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You know who you are.  Anyone who loves horses.

Let me formally introduce myself.  I am MaryK, a musician who also loves horses.  Some of my songs have horses in them, but just a few.  I write music in the Celtic Bardic tradition, much topical, many historical stories that need to be remembered, sometimes political satire. I actually have a Master's degree in Humanities: Bardic Storytelling (Prescott College 2008) which really gives me some creds as a songwriter but not a job.

Meanwhile, horses run through my life.  The grey mare I'm riding in my avatar is a 23-year-old Crabbet Arabian, who at age 7 was the Open Reining Champion at the Texas State Fair.  Her life went to hell when (the former owner told me) a woman came down from the stands and offered a blank check. "Do you want to ride her?" the owner asked her. "Oh, no, I've seen YOU ride her and I'm sure that she's just fine." Obviously the mare wasn't, because she learned all sorts of avoidance techniques and became the Intolerant Bitch.  With good reason...  I found her last year for sale on Craigslist Dallas, in a stable that a lot of beginners went to.  The mare, not having forgotten a thing she'd learned (and I discovered that she really enjoys Hunter over Fences as well), does not like bad riders.  Pull on her mouth wrong and her nose goes straight up. Lean back too far and she starts running backwards.  Press her with your leg more on one side and she spins.  I learned how to work through all these things and she hated me until I did.  It was months before I could canter (that's what we're doing in the photo).  The mare is a schoolmaster.

Meanwhile, I bought her to learn from because I'd flunked my riding test for taking the Instructor's Course at Equest, the biggest therapeutic riding barn in the Dallas area, where I'd been volunteering.  I've still done nearly everything to become a PATH International Registered Instructor except that same riding test, and another one with me teaching in the arena.  That will happen in Scottsdale at the end of next month.

So there's the goal: becoming a teacher of horsemanship for riders with special needs.  Here's the problem: in order to keep working towards my goal, I came back to Arizona in June to do my 25 student-teaching hours at a lovely facility near Prescott.  And I'm living on my son's couch in Show Low.

Now here's the hangup: My two therapy horses (I also have a 22-year-old Arabian gelding that was a stallion until age 20) are a thousand miles east; so is all my professional musical equipment (people are asking me to play bass for them like I used to but all I have with me is my one-owner 1973 Guild red dreadnaught).  My Social Security, which just started last month, is $520/month.  How can I afford to go get my stuff?  The divorce will take care of itself, I'm sure, thanks to Legal Aid, and because I made it one week past our tenth anniversary, once that is final my SS will go up.  Looking for a horse property caretake situation here in the White Mountains, as well as a job as an Instructor.

But in the meanwhile, I'm telling my story here and asking if anyone wants to be a part of creating a happy ending?

Originally posted to marykmusic on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Rebel Songwriters.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

    by marykmusic on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:50:40 AM PDT

  •  Good luck on getting your PATH certification n/t (4+ / 0-)

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:26:34 PM PDT

  •  Mary - welcome to DKOS (5+ / 0-)

    We have a small group of horse lovers here. Both of my  two daughters were very active as hunters and competed from the time they were seven or eight through high school. At one time we had five horses. One of my daughters also had the good fortune to attend a college where hunt seat was a varsity sport and competed all through college leading her team, as captain, to two top five finishes at the ISHA National Championships.

    I am a Western trail rider and have done lots of riding in the Rockies and five cattle roundups.

    I don't currently have a horse, but I love them!!

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:30:56 PM PDT

    •  Very nice (5+ / 0-)

      I too am a horse person. I would love to try working cattle some day.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:34:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rounding up and driving cattle (6+ / 0-)

        is easy for people with good horse skills and it is very different from cutting which requires a very different level of training for horse and rider.

        The place where I have done my roundups is a dude ranch in Colorado where they have grazing rights on 10,000 acres. The goal every Spring is to go, in small groups, and find the cattle and bring them back to the ranch. Once all the cattle are located they are moved to a lower elevation for the winter. Some days you don't find any and some days you can find a lot. I had one day when they loaded up six of us, and our horses, and drove us 20 miles to the far end of the grazing rights. We then walked a beautiful 20 miles back to the ranch, and never saw one cow or calf. The most I ever found was a small herd of 60, and on the wrong side of the South Platte River from the ranch, at about 4pm in the afternoon. Bringing them across the river and driving them the ten miles to the ranch is a wonderful, and very funny, story.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:01:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Elfling (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling

        Be careful what you ask for, you might get it. Working cows can be hot, dirty, dangerous and definitely tiring. I haven't done it for thirty years, and I still miss it.

