It wasn't more than a year ago now that I decided I'd like to write a book. One of my reasons for starting this blog is to get my creative juices flowing and compile a collection of ideas, short stories, anecdotes and teachings that I encounter along my path with the hopes of using them as a timeline and story board for my eventual hard copy. I am so curious to see what arises and am excited to be able to track how things unfold using this space.
As you may have read already in the other tabs of this website, I love to write. There is no other activity where I feel as much in a state of flow as when I am journalling. Time disappears, and when I finally sign my name at the bottom of the page and look at the time and the number of pages I've filled - well, it's a distinct kind of joy and satisfaction.
It's that kind of thoughtful intimacy that I hope to translate here online. My goal is to nurture a place where I can express the wandering queries and insights that catch my attention as I work with and learn from horses.
An idea I've been toying with lately is a concept from sports-psychology: What's your 'why'? If anyone reading this has ever done any kind of competing, be it in equestrian disciplines or other sports, you've most likely been asked by a coach, "Why do you ride? Why do you play?". Getting in touch with the underlying motivation driving us to do the thing we're doing can be a huge source of inspiration and has the power to renew our commitment and vigour for whatever activity we're practicing. This applies to other aspects of our lives as well, like our studies, careers, and even our relationships.
Growing up in the competitive dressage world, when things got tough and I hit a bump in my training I remember being encouraged to remember my why. I doubt anyone would be surprised to hear that my stock answer to that question was always,
"Because I love horses"
"Because I love being around horses"
"For the love of horses"
I feel like these words are so universally embedded in equestrian sports that you've probably seen social media posts like this one pop up on your feed pretty regularly.
I mean, it makes sense. The reason we show up to the barn at all hours of the day and night, get involved in the industry and identify with the lifestyle is because these creatures are life-giving. We have a passion, an obsession, that can't be quelled. It's how we started and it's why we continue to show up.
But what blows my mind is that despite living by this creed, our profound love of horses, we rarely ever practice it.
We rarely ever practice loving a horse in a way that is actually loving to that unique animal. I believe the main reason for this is we've never been taught how, and secondly, we've never been taught why.
Why it's not loving to keep a horse in a cozy stall 23 hours a day, or keep him safe by only ever allowing him individual turnout, or feeding him pounds of delicious processed grains.
Most of us weren't taught to understand the horse before we started interacting with one. And, in a nutshell, that's my why for starting this blog.
It's an ode to my first mare, Fara, who carried me through my journey of waking up to a what it means to truly love horses. Everything I ever grew up 'knowing' about horses has been turned on its head thanks to her. She's been the great disruptor in my life and the catalyst to unlocking a realm of connection, learning and spirituality that I never imagined possible.
I can't wait to share our story and our continuing evolution here on Far Out and About, which is named after her! (Fara's registered name is Far Out 😉)
Until then, happy trails and thanks for being here.
Fara and I, summer 2010