Thank You post: to Magic
(it’s a big one!)
The first picture is just after the spotlight had come on us (I asked her to lay down in the dark)
In the first picture you can see Magic’s eye is wide, her head is slightly elevated, and her ears pricked forward. … It’s so pretty, and I so love it, but it’s not my favorite. My favorite is what happens in the time between the first and the second …
Just look at what comes next! She has dropped her head, her eyes are soft and her ears relaxed … all while we are still under the spotlight!
If any two pictures could capture what is most important to me. It’s these.
And truly, I am not really a fan of still shots, not those that get critiqued and pulled apart. They feel shoved into a box, as if all emotion, all meaning, all that is important could possibly be pulled out of just one moment.
In my humble opinion, it simply cannot be done. But you see, that’s just me. And it’s kind of my whole point …
There is always more to the story and always a human is the one writing it. And what I have found, as I peer in on my own life with horses, is that I see in the horse that which I wish to be in myself *and* I wish to set free in the horse that which I wish to set free in myself.
And this is not wrong, or bad, or some sign that I need to go meditate on a mountain and find my own inner peace and fix myself and get all squeaky clean inside before I’m even allowed to be near a horse.
No, the horse comes with me.
(besides, I would never get to touch a horse in this lifetime if that were the case!)
Yes, we are in this together.
And the way the horse and I are together, the things I see in the horse that I wish to be, and the things I see in the horse that I wish to set free. … those things change depending on both the horse, and my inner time line. It’s truly a unique place where the horse and I meet in time and space. So specific. So refined. And all ways right on time.
The Soul Sisters–Omega and Unity. We adopted them from Magic’s home range, the South Steens. They would be anyone’s dream liberty team. Matching beauties that already got along with one another. And I thought they would be. But for one reason and then another, it’s just not right for them to perform with me, certainly not to do it publicly… and I cannot tell you how liberating it was to finally own that and say to them… ‘Here. Have your freedom. You can live your whole life on this sanctuary and you don’t owe me anything.’
That healed me. Because I am human and I grew up in the same culture as most of the rest of you and I know how suffocating expectations can feel, especially those you did not choose. So to give them their freedom, it set me free too.
But there are other facets in me. (I am a rather complex human being.) And other parts are in here to be awakened. And those parts don’t want privacy on a sanctuary.
Being seen. Oh it can be so tricky. And it’s not a ‘being seen’ like I needed it when I was younger. My childhood horse that carried me to those ribbons at all those open horse shows, sometimes 20+ classes all packed in one day. Halter in the morning, English midday and Western in the afternoon. He sure paid the dues. And I needed it. Desperately. I needed it for a long time. Recognition. So insecure, so intimidated by this great big world.
I needed those wins for so long that I convinced myself that was the only reason I was competing. Not for the connection with the horse. But for the win. Only.
And so I stopped. I did other things. And they were all so worthy. Every single bit I needed.
That time, not competing. That time, growing. That time, evolving.
That time searching my soul for the voice of the divine inside of my own heart. That time disciplining my time to cultivate a business that is both in alignment with our values and supports our family. That time being in meditation, in those sacred spaces in between, in deep dedication to the inner no-thing. And all of that is still with me. I am all of that. I am all of me. (ok, so maybe I did need to go meditate on a mountain, but the herd was still with me, and it was not enough to fix everything. I know because …)
Because I have kept on needing…
Needing to be doing something that I just wasn’t fully doing. And for so long, it was so confusing. I am not this, but I am not that. And I don’t want to create some new identity. Been there, done that. … but I do want to create. oooohhhhh I just HAVE to Create.
Creating, devoting my time, my energy, my free will to growing a seed that can only be grown inside of me. To dream it, to love it, to grow it into a tree. And then, to let it be seen. That felt undeniably important to me.
So it was still about being seen. Even all these years later. But not in the way it used to be.
What I feel now is, for me, this is about being vulnerable, being unabashedly me *and* being brave enough to be seen while doing it.
And finally I can see that this inner pull to have my creation seen, it’s not a bad thing. It’s not selfish to want your sacred creative treasures to be felt and experienced by others.
And it was not wrong before either. Nothing has been wrong, but it is different this time… though also remarkably the same …
We did not win last weekend. A dear friend won, named Bobby. Just like he won it 10 years ago, the last time we came in second. He and I have a history.
And it was perfect then and it is perfect now. For one, Reserve Champion to Bobby Kerr is not to shabby. And two, both times I still won. Not first, but something even more precious.
I won my inner child.
To be vulnerable. To be my whole self. To lay it all out there, trusting that we are ready for this great big world. Trusting that I can be true to us and take that truth out and be it in front of people too!…. you see, that’s the thing about these two pictures….
This horse, Magic, she has never been bothered by an electric crowd. She can tune out everything outside of her, she is a master at boundaries, but she cannot, she will not, tune out me.
She is the LAST horse I would have thought to have lay down in a performance. Until just THIS past year she would always pop right back up as soon as she got to the ground … If I am uneasy—that is where she will be.
So these two pictures. This visible shift in relaxation while the spotlight was on and we both lay there in such a vulnerable position. This is not a picture of a horse that I have trained well. This is a picture of our trust—trust in the both of us. And the biggest part of that, the newest part of that, the most alchemical part of that, is that includes me.
‘The me’ that is not separate from ‘the her’. The me that is finally letting go of feeling guilty for saying ‘I want to do this for me’… The me that is finally making friends with her ego. The me that now sees her ego as a guide, and no longer some enemy that I should try to hide. And the me that would sure still love to win.
The me that finally sees that recognition can hold way more power than making someone, temporarily, appear ‘better than’ …. but more so, recognition, can be an enabler to others (ie self in another suit) … a ‘see you can do this too’ … or better yet, ‘dail in and do you’ and you will see…
Dreams Do Come True
(and there’s more to the story, this Magic play we did last weekend. I am already seeing a part 2)
Mary + Magic
ps- we are on our way home
pps- you don’t have to read too far in between the lines to see some of the things I am drawn to in Magic (her beauty and her boundaries) and some of how she has set me free (being our authentic selves out there in front of the great big scary world)
Thank you to:
And to all the sponsors of I AM HERD Mustang Sanctuary(you make this life a reality)