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May 27, 2013: Field of Dreams

W.P. Kinsella wrote a book called Shoeless Joe. It’s about an Iowa corn farmer who hears voices that tell him to build a baseball field. He does, and the Chicago Black Sox come and play there. This wonderful book was turned into a movie entitled Field of Dreams. The common refrain in both the movie and the book is “build it, and they will come.”

This morning, as I was sweeping the front mats in the horse enclosure, this line came back to mind and made me smile. I, of course, immediately made a comparison to our place.

Build it, and they will come. Nine years ago, my desire to own a horse inexplicably resurfaced. It was so very strange – I had suppressed it for quite well. Agility lessons in a horse arena in Butte, Montana brought my desire to the forefront of my consciousness. I fought it, because I really enjoyed learning as much as I could about dog training. This also involved doing a great deal of reading on the subject. The horse interest – I just didn’t have the time. Or so I thought. Slowly, ever so slowly, the horse interest supplanted the dog interest.

We moved here ten years ago. I then decided that I badly wanted to be a part of a horse community. I then began a quest to acquire this while working at Bill and Katie Long’s Moose Creek Ranch. I became the invisible pen cleaner – the one who kept he quarters of the dressage and show jumpers clean. No one then took any notice of me. The horses’ owners all eventually relocated to the Sindorf Center. And, because it’s the nature of the big horse beast, they still don’t take any notice of me. No matter. I now have horses, a community of like-minded friends, and a horse facility of my very own.

We named the place Squalor Holler. Pete and I built it, and they have come. This year Victoria and Andi and Dustani, Vickie and Hunar, Heather and Rio, Bill and Kaylene (and their horses) Marj and Delilah, and Dick and Mariann and Karmen and Kohlfaxi have all spent time here, doing little other than riding and talking horse.

Visits are always uneventful. This is not at all coincidental. The place is tidy, and the pens are always clean. We have a hitching post area, and now three tie rings on the trailer. We provide hay and water. If need be, we assist with grooming and tacking up. And we go for road and trail rides of indeterminate length.

Shoeless Joe’s model was most likely Wrigley Field. Mine is the Icelandic Horse Farm (www.icelandichorsefarm.com). The place is a larger version of ours. It’s well designed, and well run. It has ambiance. It’s a place where people feel comfortable. They know that Icelandic horses like to travel en masse, so everyone goes out in groups. The philosophy there (like here) is that horses should be treated in a kind and thoughtful manner.

Last night I glanced at photos that Pete took yesterday, of us with Victoria and Dustani and Andi. And right then it dawned upon me that I really am living my dream, as did Shoeless Joe. It sometimes feels like waking up in the midst of a good dream and then going back to sleep and resuming the same good dream.

This is not to say that I don’t have any more aspirations. After all, having aspirations is a part of being human. My wish list is long, and I think obtainable. I’d like to somehow acquire more space for the horses. I’d also like to have access to a trainer who understands and respects the mindset of Icelandic horses. (Wow – it’s taken me a number of years to articulate this statement. This is why I’ve been so reluctant to take Raudi to lessons locally.) And I’d like to find and purchase a small trailer—one that I can pull with the Tundra. As Pete noted yesterday, it would have to have brakes. This way, I could go and visit friends.

I should add that I’m happy almost to the point of being delirious about what I have. But it’s okay that my own personal field of dreams is still evolving.

Next: 148: 5/28/13: Coming out of the Dark