Thursday, November 5, 2015

A New Birth of Freedom

My life is changing--radically. Tuesday our team of Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney (called district or state's attorney in many other states) were returned to office by landslides. Aside from meaning that I am still employed, the end of a campaign brings relief that only those who have been through one can understand. Jen and Elise are moved into the Little House and I will no longer spend hours each day feeding, watering, checking fence etc. Rebecca is back in Virginia and will be as important to our operation as she was years ago.

It is highly likely that the horse lot, as participation continues to grow, will be much less of a financial drain on me than it has been in years past. I have a team of adults that I can absolutely rely on.

We now have, without a doubt, a sufficient number of pure Colonial Spanish horses to be a viable foundation stock for a robust Corolla offsite breeding program. The settler's farm is nearly completed. Our Mill Swamp indian Horses group facebook page is booming.

And, to my intense surprise, I am going to New jersey in the morning and I do not have a deep sense of dread and foreboding. Aside from the fact that I have a visceral hatred of travel, I have never been able to relax that far away from the horse lot--never could be sure that they were all ok.

And I am going to New Jersey with a very special purpose. I am going to be in my first endurance race. I won't be alone. We are carrying two Choctaws, a Banker from Shackleford, and a blm/ssma cross. We will stand out in the crowd--both because we are riding mustangs and because we will not be loaded up with endurance racing accouterments--ponchos, boots, our regular saddles and we shall see how things go.

And we are going to push the limits on every aspect of our program. I will write much more--likely another book.

I will be free to dedicate the rest of my life to something that matters to me, encouraging the development of more programs like ours all over the country. That will mean more clinics, more writing, more videos....and more hate mail from denizens of the established horse world.

(I hope that they go easy on me. After all, I am such a delicate and sensitive little thing.)


Unknown said...

It has been an interesting year...come next April I will have been at Mill Swamp for four years. Seems like snowy February morning we showed up with an appointment to look the place over...I left covered in pig poop...which is not really standard issue for an ititial appointment..folks were loading pigs and I am not shy.
Deal was...parents ride with kids. Cool...I will ride one of the slow dumb ones and follow the girls around..
That did not last long.
I am amazed at what I have been taught, and what I have learned.
I am truly amazed at what a great pleasure it is to teach others those things. Very little in life has been more rewarding.
Watching Mill Swamp grow, watching many other people embrace things as we do them in the world outside the fences is a great thing. There are many horses and people who are better off today, as a result. We keep adding and doing new things..I doubt that will change.

What is very unlikely to change are the core things which make this little farm so unique...our core beliefs in natural horse care; gentle, easy training; and that almost anyone can become an accomplished horseman with a little effort; the fact that it need not cost an arm and a leg to be involved with or own horses; and the fact that the industries surrounding American horse culture offer a whole lot of unnecessary garbage designed to separated the unwary from their money. (Caveat Emptor Equus)
This short list separates us from alot of garbage.
(Ask me about using a harsher bit on a horse...I dare you.)
It has been a great year here....people have grown, horses have gotten better, the herd has expanded and become much more diverse, new programs have come about which have expanded our ability to reach people enormously. I believe our living history and horsemanship demos are going to grow and expand and become very very popular.
I am mulling over the concept of taking that show least in some fashion. (Steve I have not brought it up yet..because I am still arguing with myself about it....I have an idea tho...)
It is neat to be in the middle of the best thing to ever happen to you...and realize that it is getting better...

Anonymous said...

Contratulations to you ALL! I'm so glad to hear that you are making such great progress in educating people (& horses). I will be thinking good thoughts on Steve's trip to NJ & hoping he and the native horses will show exactly how great they are!