The rituals in the preparation for show day, something beyond practice and refinement. Cleaning the tack, the scent of polished leather, the buffing cloths with blackened waxy tufts, the gleaming hardware released from a cloak of dust, the rhythm of waxing and buffing, the giving and taking, the yin and yang. My clothing and gear signal my transitional state of mind, an out of body experience, there is no longer the self and the horse, we are a singular unit, I find his breathing rhythm and it becomes my own. The world blurs to faded background colors, my sharpened focus is my horse’s head and the markers that are my cues. I know where the judge sits, I know that I am judged but it matters less when I am in the ring and begin to ride the circle. My ancestors believed in circular time, the repetitions of seasons and tides, suns and moons, births and deaths. There is comfort and familiarity in the circle, it begins and ends, you can not be lost because you will be found, by yourself, by your spirit, by rebirth. I ride the circle of my life, I ride the circle upon my horse.