If someone would have said I would be living with Mustangs on a 5000 acre ranch in an RV...I would have thought they were crazy. 15 years ago, we didn't have horses as much as even be living in a region where there are wild horses. But the destination is as important as the 'journey'. This started several years ago as we made our eventual dream 'move' to the west, after a series of events, meetings and such the story began to unfold unbeknowest to myself, and to my husband.
But here we have landed this week, with a studio shed before us, and in a 30' RV on just under 5000 acres in the midst of 120 or so wild mustangs. Even as I type this morning, they are making their way outside the front of the compound. Many of you reading this will say 'it's a dream come true'...for me, its more about 'me' coming 'truly alive' to what my purpose and passions entail. The little girl within, has bloomed to become the painter, mustang advocate and woman that was being culitvated all along.
We can push and press to make our way all our life and never really hit the target, thinking we know whats the best path for ourselves...or we can learn to rest in who we are and what we love, moving forward one step and a time and trusting that destiny in the hands of the 'Divine' One will move us closer to who we are within.
And so begins, another journey...We will nest here and make ourselves useful on the ranch and for the mustangs. This will be my new 'painting' ground and the 'hub' for the Mustang Mansion while the tour slows over the winter season.
Living with the mustangs will afford me the luxury of learning them, their charachter, structure and more, to educate me to become a greater advocate and voice for those few who remain in the wild on our public lands. Living with the mustangs will affor me the luxury of studying body movement and perfecting my painting skills to produce greater works that reflect thier beauty and incredible contribution to our nation and culture.
Living with the mustangs...winter ahead...alot of work to do here at the ranch. My husband will be helping with some of the daily maintance and repairs that are a nonstopissue here,
I extend the invitation for you, come...stay for awhile...bunk in the Mustang Mansion, take a tour...soak in the beauty, listen to the thunder of the hooves as the mustangs pound across the range, put your muscle and mind to good work as you volunteer here at the ranch...there will never be a lack of work here thats for certain.
Time to busy this morning as I have some fenceing to run, and then later...
you will find me 'Running with the Horses'...
And so...I am learning so much new stuff! Haha, the snowfall here in northern New Mexico has been gorgeous with several inches each time we get new snow, it makes for blanketing the landscape with crisp whites and tender blue hues bouncing off the reflection of the sky. The 'mud' on the other hand, well...lets just say, living in various locations from east to west, I do not think I have ever seen mud like the mud of northern New Mexico. It is no wonder that 'adobe' brick is the choice of ancient and present building composite here in the area. Mix in a little straw under boot and let it dry and you have a concrete sole that only a carving knife has the capability of removing, lol. So, yes...I embrace the beauty of the snow, loving the hardness of the ground it affords!
We have retreated to Rv living for a 6 month stint in the Carolina's...but it was in the summer and fall...quiet different then what we are experiencing here in the bowels of winter! I am learning much about my own tolerances and growth, as are our horses. Being without running water for 4 months now stretches your capacities in more ways than one can imagine! I have developed quiet a technique in 'spit-bathing' that if one could put a patent on it, I could probably make enough money to tour for the next several seasons! Learning to navigate in the mud is a skill that is developed over practice and time...I am still learning that one, but I do believe that by summers end I will have shapely calves as the extra 10 pounds that adheres to the underside of your boot is much like leg weights during a work out! All in humor, I am learning to laugh at these modern conveniences that we so take for granted on a daily basis.
Watching our domestics has been as much fun as well, they are learning the dynamics of being in a small band with a stallion, who is very tolerant to thier lack of education around these things. I watch our 4 year old filly, Belle, as she continually tries her 'independance' routine with the little half pint mustang stallion...she keeps him on his toes as he is constantly 'telling' her to stay with the band...she prefers to operate independantly thinking she is the lead mare...it is humorous to watch the banterings and interaction betweent them. And the mud...well that just brings a bit more humor as well as they move much slower sliding from time to time if the pace is too quick...their hooves pack up on the top with heaps of mud causing them to lift thier feet with exaggerated effort in hopes to loose the mud.
Spring is not far off, with nearing the end of February, one would anticipate the sightings of springs arrival with new growth popping up out of the ground and the meltdown of snowfall increasing. I have always loved the new 'birth' of springs arrival, we'll see how that affection fares this season with the mud of New Mexico mixed in with its drama! I am watching the birds as they flit from branch to branch picking the pinons and sage with snow beneath, watching the mustangs forage pawing the snow to reveal the tender grasses below the surface, all is quiet as fresh snowfall makes its way to the ground.
Yesterday we had 'snow thunder', as I watched Bailador Viento 'hearing' this for the first time, jumping and trotting trying to escape its threats, after an hour or so, he became more rested in its rumbles above. Clinging close to mama's side for assurance the sky wasn't coming down to eat him up.
The beauty here does outwiegh the inconveniences of modern living, and the stresses and tensions that come with the lack of it. The serenity and the peace of sitting and drinking it all in surpasses any therapuetic session you could pay good money for! There is something healing and reviving when we 'reconnect' ourselves to the earth. Last night as I sat in the studio, lights off and fire burning, a heavy snowcloud cover came through and settled low to the ground all across the ranch, limiting visibility and creating a soft glow as the moon was trying hard to shine through...it was beautiful to see the ghostly images of mustangs in the shadows.
The sunsets, the glows of winters glory on the Brazos, the songs of the coyotes, the nickers of wild horses in the horizon...
So, mud come...bring your squeeshy mucky mess...my muck boots are ready.