Lorie & Hidalgo

I’ve wanted to write for a few weeks but I’ve been stuck in a place where words aren’t flowing like they used to. And that’s alright. There are times the word well runs dry and that’s when I know that its time for a break, whether I want a break or not — it is forced upon me by my own mind.

 Lately I’ve been anxious because its getting closer to the time for the horses to come home to us. Im stupidly excited but mostly worried im forgetting something. I know it won’t be perfect but I’d like to be as prepared as possible. I mean — who wouldn’t when it comes to, two, thousand pound animals that will be living in your backyard? Im grateful to live on the farm that we do so we can literally live with our horses but I know my itchy feet — all of a sudden i cant get up and move away, which is something i always do however i think this might just be what i need to settle down. Because I can ride. I can take them anywhere and ride. It’s one huge step close to my film ranch dream! 

It’ll be a totally new and refreshing version of freedom that I have dreamed about since I was a child. Cowboying up and down the American frontier, though I hadn’t expected to be madly in love too but im glad I am.
 This long weekend we took a trip to see the horses at the rescue, seeing as we were going to be in that area anyway. Hidalgo is slowly beginning to recognise us but not quite, however Lorie seems excited to see us each time we show up. With time Hidalgo will recognise our voices when he is living with us and that’ll be good for all of us. It was a wonderful morning because we actually got to be there when Lorie and Hidalgo met eachother for the first time. It was incredible to witness even though Lorie was not much of a fan, but Hidalgo can seem pushy due to the blindness. Lorie hasn’t yet twigged that hes blind and isnt actually trying to be rude. It was such a great time i totally forgot to mention i wanted to ride Lorie bareback. Oh well. Next time will come around soon enough!

Right now i’m reading a lot about training and getting ready to start my books about softness when it comes to horses. It’s quite exciting. Whilst i work on my novels i will probably blog a lot more about the horses and our adventures (if ever covid subsides). It’s often tough to think of what to write when all you do… is sit at a table and write 24-7. Haha. I’ve found some great accounts on instagram like @MustangMaddy that i believe will be a huge influence to how i work with my two. I can’t wait to start and i hope i can grow as a trainer. 

Deadwood Gulch, Dakota Territory


Well, my time came, there in the gulch of rotting gold mines, smoke and dead wood i turned the ripened age of twenty eight. I don’t feel any older. I dont’ feel aged at all. I reckon  i’ll stop recognising my birthday as time goes on, feels a little like i’m living on a timer. It’s not an attempt to escape the daunting journey of old age and perspiring into the casket — more a case of saving my brain from feeling like its got so much to accomplish and far too little time to do it in. I don’t expect to grow old much anyhow.

This year my birthday was something out of this world, something more fitting of the old world we all left behind — a world most of us choose to forget because we’re too scared to face how cruel we could be. Jack surprised me with a trip to Deadwood, South Dakota, a place i’d always wanted to see. I wanted to walk to the badlands, sculk around Chinatown and stay at the Bullock Hotel on Mainstreet with its ghosts and windows looking into the old thoroughfare. All of which we did. Together the best way i know how to be.


We rode the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stagecoach around town and made fast friends with the drivers. They asked us to move into the house down the street and start working the town with them. And that was only the first hours of our first full day, my birthday.  We found a new favourite haunt in the Wild Bill Bar, the original number 10 lot on discovery where Wild Bill Hickok was shot by Jack McCall, with a buckboard full of dead animals nailed to the wall and red lantern lights hanging from the embellished bar frame; we couldn’t resist the place. I hope to make it there often even though it’ll soon be nine to twelve hours away. I shall never forget my life, though brief, when it was in South Dakota.

We visited Mount Moriah where Hickok, Calamity Jane and many other familiar names rest in peace, at least for the most part. Seth Bullock and his wife rest on top of the hill (its actually a god damn mini mountain haha), forever looking over Teddy’s tower somewhere beneath trees on the other side of the gulch. It was murder for me getting up that damn hill but it was worth it, i of course insisted on wearing my finery, to see my sweet Calamity and pay my respects to her and her supposed lover of time gone by, all of which consisted of boots, linen shirt with long sleeves, my good felt hat and my best jeans.

