I had to take a few deep breaths before barreling forward. I was doing this, and for the first time in a long time, I was not about to let fear get in my way. The old cliché saying that “where there’s a will, there’s a way” kept flashing through my head — mostly because K repeated it at least once or twice when I visited her. K, who is not just a fantastic horsewoman and a wonderful friend, has been through hell and back these past few years. She is determination personified, and I admire her and her feisty personality like no other. She encouraged me from day one when I met this horse eight months ago, and was my biggest supporter when I decided to take my life into my own hands and do this.
I made myself sit down and remember that this is doable, if I allow it to be doable. It might be hard, and it might be scary, but I was not about to give in without a serious fight. The only “thing” getting in the way of this was me.
So, I started planning. I tried to keep myself from getting too excited, just in case something went awry…but, as things fell into place and I began saying “when” instead of “if”, I knew it was a done deal.
Time passed, things solidified, and I began to hope. It had been months since I had felt any sort of positive emotion about the future. It never truly occurred to me, even though it was extremely obvious to everyone else, how much I needed a horse in my life. Not everything was fixed, and I still had (and have) my struggles, but the world felt a little more bearable all of a sudden.
Once I had decided that I wanted him home and had a plan in place, I began reseaching names like crazy. Puff was adorable, and it made me think of a squishy, fuzzy kitty that you wanted to hug all the time. This horse was, indeed, fuzzy and squishy, and I definitely wanted to hug him all the time…but he had a much more poised and structured air about him. He was kind without being overbearing and clingy. He was composed without being super standoffish. The word that immediately came to mind was “regal”. I knew I had to find a name to match.
If you’ve been following along, you’ve already read the story behind the name I finally settled on. I won’t rehash that here, outside of the fact that I nearly settled on Black Russian, with a barn name of Stoli. I liked the name, and it held some meaning for me. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, had passed away shortly before my 22nd birthday (and shortly before the original email I received from B). My grandmother was a spunky woman who did not drink often, but when she did, she was partial to White Russians. Of course, with the critter being black, I couldn’t name him White Russian, so I decided on the next best thing. For awhile, I thought I was settled. I even began telling people. It wasn’t until I heard the line in that movie that I changed my mind. “Love Me In Focus”, however, didn’t lend itself to an easy barn name. I struggled with finding something to call him on a day to day basis. I threw around a couple of options with friends: “Focus”, “Pixel”, and “Canon” (referencing the type of camera I used) were among the front runners, until the simplicity of the name “Image” crossed my mind. Just like with his official name, I thought the word and his face popped into my head. I entertained “Pixel” for awhile longer, but it wasn’t too long until I settled on Image.
One of the first times I saw him worked. He was tense, but notice the ear tipped in to his handler.
With all of this in place, I was getting anxious to get the ball rolling. By this time, it had come upon the scary-busy season at my job, and I knew it made no sense to move him home just to not have any time to spend with him. B, in all her wonderfulness, was happy to let him hang out for awhile yet, telling me that there wasn’t any rush at all. It made sense to leave him where he was until the holidays were through, but it sure made the child in me throw a bit of an impatient temper tantrum. My next email to B was to ask if I could come up and see him that coming weekend (Thanksgiving weekend). Her reply was an enthusiastic “Come on up!”
A mix of emotion flooded me. Excitement and glee at being able to go see this horse…MY horse…but, strangely enough, there was also a heavy dose of anxiety. Did I imagine everything from before? It had been eight months. Did I make this up in my head? Was I kidding myself in thinking I had any sort of connection with this horse? I was honestly unsure. Well, there was only one real way to find out. I couldn’t wait for that weekend.