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?