I apologize for not posting in a long time. I’ve been pretty busy.
I started To the Heart of a Mustang because I was inspired to tell the story of one wild mustang’s journey from wild to tame. I had planned on taming and training Aries and then riding him on a long distance ride and making a documentary out of it. The world needs stories like his… showing that older mustangs are not lost causes that should be cast aside… showing that the American wild mustang is a treasure and should be protected and preserved. They truly are symbols of American ideals: freedom, tenacity, and endless horizons.
As time went on, and Aries and I got to know each other, that dream of riding him across the country seemed less and less like a good idea. Although Aries is quite tame and handleable, I’m not sure how much he would have enjoyed riding along the side of highways with tractor trailers wizzing by at 65 MPH…. As that dream faded, another took it’s place. I was given a chance to study horsemanship with one of the finest horseman today…. Manolo Mendez.
But this meant leaving my horses behind and traveling across the world to Australia. Opportunities like that do not come along more than once in a lifetime, so I took it.
I intended to continue posting videos of what I was learning. But two things became apparent to me as I attempted to generate episodes for publication:
Firstly, this is no ordinary education. Manolo’s methodology, philosophy, whatever you want to call it isn’t just a way to train horses. He understands horses in almost every way. He understands how they need to move. He understands how they think and react to the world. He understands how to teach them, what progression of knowledge they need, and how that knowledge will be taken in by them. And oh by the way, alllllll of those things are different for each horse. That isn’t something I can just “learn.” It takes time… and time… and time…. However long I am here for, I know that I still will only have scratched the surface of what is possible to learn from Manolo and from horses.
The learning comes in fits and spurts. It does not fit into a timetable and it cannot be forced. I’ll grind away trying to learn how to lunge a horse so that I get good cadence and rhythm, energetic and effortless strides, and a happy, well balanced horse. And then all of the sudden, I’ll look at a horse one day and see something I had never seen before… like how the back rolls like a wave as the horse moves. Seeing each vertebra roll behind the one before it. It’s plain as day when there is a stiff area. It just sticks out…. But until that day, I had never seen it before.
It’s hard to capture and share that when publishing videos twice a month….
And second, To the Heart of a Mustang is about the heart….. and it’s about the heart of one horse: Aries. Without his heart, my heart is not in it. The information I share about my learning and Manolo’s philosophy is valuable and needs to be shared. And I do intend to continue sharing what I learn, but it will be in leaps of understanding and will likely follow no predictable publishing pattern.
What I love so much about doing this project are the stories I hear of how watching Aries and my journey has helped or effected people. One woman told me she had never been able to get her horse to approach her in the paddock, but after watching Aries and learning about how I figured out how to reach him, she was able to finally develop a bond with her horse. Or the woman who told me she was going through hard times and that the Tuesday episodes of Aries were the highlight of her week. These stories and many, many others have touched my heart so deeply. When I first started, I had no way of knowing how powerful his experiences would be for other people, nor how helpful.
So I have this group of great people who have gathered around this horse and his story… I don’t want to lose this momentum and this group. How can we use Aries, his story, and our shared love of mustangs to help further the cause of ensuring mustangs’ continued survival? I also would love to assist more people with troubles with their horses.
SO help me with some inspiration, folks! I have a few ideas of how I can re-energize both myself and everyone….
First, I’ve been told (several times) that it would be helpful to organize the episodes by topic. This way if someone is looking for inspiration about dealing with hard to catch horses, I can refer them to a series of episodes that deal with that topic.
Second, I will, I will, I will start to write a book about Aries. His story is mostly here for all to see, but there were lots of things, both small and large, that I chose not to include or chose not to go into detail about. Of course, if I put this statement into print….. that means I have to start writing it… lol
I am by no means done…. I still have a passionate need to get Aries’s story out there. It seems to help and inspire so many. So let’s hear some ideas!!!! I’ve got re-packaging and republishing the episodes by category… and starting Aries’s book!!!!
Other ideas??? Let’s have ’em!!!!!
And I do have future plans for the man himself…
When I return to California, I will take up weekly episodes again teaching Aries and Picasso ALLLLLL the wonderful things I learned in Australia! And I hope to also take Aries around to some venues and events where I can give talks about mustangs and people can meet him in the flesh!
And eventually I’ll get another mustang and do this whole circus all over again!