Instagram 1.29.2016

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Big Mac.

Today I got a Big Mac. I haven't been eating much meat lately and even less beef, but it's kind of a tradition for me to get one after a major horse event. 

Today, that major horse event was getting Itxa on a trailer and saying goodbye. 

It may or may not be a permanent situation, but it's a significant step in untangling myself from a several year relationship that just hadn't gone how I had hoped. There's not a single part of me that isn't shattered, gutted, disappointed. It's not that I feel like a failure- it's that I failed her. I have only loved a couple things in this world more than I loved that mare, but years of hard work and all my love couldn't make her happy. It couldn't fix whatever unknown trauma she has endured. Five of the best trainers I've ever known could get her roughly compliant, but never happy, and never fully trustworthy. There was always something dark lurking there that we could not fix. 

She is now in her last ditch effort situation with someone I really trust, and we'll see if she can find some happiness outside the sandbox and on the trails. It's an option I haven't been able to provide her, and I'm rooting for it to work out with all my heart, because I'm not sure what will happen if it doesn't. 

A part of me has died with the loss of this relationship, and I feel like it will be awhile before I can love a horse again.  

But I'm lucky to still have my love of the horse universe: the people, the stories, the miracles. They are as extraordinary today as ever, and I feel at peace living as the storyteller for awhile. 

Just me, my laptop, and my Big Mac.


Ground Control to Major Tom

When I first saw the news in the wee hours of yesterday morning that David Bowie had died far too young by a terrible disease, I cursed as my gut twisted, and I tried to wrestle myself back to sleep.

When I first saw his last gift to us mere mortals in his music video 'Lazarus', I didn't feel like cursing and crying anymore, I felt profound awe that a man would share the intimate experience of death with the world in such a bold and vulnerable way. A groundbreaking artist to the end- It was just so damned Bowie.

The baby and I spent the rest of the day getting her all taught up on Goblin King by watching all of his insanely crazy work that spans more than 4 decades of humanity, and we danced our pants off in the living room of our pioneer house to Fame and The Jean Genie and of course Let's Dance. 

I can bring myself to feel anger about cancer being what it is, but I can't bring myself to feel sadness about David Bowie's death. He was always so otherworldly that this just feels like a natural segue into immortality, and there is something really powerful about that to me as I grapple with my own circle of life and legacy. It's weird, but I feel like David Bowie's death has taught me more about my feelings on the afterlife than twenty years of Sunday School ever did.   

I also wrote this little tribute diddy on Horse Nation last night, and I've been shocked at how well it's been received. Apparently I wasn't the only horse person who felt this way about David Bowie. One of the comments we got was 'So many good tributes. Astronauts, now equestrians!' And it's true. Even though as far as I can tell, David Bowie never came near a horse, he was one of us, because he was a little bit crazy, and we get that. He knows what it means to be a little left of mainstream, to see beauty where others might miss it, and certainly that life ought to have a little more pomp and circumstance. 

Basically, if you're doing life like David Bowie, you're doing it right. 


Very Important Mustangs

On Sunday Itxa moved to yet another new barn - this time to enter dressage boot camp with one of the most impressive trainers and kindest people I've ever met. And for the first time in a long time I have hope for this little mare. 

She's shown brief glimpses of potential amidst so much inner turmoil, but now she's in the right hands to actually succeed. 

While I'm really so pleased that she was able to do some of this on her first day:

I'm even more happy that she did some of this: 

She had been so wound up and tense and disenfranchised the past couple months that it was really meaningful to watch her release all this stress she's been holding. She's been chewing and yawning and standing politely (for the most part) a lot since she got to her new home, and that is really a huge part of what I'm hoping to work through in the next few months. 

Beyond any goal or hope or forward looking idea, though, it was just powerful to watch her yawn and be content in this moment, and it reminds me to do the same. To dwell in this incredible present moment of being with my healthy hilarious cherub baby, my family, my friends, and Itxa. The future is completely unpredictable, but the present is full of joy. 


Plan B

If omens are real, today's was not a good one. It was supposed to be a tremendously productive day writing about numerous inspiring, bizarre, endearing and death-defying horses and their people from around the globe, but instead I spent the day fighting a cold, holding a cranky baby, and constantly refreshing the home page to see if my company's servers had come back online yet. (They haven't.)

I stopped all of my fretting long enough to enjoy the triumphant return of Sherlock on PBS, and was shook up a moment by this lovely bit from our protagonist:

 "Fear is wisdom in the face of danger. It is nothing to be ashamed of."

While I'm quite fortunate not to be in any eminent danger, my situation is admittedly less safe than it used to be. Freelancing can be quite good work, and other times precarious and unrewarding work. And I can't say I've been overwhelmingly fearless in the face of my new full time responsibilities. 

That being said, I like the idea of accepting the fear. I'm not so naive as to think it will absolutely work out, but I'm also not going to let trepidation shut the door in my own critical mind maze. 

Day 1/365 is in the books as a hot mess, and not without worry. But it also didn't stop me, and that's the attitude I hope to have during the hard times and keep in my back pocket during the easy times.