One artist's journey: Trying to live a creative life with grace, grit, gratitude...and a border collie.
(or perhaps I should say: greys, grit and gratitude)

30 January 2014

The NEW New Year's Eve

It's New Year's Eve, again…in exactly 12 hours, at 12:20 am, the Year of the Horse begins.  

It seems appropriate that my life has become more horsey than ever…and that it will be even more so through the coming year.
This time last year, my two horses were being boarded.  It was nice, a beautiful facility, gorgeous barn with horsey shower stall and overhead propane heaters…HUGE outdoor arena with wonderful sand surface, nice indoor arena for the cold or windy or rainy days…and lovely mountain views.  

The managers took care of feeding the boarders…so, if it was bitterly cold and I was in the middle of a painting…or just didn't feel like doing the hour round trip drive…I could rest assured that my ponies were being cared for.  

The down side…with all those mountains bordering the ranch, we were not allowed to ride the trails…and it was expensive. 
When I moved here, I was thrilled to have the ponies on the main ranch, just two miles from my house.  I loved that they were in a huge pasture with other horses and that they could be, well...horses. 

Not only did my wonderful landlord let me bring my horses, he offered the entire ranch to ride...a ranch that backs to National Forest and Wilderness.  I could ride to Yellowstone and beyond via backcountry, if I chose.

As winter rolled in, I knew that it would be more work.  They'd need to be fed…no matter what the weather.  I thought I'd miss having someone else do that…especially on the really rotten weather days.  To my surprise, I don't really….even when I ended up feeding not only my two, but the other seven, as well. 

Some days it is a serious pain trying to loosen frozen chunks of hay from the round bale with the pitch fork.  Sometimes the weather is miserable…cold, windy, wet or all of the above.  Sometimes it is brutal to roll the cart of hay back and forth through the deep snow…or across the skating rink of re-frozen snowmelt.  Some days, like today, my fingers and toes are numb well before I am done.

Still…it makes me happy.  There is something very peaceful, very Zen, about going up to throw hay, put out grain, play with them a little and watch them eat.

I love that they all see my truck and come to the fence.  If they aren't already waiting in the corral, they come running down from the pasture.  They nicker to me as I get out.  

They come up and nuzzle "hello"s.  I love that I don't have to catch Karma and Lang to put blankets on…I just walk out and throw the blankets over their backs.  They have learned the routine...Karma and Lang run to the gate where I put out their grain and the others wait in the corral. 

Since I was a wee child, I have passionately loved these magnificent animals.  The horses and ponies that have shared my life over my five decades have inspired so much art and have taught me wonderful things about life.

Over this next year, I plan to bring them even more into my life and art…

Hope you will share my little journey through MY Year of the Horse...with new posts, new art and new adventures coming soon!