Yeah…so, I’m a horseaholic. I’ve been in love with horses all my life, riding since I was about seven. It’s an addiction like no other.
Life happens, children are born and you lose your horse and your nerve somewhere along the way in favour of preserving yourself, lest you get hurt and are unable to tend to your tender babies. I think that’s a natural and I’m okay with that.
Vicki was my favourite horse…ever. I could quietly whistle across a fifteen acre field, our secret whistle. She’d pop her head out of the grass, perk her ears and take off at a breakneck canter. She got me back riding after a bad fall on a crazy thoroughbred. We played polo together, dealt with her bowed tendon and injury, galloped bareback in moonlight – “Dances With Wolves Style” and she was the first horse I ever put one of my children on. She developed moon blindness, but she could still pick her way across the field when I whistled and my voice was enough to be her eyes. She stayed with me most of her life, until she had to go onwards.
Keeping a blind horse is a tough go. You have to walk them like a baby so they get some exercise…they can’t go out and joust about with other horses because they never see that playful kick or bite coming. They can’t see ice, or a fence. You become their guide-dog, herd mate and playmate. I was with her to the end and I’ll never forget her. She was that special.
My own babies are 19, 15 and 7 as of today. I haven’t been on a horse since I was three months pregnant with Grace, so that’s something like 8 years, 4 months and 3 days to the last time I was in the saddle (not that I’m counting). Now, I’m seriously scared to get back on. If I fall, I’m afraid I’ll hurt myself. It’s an honest fear. I’m getting up there and I’m not so very fit at all.
Being on top of the horse aside, there is magic in the barn. Folks wonder why I paint barns? It’s my refuge. My church. My quiet place. My holy grail of horsey. Homage to the equine. Vicki’s house.
Yesterday, I went out to look (for the second time) at a beautiful soul. A 16.2 hand, 10 year old thoroughbred named Fuzzy who is tired of jumping. I fell in love at first sight with him, and I know in my heart he wouldn’t hurt a fly…yet I’m still afraid to get on his back and see if we’re a lifetime “fit”. There is something in his eye that tells me he’s special. He’s akin to understanding that “whistle”.
My top goal for 2012 isn’t about painting or sales or being a better person. It’s about conquering my physical fear, getting on the horse and treating myself to that once in a lifetime human/animal bond – a guilty thirst for an intimate soul-to-soul relationship like no other.
Artists understand this.
I’m really scared….but maybe the biggest thing is that I’m more scared of not ever feeling that feeling again in my life.
Motivation is a wondrous thing, and heaven knows I’ve told y’all a billion times to conquer your fears. My turn…… I’ll let you know tomorrow how this turned out.
What are you really scared of? What’s your “horse” to get back on?