There are two types of horses in the world: Those that are Maven, and those that are not Maven. I’m devoting my first two posts to the former category.
When it comes to Maven, I’m a little bit of an 11-year-old girl who just won a chance to meet the heartthrob of the day in a radio station call-in contest. I’m starstruck, in awe of him. I’m infatuated, I’m giggly and can’t think of what to say around him; I feel extremely special and also somewhat unworthy when he looks at me. I study him. I ponder him. I pine for him. I doodle his name in my notebooks. I am such a fan of him, it's like Beatlemania for my brain. I am dazzled.
I love him like l loved when I was a very young girl, before I’d ever experienced a broken heart.
Be clear: I’m about as far from that young girl as you can imagine. I am a hardened, exhausted, burned out 37-year-old woman. I wake up every morning hours before I’m ready, and I crawl into bed at the end of the day feeling like roadkill. I’m cranky and anxious and frustrated and cynical more often than I wish I were, and I don’t go a day without seriously questioning the most fundamental decisions I’ve made in my life.
That’s the truth.
But then I look out the window, and there is this other truth looking back at me.
I insist that I’m an atheist and I know it makes no sense, but I believe with all of my being that Maven and I were brought together by a shared destiny, that we each hold the key to the other’s greatness. We found each other in the aftermath of tragedy, just weeks after Legend’s terrible death. It took that immense sucker-punch of horror for me to begin the search that led me to Maven. I was out of my mind with sadness when I found him, my truelove having been plucked away from me by a callous Universe. When I saw Maven for the first time, he was bathed in a cone of golden light, beaming straight from a heaven that I do not believe in. Once I saw him, I was done. We could never have escaped each other, Maven and I. We were meant to be.
My hope is that some of this comes across in the photographs that I take of him. I want others to see in him what I see. I’m not proud of this, but it’s true that I sort of judge people based on how appreciative they are of my horse. I respect people who admire him properly, and I’m saddened for anyone who would see him as “merely a horse”. That is like a kind of color blindness, only worse, like instead of green and blue, you can’t tell the difference between a pile of diamonds and a pile of shit. Maven is clearly the most spectacular thing alive, and anyone who doesn’t see that instantly is as pitiful as a prom queen in a shit tiara. All I can do is shake my head and hope that they will one day cultivate themselves sufficiently to behold His Majesty.
This is how I feel about my my horse Maven. I’ve loved horses since I was a little girl, and I’ve been around a lot of them in my life. There isn’t a single horse on the planet that I don’t think is spectacular. But I’ve never met a horse that gives me such a thrill just to stand next to.
You might be wondering what it’s like to try to train a horse who is the tangible incarnation of your most fantastical girlhood imaginings - a veritable Unicorn who is made of magic and muse, who turns your legs to jelly and leaves you stammering like you've just been caught shoplifting a pack of Skittles. In Part Two, I’ll get into it.