dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Milestone Post and a Giveaway

“We sometimes have to experience pain for us to have a story to tell. The power to heal from the pain equips us with the strength to rise up again and move beyond it all. We not only become stronger but wise enough to recognize and handle pain in the future. We however, have to learn to let the brick walls fall down so that we can experience true love once more. We must learn from pain and let it lead us to the most beautiful parts of our journey in life. Only then can our stories become fully complete.” 
― Kemi Sogunle

This is my 500th post. I should probably write something profound and moving but I'm drawing a blank.

I wrote my first post on July 6, 2012. I had just purchased my dream horse as a yearling and I wanted to chronicle my journey with him. The first day I let him into the big field I took the header photo. That gave me the title for the Blog.

I had my journey all mapped out.

But like most journeys, things did not go exactly as planned.

Life is like that.

I am still on the journey, but with a new partner. One who also fills my heart with joy. I have been blessed with the horses in my life.



I no longer have the certainty of knowing the final destination but that's okay.

Enough of the sentiment. I figured that I should celebrate my 500th post and I wasn't sure how. But then fate stepped in. You see I had been playing with making my blog banner more like a logo. I found an online place to make it into a window sticker for my trailer. When I was checking out I was offered a deal to get another item with the logo at a discount.

So, let me present official 'Journey With a Dancing Horse' swag:
It's a limited edition:  there are only there of these in existence. And it can be yours.Here's what you have to do:
1. tell me about a part of your journey- whatever one you want.
2. If you have a blog put it there with a link in a comment below.
3. If you don't have a blog but want to enter just tell me your story in the comments.
4. tell me how to get in touch with you in your comment. :)

I will randomly select the winner on Monday, July 4th.

Of course now I'm terrified that no one wants my mug. But heck, if I can be brave enough to sit on an 1000 pound animal I can handle this. ....I think.

38 comments:

  1. I wouldn't know where to begin T... too much to say, too little time. ( May I just buy one? You KNOW I need it. ) xox

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    1. never thought about selling them. Let me see what I can do. :)

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  2. I want to win! I'm on so many journeys simultaneously. One of them is trying to get Nilla to be a dressage mule. You know my blog: diyhorseownership.com. You have my email address already.

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    1. you are a busy woman and I love reading about Nilla's adventures.

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  3. And I forgot to say: congrats on 500 posts!

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  4. I love it!

    Like you, my journey has not gone to plan. I bought Fiction to event with. He seemed like the perfect contender - tall, athletic, fast, and strong. Level-headed too. He was everything I was looking for.

    But after years of attempting to get him over fences safely, an abysmal cross country clinic (in which we nearly had a rotational fall over a tiny fence) followed by an amazing dressage clinic, led me to reassess our future together. I made the decision to adjust my life goals to fit my horse. And, honestly, I don't regret the decision to return to Dressage one bit. I'm happier than I ever was.

    Our journey isn't without ups and downs, as you well know. It's been a lot of soul searching on my part. But, as we near 4 years together, I finally feel like we are beginning to understand one another. Fiction truly is an amazing animal and everything I could ever ask for in a partner. It's just taken me a while to see that.

    These journeys we take with horses can be truly life changing. I would not be who I am today without Orion (my first pony), Jet (the love of my life), and Fiction (the horse who expanded my faith in myself, my patience, and my love for the technical details).

    I love reading your story and I can't wait to watch it continue to unfold.

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    1. Love this story! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I know you follow my blog so no need to go on about my journey except this next little stint of being horseless for a while and finishing school its scary and exciting in itself. :)

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    1. finishing grad school is a bit scary (I did it twice myself) but you are so close.

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  6. Congrats on your 500th post!! I just can't imagine losing my heart horse, like you had to endure. I carry your story/journey with me.

    I guess my most powerful journey -- if I could choose one -- is Cowboy breaking his P3--coffin bone. It was misdiagnosed for 3 months, and when we finally got a 2nd opinion and found out the 1st xrays from the 1st day showed the break--I was devastated. They thought it was the end of the road for Cowboy and me. But I let Cowboy out to run for his last night here on earth--and he busted out joyously (he'd been cooped up for 4 months by then) all over our 14 rocky acres--bucking, running. I said, if he has a tolerance for pain like that--maybe he can make it.

    And, with my farrier's help--he miraculously did make it after a year in a bar shoe and 12x12 stall. My farrier said, it's up to you. I can fix his foot, but you have to keep his mind fixed while he's in confinement. We set up a stall right outside the house and did just that. Somehow Cowboy kept it together mentally. I felt so bad for him as he watched the other horses being horses. And, I wondered if what I was doing was cruel--especially if he didn't make it. But we took it day by day and he seemed happy enough with me as his company. (He was also orphaned at 1 month and bottle-fed--so maybe that helped.)

    It has been 9 1/2 years and I love him 1000 times more now than I did back then. But you know, he's older--I'm older--we've grown older together. My farrier said today, every day Cowboy is on this side of the green grass (meaning alive), that's just one day extra."

