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.

the western imposter

Hello everyone!
It’s another Monday night, and another day closer to the weekend. Boy i started counting down Sunday night. You bet i did.
Tonight i was supposed to go to the horse rescue but it showed to be far too cold to do anything, so only the feeders went out there this evening. I really wanted to go out there to get to know everyone more and to get over my anxiety a little. The more often i go the quicker that feeling subsides and i can feel like i can get more deeply involved. When i get anxious i stand in my own way, for example i wont go ahead and do something i know how to do unless i’m told. I’ll let someone show me how to do something even if i already know how to do it. See what i’m saying? Then later that’ll piss me off that i didn’t just go ahead and do it in the first place.
Nevertheless I’ll be going back on Wednesday to film some riding and lunging for an adoption video, maybe take a few pictures too. I haven’t brought the big camera out there yet but i look forward to the results. Hopefully i’ll be doing some lunging with Isabella Bird (27 year old thoroughbred who is the sweetest). I’d love to adopt her myself but i have no place to keep her — same with Prada the Arabian Princess. They are such sweethearts.
But if we’re moving again, which we most likely will, it’s just not possible for me to get a horse right now.
Bummer Ted.
It sucks that UW ruined Wyoming, because Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states i’ve ever seen in my life. Christ. The stuff of a little 6 years olds dreams of cowboys and campfires and wild horses.

Isabella Bird, named after the British explorer i believe.

It’s been a good 15 years or more since i lunged a horse, so you can bet your arse im out of practice. I also haven’t worked at barn for a year and a half now. It’s incredibly frustrating to stand in your own way, and i battle and beat my head against it daily. So even though all this socialising stresses me and worries me, i really love the company so far. Easy people to get a long with and they really want the best for the equines they care for. Not to mention that they seem more than happy to let me “in.” I kinda already feel like part of the group though i’m not as educated in the nature of horses as they are. I’m an actor after all, not an equestrian. But what more could you want from new experiences?  I think i’m pretty bad ass for going against my own insecurities and telling them to go to hell. I might be a lone bear who likes the company of crickets, but this time i found folks i like.

Barn cat black with no boundaries.

I had my first real “shift” so to speak on Saturday, and it was a great day with good company. I felt a little unsteady at first but i think given some time i’ll soon get back into the swing. Because we keep moving, as soon as i get settled in a place, it all goes down the drain then i have to start over again. And thanks to UW i’m sure it’ll happen at least one more time. However, i will say when we go out on adventures or i go to this place — it makes it easier to deal with the mundane weekdays that drain life outta me, not completely —– but some. Also — i love this damn cat. Holy crap.

Happy Jack Road

Sometimes i feel like an imposter walking around in boots & cowboy hats, with a laconic state of mind, being so foreign and trying to hustle in with the real cowkids and western girls on horse back, but they really make me feel welcome at this new place, which is totally new to me. Exciting stuff.
Anyway i filmed a few clips and will be making a video of my first day there which i can’t wait to share with you. Yesterday we also took a trip to Cheyenne where i filmed all day for the fun of it. I think it’ll be “A day in Wyoming” type of video but we’ll see how that goes with time and all.

The Western Imposter

My dad might not be from Tennessee, my step father doesn’t sing the ballads in a dive bar and my mother isn’t some Southern woman who taught me to be the perfect pioneer wife. I’m just a lost little kid walking around this big world trying everything life has to give me. Missing all those i left behind in sad and bad and pretty home places. Finding my way through fields and mountains and plains and state to state to state. I get a little closer as it goes, but i know the feeling of being an imposter may haunt me a good long year or two yet. If you look at me now though, sitting on this here rock and thinking over all the places i’ve seen and the one guy that showed me what love was like?

I don’t have that much to complain about.
Happy Monday — see you again soon.

our first month

We’ve officially been here a month as of last week, and it’s already been one hell of a ride.
It’s been wonderful. Scary. Stressful x 10. Hard. Exhausting. But we’re here and we’re making it work. Many things have  happened already.
So in it’s honour — the anniversary of yet another big adventure —  here is a minefield of pictures from our first month back in the West.