Hey there, long time no blog. Ymir and I have returned from the wild west and settled into life back on the east coast. The whole experience was amazing. The people, the education, right down the the food and atmosphere was something I will forever treasure. Coming home is always something that is both familiar and changed. Before leaving the Parelli campus in Pagossa Springs my classmates and I were handed a sheet. On this sheet were some suggestions on how to go back into the “normal” world. We all brushed it off, hastily packing it away with EVERYTHING else that goes along for the ride home. If Parelli has changed one thing about how I look at the world it is psychology, horse and human. They knew that going back would not be easy, and they tried to prepare us with a few tips and tricks. Boy I didn’t know it would be so hard. After living and breathing horses for ten whole weeks I was a bit lost on how to move on. Every day was scheduled for lessons, my closest friends were a whole group of horse people (more importantly like minded horse people) and we got to PLAY every day. Why would we leave? The wheels keep turning and the sun rises and sets and eventually we must all move on. We scattered to the wind. Coast to coast, and continent to continent knowing that we could never replicate what we had but trying to savor the last moments. At the time, it was all a blur. I put my emotions in the “later” box we packed and left. That was it, the ranch was closing for the winter and we were all leaving, very few people were left behind and the next adventure awaited us all. But for me that next adventure was just a long blank page. By page, I mean book. Thousands of blank pages and writers block.
I started the journey to Pagossa as a little seed planted in my brain by my first Parelli instructor in July 2014. In one year almost to the day I would be in Pagossa. I had to study, audition, and plan for a year (loving most of it). Then the day arrived and we set forth to Mecca. For ten weeks all of my planing, all the jobs I held to help pay for tuiton, all the blogs written, the pleas for money, laughs, tears (there were plenty) paid off. It was glorious. But now what? Go home, get a job (non-horse related of course) and be an adult? I am with Peter Pan- Never grow up.
Now to find a winter home for Ymir where we could continue what we worked so hard to achieve. Wow, how spoiled we were to be living with a group of people dedicated to natural horse-man-ship. I was almost physically sick when looking for places to board only to recognize horses that were not being allowed to be horses. Boxed, isolated, and drugged I searched for a reason why these people had horses? Why did they ride? To win recognition in their ‘discipline’? For exercise? To better their riding skills? For (dare I say it) fun? Certainly they are not riding for the horse- except to maybe get it out of the box it stands in all day. And to me riding a horse with enough equipment in and around its mouth to sink the poor thing in the nearest pond is not fun, for either of them. So Why?
Then I found this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tT7DNH720 Posted on facebook by one of Linda Parelli’s former proteges. It has haunted me for months now. The first quote is this “When you know your why you have options on your what can be”. Ok….. so I want to ask them their why, I guess it is time to think about mine. So far (it is forever evolving) I play with my horse(s) because I love them. They are amazing creatures that have so much to offer. If I wanted to go on a hike, I might invite my best friend because we could have interesting conversations, interactions, and experiences together on this hike. The same with my horse. I would like to invite my horse to play so we might have interesting conversations, interactions and experiences together. Sometimes they involve riding, sometimes online play, and sometimes at liberty. Sometimes we play hard enough to sweat, sometimes we just hang out. A second part of my Why is to share that feeling of connection and love with other horse people.
So… If my why is to have interesting conversations, interactions and experiences together with horses and people what do I do to achieve that. The what is harder for me. As a human, especially one in today’s society, I am almost constantly distracted by worries. How will I pay for this? The belief that horses can’t be a career. How can I reach people? Did I do the right things? Do people like me? Does my horse like me? and the list goes on. Now to go beyond those worries and think. What could I do to reach for my Why? As opportunities appear and are created I look forward to knowing and growing my Why. The blank pages fill in, scribbles at first, a winding and twisting plot that changes every day. But those blank pages look less like the looming abyss of OH MY GOD and more like pages to create on. Every year is better than the last, and I look forward to whatever 2016 holds. So go out, hug your horse. Be present in the conversation they are looking to have, and offer them someone they can look to for safety, comfort, and play (oh, and food of course 😉 ). I leave you with what I found to be the most powerful quote from the video clip.
“When you know your why, your what has more impact because you are walking in, or towards, your purpose.” – Michael Jr.