I was mucking in the wind with my hood up and I heard hooves coming up fast from behind. He was bucking and playing with my young mare. I had to laugh–he could kill me yet. Then I took this photo; he’s dirty and hairy and very lame. His back is swayed, he has a nasty sheath condition, and perpetually teary eyes. He’s been retired for 12 years now. Old horses are like old dogs, if you have loved them well, they are always young in your heart, so it’s easy to look past their stinky, crippled surface.
Seeing him in this instant is like time travel. He was something in the day. No big thing in the horse world at large, he just mattered to me. He carried me over some rough ground and now I have a debt to pay. My memoir is his legacy. Not that he cares. Doing faith healings is an everyday thing for him.
Sometimes passion takes you places that common sense would fear to tread.
The first year on Spirit, my Grandfather Horse, I got bucked off five times. I got a concussion once and broke an elbow another time. People told me to get rid of him–right to my face. We were not an easy fit, but we couldn’t quit each other either. Horse people understand that getting carried away by passion is a ride worth taking. And writing and riding have so much in common that I have a hard time telling them apart these days.
Week 15 since submitting my manuscript and more silence from publishers. Think the dark side of the moon silence. At the same time, my mailbox is exploding with inspiration and opportunity. I mean blinding bright light of the sun opportunity in plain sight. I love this exact moment working with horses; that moment when they are given time enough to volunteer, time to think and choose. It’s the precious beginning of partnership. Or at least, that’s my goal in this weird publishing barn.
Passion is a necessity in my world. How else does anything make sense? So I look at this photo and see my young gelding and his current decrepit self simultaneously. He is forever beautiful to my eye. Maybe it’s his passion that gives him this moment of transcendence. Maybe passion is the place where dreams and reality live happily ever after.
And a little worse for wear myself, I’m part horse-crazy girl and part old gray mare, but all my parts are passionate about getting this book out. The other word for that is undeniable.