| December 8, 2008 8:38 pm

Did you ever wake up and realize that something in your life was missing something … something important? About six months ago, I did.

This is really quite odd because by all of the metrics that “matter,” I was doing very well. I had a good job, I was making good money, and I was just coming off of a series of scientific publications in major journals. But … that’s about all I had to show for my time and energies.

There was a time (more than a decade, actually) when my life revolved around one primary interest: horses. I woke up thinking about horses and went to sleep thinking about horses. I made my living on the back of a horse, and wrote (rather prolific volumes) about horses. It was a good life, and I was happy.

Then, education happened and “Real Life” started to happen and I was forced to put away some of the activities, causes and passions of my youth. Unfortunately, this also included horses. While I never stopped riding, I spent all of my thinking about other things, and going to sleep with yet other unspecified worries. I made my living by using my mind and education and wrote (rather prolific volumes) about science, medicine, and other related things. It was a hectic life, and I was busy.

And then, some Things happened and I started to look at what I had gained versus what I had lost. The balance came back negative and I started thinking. Thinking, of course morphed into digging, and I pulled out some old notebooks. Some of these notebooks included thoughts about horses, drawings about horses, and stories about horses. I even dug out an atrociously pretentious book about horse training (which has, mercifully, vanished into the ether of cyberspace). I then sat down and started reading. While doing so, I realized that I really missed horses. To be more precise, I missed horse culture.

When I lived and slept horses, though, I didn’t live in the “standard” horse culture. I was rather lucky. I didn’t spend much time worrying about horse shows, competitions or other such things. Rather, I got to meet people who could have easily walked out of the 19th century (and some who actually did). I experienced a rather “special” horse culture rooted in the West and land which was slowly passing into memory and history.

Its celebrities were old and a bit long in the tooth a decade ago, and now most of them are gone. Yet while the men and women are starting to fade, they have left a powerful legacy. Many of their thoughts, insights, sayings, music, and beliefs have taken root in the present … and others … have not.

So, while I read these notes, thoughts and stories, I realized that other people might want to read some of them as well. While I will probably never hang out my shingle again and make my living by the back of a horse, that isn’t what I have missed the most. Rather, I missed the talk, teach, and instruct parts of horsemanship. While it was fun to travel, ride and train; it was more fun to watch people get better with their horses and another culture. I felt a bit like a consultant actually, a consulting detective if you will, who got to visit and share. It was a role I rather quite liked. I also realized that it was what I was missing: my identity as a consulting horseman.

So, I’m going to post some of what I’ve learned here and recreate some of the core bits. I’ll probably write a little bit about training, a bit about horse care, and a bit about how I think horses should be raised and started. I will probably post poems, songs and pictures (both mine and some of those in my collection). I will even probably post things about tack and leather braiding. Some of it will likely be of interest, a lot it might not be. But that’s okay, just take what you like and leave the rest. If you find something interesting, though; please let me know, either in the comments or via e-mail.

So, I open this little section of my blog with a traditional line: Welcome and Howdy.


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