    And my blog is www.beautifulmustang.blogspot.com because I also have a Mustang journey...and a Leah journey...and an older equine journey...and a pony journey. So many journeys--happy times and painful times--as you said.

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    1. wow. I didn't know this story about cowboy. He was so lucky to have you

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    2. I'm lucky he has survived 9 1/2 years since then. So, so, so lucky! Cowboy is pretty tough! You know, the bone shifted and there is a good deal of arthritis in the coffin joint--yet he somehow stays sound.

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  7. I would love a mug,. It I don't think you would like he cost of postage to Sydney!

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  8. I started my blog around the same time as you and had my journey all mapped out and like you, pretty much everything is different since then. It's been hard, it's been fun, and everything in between. Congrats on 500, here's to 500 more posts and a fantastic, happy journey. You know where my blog lives :)

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    1. It's not until you look back that you can see the paths you tried and then re-traced.

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  9. Congrats on your 500th post! I'm one of your silent readers; I read every post but rarely comment. I started reading when you lost your beloved. I don't think I've ever cried so much with a blog post. And then I kept coming back because I wanted with all my heart to see you rise from the ashes. And you have! And I know how hard that is. <3 I would love one of your mugs!

    My journey started with a man: my grandfather. He gave me horses and taught me to reach for the stars. That anything I wanted, I could have if I just worked hard enough for it.

    And then he died. And when he died, I realized that life is very short and that if you sit around waiting for things to happen, they might never happen at all. And so I did the single most insane thing I have ever done: I dropped an entire life to move in with the man that I had loved for 1/3 of my existence until then. That kind of leap is not supposed to work out IRL, but in my case, it did. With Carlos, the horses returned: they paid my bills during our first years together and later motivated a career change.

    My grandfather gave me Carlos, and Carlos gave me Lily: I lost a heart horse, I then lost the horse that was supposed to take his place, and then I was offered Lily. Lily, the little mutt mare that no one wanted. I liked her, but I didn't really want her either. But I figured I could train her and re-sell her, if anything.

    Carlos gave me the $1 for me to buy her with: he was finally able to say that he had bought me a horse for my birthday. He was so proud of himself, that he could say that now!

    It was because of Lily that I started my blog. Because man, was she a tough nut to crack! The blog was my training journal for the longest time. But it is because of Lily that I have met so many incredible people, both at the barns that I've boarded at and online thanks to the blog! I met my best friends, all of them, because of Lily. It is because of Lily that we moved north: she didn't sweat in South FL and moving to a place with seasons fixed the problem. It is because of Lily that I met Gracie, and that we bought her. It is because of Lily that Carlos started to ride himself and got hooked! And it is because of Lily that I have finally been able to participate in the sport I dreamed of for nearly 30 years: endurance.

    Many journeys tied together, all of them leading to my $1 mutt...my $1 mutt that has given me more than any money on earth could ever buy.

    I think you know my blog; you've commented a few times. :) But it is waitingforthejump.blogspot.com. And my email is Nicole.torrech@gmail.com.

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    1. what a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

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  10. What a cool idea getting a mug made! Wish I woulda thought of that. But congrats on 500 posts,I see I hit a thousand here a few weeks ago I totally missed it :(

    My journey well I never grew up with horses so when I had the chance to get one I did and somehow along that road I found cutting and then tried it. Well I was hooked. But so expensive so now I have the horse but cant afford toshow, always something isnt there. But plans are underway for next year and Im going for it.
    You know my blog at http://ranchriding.blogspot.ca/ and can get a hold of me there or email me at ccrazycrystal@gmail.com

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    1. I love reading of your cutting horse adventures. And yes, there is always something. :)

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  11. I love the image, I wanna see the sticker on your trailer!

    I will not join the contest because I can just imagine what Canada Post wants for a mug: )

    If I had a choice between stories and a grief-free life, I'd like the latter. Are you at the point where you can talk about your loss yet? I remember just turning away from people when they asked, unable to say a word.

    So happy about your 2016 with Carmen.

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    1. I don't really talk about the loss. I can talk about Steele but I don't talk about that day. I still can't.

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  12. Congratulations on 500! I'm very much with you on the journey not always being what we expected or going where we wanted - and in some cases it has taken me directly in the opposite direction of where I thought I wanted to go... Like right now things feel very much like a crossroads and I am not sure at all how to proceed... But then again, I've always said that enjoying the journey is just as crucial, if not more so, than the final destination. So we will see what happens I guess! Your story is a testament to how things can work out positively in the face of extreme adversity.

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    1. Life makes us figure out how to adapt to circumstance. Sometimes the adaptation is painful but it's all part of it

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  13. I am also a silent reader with no blog. The mug is cute but mostly I wanted to let you know that your story touched me. I found it while searching through my own grief of losing the mare I was raised with. We spent almost 30 years together… and though I was blessed to have her so long- it feels like a piece of me is gone.

    I read your words, and the raw pain in them helped me identify and articulate my own. It takes time to grieve, and it's done best knowing that others have made it through before you.

