How to Make Amanda Cry 101

Painting by Morrighainne.

I have very, very talented and KIND friends.

Pencil drawing by Sara.

Two separate friends, who do not know each other, somehow had the exact same idea. The top painting isn’t finished, and the bottom pencil drawing is still in CA, but I am speechless. So much talent in two very, very incredible people.

I saw the painting in person last Sunday and when I posted it on Facebook, the artist that had done the pencil drawing commented, laughingly, that she had done basically the same thing. I only cried for, like, an hour each time when they were shown to me…so that’s something, right?

Best Christmas ever? Best Christmas ever. I miss these boys so much but am so grateful they were in my life.


That’s a Wrap

2014 is rapidly coming to a close. We’ve got just a few hours left before I get to spend the next three weeks remembering to write “2015”.

I’ve been watching the mostly sappy, sometimes snarky statuses about how awesome/shitty/okay/tolerable/annoying 2014 has been float across Facebook all evening. I, of course, took the opportunity to be a sarcastic asshole, but they all have me thinking. How was 2014?

I mean…I guess it didn’t totally suck? That’s something, right?

Sarcasm aside, this year really was not that bad. I learned a lot, and despite the parts where I was sure I had completely fucked up the horse I had bought, everything turned out okay.

Spoiled pony was spoiled.

Looking back, I’m startled to say that my biggest accomplishment was actually Simba. When I was in the thick of everything, I would have easily told you that this horse was my biggest failure, because I failed him something fierce by not being what he needed. In some ways, that is still painfully true…however, I took a horse that had been sitting for quite some time, had kind of a shitty attitude towards everything, and legged him back into being a successful trail horse that had manners. I was not prepared to survey the year and go “oh…oh, yeah, I guess I did do that, huh?” He left me a better horse than when he came, and that’s really cool for me to realize that *I* did. I had some excellent help, and he started with a great foundation, but the work he and I did together was ours. He taught me what I didn’t want in a horse, and upped my riding level to, like, 40 or something (you know, when you get swift mounts…World of Warcraft joke. Anyone? Anyone??). I’m no horse trainer, but a bit of common sense and help from those around me did wonders for us both.

Oh rail trail, how I miss thee…

Selling him sucked. Selling horses sucked. That was a really big downside to this year, and it really isn’t something I’d like to do again any time soon. That was a huge learning experience for me, and because of that, I will be EXTREMELY careful the next time around. “Next time around” won’t be until next spring at the earliest, and probably not until the spring of 2017, because I will have to look all up and down the East coast to find what I want (I need a freak of a Peruvian — extremely tall and extremely broad. With hair. Lots of hair). I knew that selling horses sucked, but I didn’t fully understand it until I was in the middle of it. I only showed Simba to a handful of people (mostly because the others that contacted me were Not A Match), but it was enough to reiterate that people lie, don’t listen, don’t read, and can be generally shitty.

I am a few months removed now. My heart twinges a bit when I look at this photos, because he really was a funny little horse with more personality than he knew what to do with, but he was never my funny little horse. We spent a year working with each other and there wasn’t any sort of epiphany moment when I felt like we were meant to be. He made me laugh and fume and cry and roll my eyes, but even during all of that, I never felt the spark I thought I had at one point. I don’t regret him, but I also don’t regret finding him another home.

Speaking of: as far as I know, he is doing fine in his new home. I say “as far as I know” because contact with his new owner has been slim to none. She hit the same explosion with him that I did shortly after bringing him home, and though I wasn’t around to make a true assessment, everything I heard told me she ignored my warning about starting with groundwork to get his brain focused on her, and just jumped on. I found out the hard way that “just jumping on” doesn’t work until much later. I could jump on and ride Simba on the buckle at the end of our relationship, but it took a bit of work to get us there. Since then, it’s been radio silence. I mailed off the papers in early November, and at my last check of TWHBEA’s “iPeds” service, he was still in my name, but a co-worker found his Craigslist ad. It’s since been removed, and based on the tiny bit of Facebook stalking I’ve allowed myself to do, she still has him. I’m hoping they figured each other out and they’re doing well, but I honestly don’t know. I hate the idea of being a meddling ex-owner, and as it’s no longer my business, I will stay on my side of the fence.

As for me? I am not loving horselessness, but my anxiety levels are much lower currently, and, selfishly, I can’t give that up right now. Tank, the little red Quarter horse I was riding at L’s found a new home with a lovely teenage girl who will hug him and squeeze him and call him lovey names like he deserves. However, that leaves me really and truly horseless for the first time since 2009. That is already starting to eat at me. I’m not sure what to do about it, but I’m considering trying to find a local (as in 20 minutes tops from my house, because as much as I love L and J and all my other fabulous friends who throw horses at me…they’re all an hour away, damn it!) lease. I haven’t fleshed out that idea just yet.

Late autumn ride on Tank — I so missed these powerline trails!

Outside of horses, I haven’t been behind my camera like I should be, and I haven’t been writing like I should be. My audience is very small, but if someone has a request for a photography project, or something they’d like to hear about, don’t be afraid to throw it at my head — it’ll give me something to do, anyway! My brainpower as of late has been limited. Christmas was unadulterated Hell. This was the worst Christmas season I’ve endured at my job, and I. was. fried. by the time the holiday actually rolled around. I spent the day as quietly as I could, hanging out with D, my uncle P, my cousin A, her husband, and their little boy for a few hours before heading back to where I’m house sitting and hibernating the rest of the weekend. Things are very slowly calming down at work (I haven’t had a customer call me a see-you-next-Tuesday for almost a week now!), and I can think things that aren’t “is it over yet is it over yet is it over yet” now.

Senior shoot I did — world’s most adorable mini!

2014 was a year of making mistakes. I learned how to acknowledge them and make steps to rectify them as best I can. I don’t do resolutions, but I’m hoping 2015 is a year of starting over. It’s time to rediscover why, exactly, I love these animals so much, and to rekindle the passion I once had for them.

Halloween at work — Ravenclaw FTW!

Here’s to 2015! Happy New Year, everyone!