I see a lot of myself in Martha Canary. I suppose all my years i always had been a little different. I cut off my hair and i dressed as boy for most of my youth, and even once my hair grew back, and to this day, im still largely mistaken for a man. The cussing and such dont much help on that account. All this while i was dreaming of living in a place where it always felt free and everything else was unnecessary. It was a dream i didn’t believe would come true. The difference between her and i, is that my choice of self neglect is not juicing the corn, i have long since made the decision not to drink but that didn’t hold up all that long in Deadwood. No. Its a place where the folks are good, the nights are something to aware of but the Black Hills are scared land and i have never in my life seen anything as beautiful. There were fresh water creeks laced with wild bank flowers of all colours. Red deer danced and pranced through life all safe and fine. A little ways away you’ll even see mountains and hills full of buffalo. Right now their babies are all red, small and unsteady but perfect. Anyway, Calamity to me is who i am by day, all cussing and unladylike.  However when my depressive state  and sad sad suicidal ideations take over i believe i become more like Joanie Stubbs. Thats what i’ve named the dark side of my life. Joanie and Jane. I don’t mean that in some weird fan obsession in regards to the show or movie, i mean that as a survivor and that is something that helps me keep on.


Deadwood for me was always going to be a game changer, i just had that feeling you know? And in my previous blogpost where i mention coming to the end of our travelling days, the end of finding some foreign state to live in being done. Well i don’t know.  I could move yesterday to be amongst the Black Hills. Its holy ground to the Indians, the red nation, whatever they prefer. We’ve caused a lot of harm on that land, any land, but to me that land is a powerful, a spiritual place and something i can never un-feel. It all lives there on those hills. Though we may never move there, its a place to come as often as a wage allows.


Theres something wild and strange about meeting real like minded people who just fit into your life like puzzle pieces created millions of miles apart. The folks doing the street and bar shows took to us quick and fast. They were all like us and they impressed us as i believe we impressed them. I never have had the feeling that i wanted to interact with people, because i always felt that my head and my heart were some place else. Somewhere i’d never find anyone worth talking to who was the same. But i found  folks in Texas, and i sure as shit found some in Deadwood to boot.

For now i believe thats all i have. Im trying to juggle a lot lately. Training LeDoux, working full time, packing house, keeping appointments and writing and reading. Sadly i dont believe i’ll have my photo editing time till im in my new place in Texas. We’ll see.

where the wild horses go

A few Sundays ago i went out with Sarah. We took a trip out to the bottom of Sheep Mountain and sat amongst the wild horses that live there. We pointed and picked out the ones we thought were prettiest, we talked and we took picture after picture. It was supposed to snow and at the lull of that mountain we saw it brewing like an ugly pot of tea with too much old milk.
Suddenly we found ourselves in a curdled barrel of wind and sleet and snow.

I think i did pretty well considering i didn’t actually own a Zoom lens then, so had to make do with the equipment i did have. The zoom lens i want is around $1200, however — i had my eye on a cheap one to use until i can afford to spend a random $1200 from a single paycheck. Well — last week Jack jsut went ahead and surprised me with a little zoom lens and it works great! It does the job it needs too even though its not “top of the range” so to speak, not that that matters of course.


I’m looking forward to giving it a try out there one of these days. Photographing these animals is genuinely a dream come true for me, and i can’t really believe i get to do it on weekends now, and go to the barn and ride during week — working with good folks and learning to train horses. I feel pretty lucky.


It gives me the same feeling when i go sailing, this great surge of passionate inspiration rushing through me, desperately wondering if i wrote it all down and if i remember.
And i do. I always always always remember.
Anyway, It’s Sunday night now — i’m ready to go to bed soon and wake up to do the whole spiel of a work week all over again. I hope you enjoyed some of my wild horse photos from my first trip out to see them in Laramie. Over time i’m hoping to share a little more about my life at home with writing and whatever else. Its something i don’t really do much of because my house doesn’t look how i want it to, so i prefer not to take pictures inside. If that makes any sense? Bad lighting and dark corners and a lot of  wooden boards that whole deal. Also, when i’m home i don’t really do much. I’ll knit a sweater or work on a logo for the rescue — maybe take a quick 30 minute yoga session, but nothing really worth pulling out the camera for and snapping a picture of. I thought of perhaps taking pictures of my work station where i do my editing, videos and write. I guess if i fixed it up some it might be worth seeing.

 

riding and the bone clinic

Saturday i spent the afternoon at a Bone Clinic with some friends. A lot of the stuff went well over my head but i was glad to be there anyway and got a little leaflet i could take notes in. I was even lucky to meet the local Barefoot trimmer there, whom i’ve hoping to get some trimming experience from in the near future, i hadn’t met her personally yet so over i waltzed and introduced myself. I’m pretty excited as to what possibilities that might have for me — maybe the farrier course wasn’t meant to be because barefoot trimming sounds more my type of deal. In future i’d still love to do some blacksmithing and forging, but that’ll come with time. With any luck.

