The Legend

Hello ~

This week’s inspiration flowed out of me late one night as I pondered our connection to our beloved horses who have passed on, and to the horse spirits who call to our souls.  The mystery of  our connection with horses is elusive as it is tangible. Much like the process of writing or art.  Creativity is unformed until we express it, and then the expression just takes us deeper into the mystery.

Someone asked me recently how I came up with my inspirational writings each week, and I told them that when I look at a collection of my paintings one will catch my eye and then I know there is something in me that wants to emerge.  I sit and wait for it and then words start to come.  This is how I’ve always written, even as a child. 

I remember sitting down to write my first poem at the age of 9 or so, and feeling the need to express some unspoken feelings that weren’t in the form of a conversation, or a story — but rather in as few words as possible to convey the meaning. 

I hope you will share your own insights into connecting with horses spirits…
 The Legend

“The Legend”
In the dark of night
a magic awakens
the veil is lifted
and for a short time
horse spirits walk the earth…

They call to our hearts
in the language of dreams

If you listen closely
you will hear them

If you wait patiently
you will feel them

Then, in wonderment and joy
you will remember

And until you meet again
the stars will shine
with new meaning…

The Legend by Kim McElroy available at as a signed giclee print ~ available in 4 sizes

"The Legend" by Kim McElroy available at as a signed giclee print ~ available in 4 sizes

Insights into “The Legend”

“The Legend” was originally created as an illustration for a toy series and children’s book called “The Legend of the Night Mares”  When I read author Dawn Van Zant’s story of 3 mares escaping capture by climbing a mystical path to the stars, her evocative story inspired me to visualize this painting in its entirety.  I then knew it was an inspiration who’s time had come.

 Leanin’ Tree Greeting cards originally published this image as a sweet card celebrating pursuing one’s dreams.  Then later they released it as a horse sympathy card with the phrase… heaven has welcomed a new angel.

 “The Legend” has become a powerful symbol that represents two themes.  To some, it represents our mysterious connection to the spirits of horses. 
As horseman Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling so aptly describes in the documentary “The Path of the Horse” — throughout history and culture – horses have always represented the line between the mystical world and the tangible one. 

To others who have lost a beloved horse, it is a poignant vision of the veil between worlds, and a faith that horse spirits return to that mystical place.  And perhaps come back again…


  1. As always, the Universe’s timing is uncany. Just yesterday, when PJ and I were returning with Dusty and Peaches (our dogs) from the vet’s office, PJ started a conversation out of the blue (as is his custom) on whether animals have spirits or souls. I asked him where this was coming from, and he said it was from a conversation he had had a couple days back with some friends of his. Turns out, all of his friends do not believe animals have souls. I was shocked! But wanting to know his original thoughts, untarnished by comment from me, I hid my shock from him and merely asked, “So, how did the conversation go? Who said what”? He told me he was the sole voice FOR animals having souls! I asked him how he defended this stance — what argument did he give his friends? He said he merely asked the question: “Why would God go through all the time and effort to create so many beautiful and wonderful species of animals and sealife – only to leave them all soul-less? Isn’t it a bit arrogant for humans to think that only humans “qualify” to have souls?”

    That’s my boy! (Oooops – sorry – proud Mamma moment slipped out there)! Anyway, thank you, as always Kim, for you and your wonderful artwork and poetry.

  2. Hi Pat, Give PJ a big hug for me! His knowing comes from the heart rather than the head… I love that he stood up for animals everywhere. Hugs,

  3. Kim – Your art and writings are very inspiring. Legend in touching in the sense that I have a black Percheron Sydney and a NSH/Arab Pinto Vista. Also, there is ShyLow, my Palomino. These are my friends and we are connected in some way through spirit. ShyLow came to be with me as a companion to Mr Lucky (now gone to the next realm). Sydney was found on a website for PMU rescue foals and Vista captured my heart when I met her. She previously lived with my best friend Bonnie. These 3 are not only my companions, but equine partners who have kept me sane and grounded through some difficult times. They live with me, 4 cats and my dog Lakota.
    Please continue to be inspired and thank you for sharing your gifts.


  4. Dear Pattie
    I’m so thrilled that my art reminds you of your own horses! How amazing that they are all in one painting…
    Kim McElroy

  5. Kim- this has always been one of my favorite mystical cards in Linda’s Way of the Horse deck.

    I SO love hearing the inspiration for all of your magical work. Thank you for sharing it.

    The imagery of this one reminds me of the one “purely spiritual” encounter I had with an amazing black mare, Star. She had given me an amazing energy healing. And she looks like the magnificent black horse in your print.

    Several weeks after my visit to that ranch, I asked for her help with some pain, as I laid down to sleep. I wasn’t really expecting anything- because at the time I was just beginning my spiritual awakening- so I was shocked when I felt my body lift up and back slightly, easing the pain in my spine.

    But perhaps even more exhilarating, was her subsequent offer to take me for a ride. Sure, I said. But I wasn’t expecting the ride that was to come. I hopped on her back and instead of floating across a field- she took me spiraling up to the stars, all the way to the moon, and back- mirroring your image!

    When we returned, I slid off and she assured me that she could come help any time I chose, I only had to ask.

    Imagine my amazement when I opened my eyes in the darkened room to see an unusual light on the ceiling. I swear I watched it gallop across the ceiling and out the window!

    This experience opened worlds to me that I never knew existed and showed to me that the images you paint are not just fantasy, but also symbolize a reality that’s lies just behind the veil of our waking lives.

    Thank you for creating these images that speak to our souls and help deepen our understanding of our eternal bonds with the majestic Horse.

    Your work is a gift to us all!
    In Gratitude,

  6. Thank you so, so much for this incredible poem. This verse, “Then, in wonderment and joy
    you will remember,” speaks volumes to me.
    I first met my beautiful Paint Spirit Horse during a Native Healing. I have had several visions of him since and learned that his name is Tahoe, and he was in my life at another time. This brought immense joy, and pain at the same time as I was reminded of the grief I felt at losing him. I believe he is here again and we will know each other when we meet. I will keep you posted : ) In the meantime I will read “The Legend” and know I’m not alone with this deep connection to a Spirit Horse : ) Thank you!!

  7. Dear Jenn
    I just now re-read your beautiful posting. It is so lovely to hear of your powerful vision and your journey with Star. I too had one of my most profound visions guided by a mare named Star! I wonder if she was the same horse? Was the ranch you visited in Colorado? Yes you can imagine my profound joy when I started having these kinds of experiences with horses how they confirmed what I had known in my heart all along. That they are here to guide us is a gift words cannot express. Please let me know if you get this comment as I’m not sure if it contacts you through my blog.

  8. Geraldine – thank you for your beautiful story. Your experience is so familiar, I too have a vision of a spirit horse that I once lost and the grief was so deep, almost deeper in some ways than losing a living horse, in some strange way – like it was losing a part of myself. But I have since come to feel that the feeling of that loss is bigger than just our loss, it taps into all the loss horses and humans feel when they are separated. It is our mutual task to heal that rift and to find each other again as I did with my mare Darma. I trust you will find your soul mate. Thank you!
    Warmly, Kim

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