ridden by the tamer. They moved on to the second phase: the walk. The tamer would assign each horse one day, and they would travel the whole day through the endless landscape behind the great enclosure. At the beginning it would be our protagonist who would guide the horse, aware of its capabilities. Little by little, the horse became more confident and discovered those places where he felt more comfortable. At the point where he felt completely safe, the horse stopped listening to the tamer, and began to move on through his own path. Paths in which he moved fluently and which the protagonist would not have chosen. Yet this person understood the horse. He enjoyed the horse decisions. The tamer understood that he should not always impose himself, there was a moment when the horse was aware of himself, and he acted in coherence with his abilities and way of being. The tamer could only enjoy the journey and let himself go.

The process would be repeated until the tamer felt that the horse was ready to go to its future owner: It was an iterative process. The tamer enjoyed and learned by following the horse’s way of being, and being consistent with it, as the horse matured.

The iconic character would finally deliver the horse to his buyer, staying with the other two or three who could also have been chosen, but who, because they had different ways of being, they were not suitable for this buyer. However, unlike the horses of the first phase, these did not disappear into oblivion, but vanished to remain forever in the memory of the tamer, who understood these ways of being, and would help him to tame other horses that had similar characteristics.

And it is so, for all the hours and the affection that he dedicated to each of his horses, for the meticulous selection in which the protagonist did not impose himself, but from a certain moment he allowed himself to be carried away and learned, reason why perhaps our tamer became the most beloved of the place. Both for his clients and for his horses.

Cuentos de las Mil y una Noches (De entrega).

Header image and top image. Luis Barragán – Los Clubes.

Architecture is an untamed horse. We, as architects, should learn from this tamer, and let ourselves be carried away by the project: Following his coherence we will learn, enjoy, and imagine things that through imposition, we would not have discovered.

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