The hoof

Since i started volunteering at the Equine Revival i’ve really been thrown into the horse industry head first, something i don’t quite dare to believe… ever. There are many times i’d wished to be doing what i am now, and now im too scared to think about it incase it gets taken away from me. I don’t want to take a single moment for granted. I’ve been to an Expo, a clinic and been out riding a time or two; not particularly well but i’ll get there. And i only contacted them & gave in my application a little over two or three weeks ago.

This is Sarah’s horse. Her name is Inca and she’s lead mare. She is one of the most beautiful horses i’ve ever seen — im pretty excited to see her without her winter coat — which probably wont be too long now. All the horses are shedding like crazy. Its a privilege to get to ride her though and she’s a good egg for putting up with me — letting me figure everything out. I get it wrong a lot but i’ll find my way. Sarah was kind enough to take a few pictures of me riding her the other night.
My serious concentration faces are not sexy. Big glasses and a double chin doesn’t exactly work with the whole “Western” vibe i have going on… so instead i made myself into some of my TV heros. Gus McCrae and the Stranger from the Big Lebowski.

Transitioning into REAL western riding on a real western horse, with folks who know what they’re talking about and have done it forever, is pretty daunting for me. I come away every time feeling a bit of a fool, but thanks to their support i keep trying. I’m kinda good  with the fact that i can share the journey of learning the cowboy way on my blog this time.
Last time i rode without a saddle as Annie the quarter horse uses the same saddle as Inca, and even that i’m out of practice with. It was a lovely ride though even though i dont neccesarily do a good job — just being able to be horseback makes me happy. When Inca was done riding for the day, away she walked with me — right into Sarahs lap, while she was trying to help someone else. Hahaha. This business is giving me a lot of funny stories and fond memories. Should’ve seen me trying get up on Inca this time, with Sarah giving me a leg up, i must have looked like a little monkey clingy for dear life on a branch unable to jump. Hahahahahaha. As long as they’ll put up with me — i’ll keep trying.

the denver horse expo

Dang, I can’t tell you how busy my weekend was last week. I haven’t had any time to really sit down and think over all the things i’ve been doing lately. I’m glad to keep busy though!
I’ve missed you and i’ve missed my blog. I hope i’ll be able to catch you up on everything as the days go forward.

But last weekend was a weekend full of horses, good old cowboys, road trip talks and good company. Wild good company. I’ve only ever been to one horse event in my life, and that was in merry old England in some mucky field with too many snobs to count. Every other horse was a beautiful Gypsy Vanner with feathers from here to flight. The folks I went with were good people, I walked alongside them as they rode to the event because they didn’t have a trailer. All hundreds of miles if you can believe it. There really isn’t a lot i wont do just to be around horses — even then.

Mr. Van Hargis.

But holy shit, Denver was something totally out of this world different.
I’m not saying I grew up dreaming about going to a horse expo, because that’s false. I just dreamed of cowboying around on the back of a happy broke horse with a good sure foot and only the plains ahead of me or.. you know, monument valley. In England I always felt outside, like some scum from no place that didn’t belong to no one or nowhere. I was just this funny little clown with a stick in her arse. Here i felt a part of something, like i had a place there just as everyone else had. Some right to be there. I learned a lot and saw so many beautiful horses and so many things i want, can’t afford and don’t need.

An arabian tent for an arabian horse adventure.
I can’t remember this trainers name, but he had the personality of a New Orleans Gumbo. I really enjoyed him. “We should go dancing!” I heard him shout.
I really want this outfit… i need a vest.

It was a really amazing experience, and a fun day. I went with Sarah and Daree from the Mountain Shadows Equine Revival, and we ended the day with some Mexican food in Fort Collins on the way home. I’m glad i didn’t bring my huge Nikon. I did not fancy carrying that around all day, i only carried my small vlogging camera, so here is a little video of my time at the Expo. I can’t really get it all down into words because im a little lazy today and a lot has happened since then.

that friday feeling **video**

Happy Friday!

Heres a video of Boone showing you how he feels about the coming weekend. He is in training at MSER.

I’ve been so busily lately. In working full time and doing a few things for MSER, so i haven’t had a lot of time to blog or vlog. I have a few videos waiting to be created and a couple of etsy projects im working on, all the while im writing away. Hopefully i can find some time this weekend to talk about life in general. Until then, happy weekend!