        To my eyes, there's nothing like the smell of a sweaty horse.

        •  As far as I'm concerned (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kit RMP

          there's not much worth doing in horses that isn't hot, dirty, and tiring. :-)

          But it's worth it.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:37:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yay! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling, Kit RMP

            Lookie those helmets!

            You don't need one until you need it really badly, but who wakes up in the morning and says, "I think I'll fall off my horse today and hurt my head."  I certainly didn't plan on falling 2 1/2 years ago, but did after putting my helmet every time for five years.  It got a crack in it all the way from the neck up to the open holes on top.  That would have been my skull.

            And having to wear those pesky helmets isn't cutting into these people's fun, is it?

            Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

            by marykmusic on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:01:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Go find a therapeutic riding facility near you (5+ / 0-)

      Volunteer!  It's one of the best things I can recommend for people who have had experience with horses but don't own them.  And working with Special Needs riders is simply amazing!

      Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

      by marykmusic on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:29:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The outside of a horse, (4+ / 0-)

    is good for the inside of a person.  Welcome.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:03:21 PM PDT

  •  Hi, marykmusic, (2+ / 0-)

    Great diary.

    Saw it in the queue at Rebel Songwriters so pub'd it to the group.

    BTW, you are an editor of that group so you are most welcome to repub to that group, or to write from that group if you like.

    We don't have any heavy handed rules over there. Your diary mentioned music, songs, songwriting, and songs about horses. Close enuf for Rebel Songwriters.

    Great first diary. Welcome to Daily Kos.

    I also love horses. We had a great big work horse on our farm when I was a kid. We rode her bareback with just a bridle, no bit in the mouth. She was very gentle with the little kids. Sweet memories.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:50:25 PM PDT

    •  My first Master's thesis... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, Kit RMP

      ...connected the Celtic Bardic Tradition with modern-day protest music, heavy on the Woody Guthrie, of course.  I knew as soon as I saw the Rebel Songwriters group that I belonged there.

      Someday I'll rewrite that thesis into book form.  

      Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

      by marykmusic on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:59:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  She's quite the lady. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kit RMP

      allbreedpedigree.com has her under her registered name, Beaus Anne. Beausy is the name she comes to.  Early American import breeding.  My other horse, Mikey, is listed under GDE Tsyndari.

      Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

      by marykmusic on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:53:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wish I was driving east. There are sites where you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling

    can post blurbs looking for empty stalls in trailers going wherever. Haven't used them lately, so not sure where to send you right off. Chronicle of the Horse may have something, they're east coast based.

    Best of luck, Crabbets are the best! My first stallion was a Bay Abi grandson, and a sweeter horse you've never met. He loved attention and we did occasional work with the elderly and disabled. He was so careful and gentle with them. He knew.

    Wish I could figure out how to post images from the Image Library in comments. I can get them in diaries, but... ::sigh::

    Welcome and hope you get your babies home soon.

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
    ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

    by FarWestGirl on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:24:29 PM PDT

  •  Update: Too late (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kit RMP

    My soon-to-be ex-husband informed me this evening that he got rid of my horses...  I need big slobbery puppy kisses right now and a lap full of purr...  

    Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

    by marykmusic on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:12:20 PM PDT

    •  Ouch! (0+ / 0-)

      I read your dairy and the entire thread of responses, and I'm so sorry about your horses! I had a horse, briefly, when I was married to my 3rd husband. He was a Registered Quarter Horse, a gelding, who had been used in rodeo, and was too much horse for novice rider me. I SO wish I'd known what I was doing so I could have truly appreciated and enjoyed him! I called him "Hambone," because he was one of those horses that, when people came up to the fence and the others all walked away, he would come up to you instead. He went away when the marriage did, and I wouldn't have had the resources to deal with him anyway.

      I have a sister living in Prescott, who has recently gone through a nasty divorce. She works as a mental health therapist there, and she might be a good person for you to talk to, in a lot of ways. If you're interested in connecting, PM me and I'll give you contact information, and her, a head's up about you.

      Hugs, and best of luck with everything!

      {{{{{{{{{{marykmusic}}}}}}}}}}

      What I want to know is, who's going to pay for these crimes against humanity that those b@st@rds are perpetrating against the rest of us?

      by Kit RMP on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:05:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Prescott is 200 miles away... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kit RMP

        ...through the mountains.  I know because all summer I drove back and forth to get my student teaching hours done.

        I have a good support group here, friends of decades-long standing, my daughter and son.  And tomorrow I've been invited to go riding on someone else's horses.  That will be the ultimate therapy session for me.

        Thanks for your offer.

        Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

        by marykmusic on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:04:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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