    I too have moved on with a new horse. It has been incredibly hard, and I have been following your progress with Carmen avidly. I hope you choose to keep writing… 500 is great but I'm not quite ready for an end to your story :)

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    1. Thank you for saying "hello ". I hope things are working with your new horse

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  14. What a great mug! Love it. I have had (am am still having) many profound journeys with horses. One of the most profound was losing my two horses six months apart (colic and broken leg), almost walking away from it all, being reminded of the joy by an inspiring rider and following my dream to my wonderful Spanish horses. And another very profound journey was a trip to a Virginia with someone in need of a Spanish Horse to help heal her heart. :-)

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    1. I remember both of those journeys. I had so much admiration for how you dealt with your loss and then how you helped me.

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  15. Congrats on your 500 post! ( I've started a couple blogs and never got passed a 3rd entry, so I commend you on your commitment to it!) I WANT to win your mug, so here goes a slice of my journey.. I'm sure you recall we were both dealing with great loss at about the same time, and I was able to identify with all the emotions and pain you were feeling. It has been a few months less 2 years since Becky died, part of my lives journey starts there. The love one feels for your child is deep, all encompassing, and forgiving. Parents know this love which I speak of. The love I shared with Becky was always strong, but with conflict. Let me explain the conflict, as it was different than the conflict a parent deals with in coping with their child going through the terrible 2's, or first day of school, ( first of anything really..) or the "Teen Years", or figuring out how to grow your relationship as your child becomes an adult leading an adult life.. these are all normal conflicts a parent can expect to sort through as they love thier child. I had a that role and also a different roll as a parent to Becky. I was her caregiver and advocate, she was born with a congenital heart defect that could not be repaired, but as long as technology could keep up, the medical community promised to try to keep that heart beating. My job was to assist in that goal, which I did happily, learning everything I could about hearts and how they worked, most especially how Becky's heart worked. For 31 years and 11 months, + 2 weeks, I kept vigilant. Now here is where my conflict came, during the later part of her life, witnessing her struggle to over come pain ( both physically and emotionally)her fight for every breath she took, her constant battle to live, her suffering.. that was my conflict.. to watch your child suffer and not be able to help or even ease thier pain.. that is a love filled with conflict. Now at this part of my journey, I have learned I can now love Becky simply, completely and with out conflict. It is freeing! Now I am working on missing her love for me. We had a special bond. I'm learning to be comfortable with what is left.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. I have watched from afar and been in awe of how you took on the grief and did not flinch. Your love of Becky was deep and strong and she helped shape you into the person you are (just as you did with her). I can only imagine what you went through in her last few weeks. You are an inspiration.

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  16. Congratulations on 500 posts! It has been a journey for sure. We all know how much joy a horse can bring to our lives. I grew up on a farm with horses but as things go, I left horses behind heading off to university and settled into a life without horses for many years. In my 30s I was blessed to have the opportunity to once again have horses in my backyard. Unfortunately nothing went as planned. I bought to geldings which was the beginning of my journey into "all the things that can go wrong". Witnessing the tragic death of one and dealing with dangerous behavior of the other, I found myself in a new state of constant anxiety to the point of almost giving up on my dreams entirely.

    I remember the day I said to my husband that perhaps we should sell the farm. My anxiety at that point had threaded its way into all aspects of my life. I couldn't even lead a horse out of the paddock without shaking. I would get up in the middle of the night and search the paddocks with my binoculars to ensure every horse was still there and safe. I just couldn't live this way any more!

    It was decision time. Sell the farm or make things better somehow. I decided to fight for my dream. Thanks to the support of a wonderful husband and a few great mares in my life, I am working my way back to confidence and celebrating every small win along the way.
    I have really enjoyed reading your journey and appreciate your horsemanship. I can't wait to hear more about you and Carmen's progress! :)

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    1. Thank you for this! I totally get the anxiety- I really struggle with it still but am trying to figure out how to manage it.

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  17. Wow. I just finished reading your blog from start to where it is today. I have laughed, I've cried (several times) while reading all of your adventures.
    I don't have a blog yet, but once we move, I plan on documenting things in the way that you have done so.
    It is exciting to read about how far you really have come and more exciting to find out what will happen next.

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  18. I finally finished reading your blog start to where it is now. I've laughed, I've cried (RIP Steele) and have fun reading about your adventures. I plan on setting up a blog once we get moved, until then, not much to write about.
    Congrats on getting to 500!
    Looking forward to reading more.

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  19. I would love to have that mug!! It would be like having a bit of Steele... I still tear up when I think about him. I'm sorry I haven't been reading. I will get caught up. I haven't had time for blogging lately with this new job. Congrats on your 500th post!!!!!!

    My whole story with Chrome is on my blog as you know. He is the first horse I've ever raised from weaning and done all of his training on my own. That's one of the reasons I felt such a connection to you and Steele and it breaks my heart that your journey got cut short.

    I miss you and I promise I'll get caught up soon. I want to know what all you've been up to with Carmen. :)

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