Billings: Letting loose of head full of ideas
In an effort to clean house, I was perusing my book shelves to see what I can donate to the school or library. On the shelf where all my big art books are, most of which I inherited from my father, was a book entitled “Silhoutte 1000.” I naturally assumed that it was about silhouettes and I thought, “Hmm, that would make an interesting metaphor for life.” So I pulled it from the shelf and discovered that it wasn’t that at all. It was my mother’s college yearbook from 1969, when after my brother and I were out of the house, she went back to college to get her accounting degree. So you can imagine what road that book took me down. Mom graduated from college two years after I did.
The year was 1969. I was 23 years old. The end of the sixties, the volatile decade, that in retrospect was a very rich one indeed. In that yearbook is a quote from Bob Dylan, from his song, “Maggie’s Farm.” “I’ve got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane.” Ain’t that the truth…And I’m sure they were driving him insane. Whether you like Dylan’s poetry/music or not, he certainly stirred the pot. And after five decades, he is still at it.
Fast forward to 2013. So here we are. Is your head full of ideas—some that you haven’t realized yet? I would think that each one of us has a few. I know I do. My head is full of ideas, projects and things that need to be done on my property. All of them usually revolve around the horses. And speaking of horses…
Liberty is home. After three and a half months of training in Delta, she is home. Been home a couple of weeks. And in that time, I have ridden her in the round pen…walked her down the driveway and around and up the other side….she has seen all kinds of vehicles and some with dogs in them….but she is always grateful to walk up the driveway to her pen area—or is it me who is grateful?
When I started out in the horse business years ago, I had always wanted to adopt a wild mustang. Always had that idea, however crazy some might think it. And then, almost two years ago, that idea came to fruition when I adopted Liberty.
The last month that Libby was in training, I went out there three times a week to ride her. I started out gradually with her. So there I was in the round pen at Uncle Dave’s, first time getting on her in saddle. Well, I wasn’t fully seated and my right foot wasn’t in the stirrup. The last thing I remember is hitting my head on the rail. Yes, I was on the ground. It happened so fast. Surprised me, you might say. So that was my first ride in saddle. Good thing I was wearing a helmet. (You parents take note for your kids.) After I dusted myself off and dusted my ego off, it was back again for another try. I was reminded that I chose to ride a four-year old formerly wild mustang.
She is a changed girl with greater confidence. The transformation is wonderful to see. I did eventually ride her out on the trail and in the river. Now she is home and we must continue her education here…adjusting to being home again and finding interesting places to ride.
When I think it is almost two years that Libby was rounded up. Two years almost from “running free.” Two years from living with many bands of horses to now living in the human world with just one band—the Thunder Heart Haven band.
So from a crazy idea of adopting a wild mustang, here we are. Growing together, learning together, learning to be a team. I think we are that already. My goal—riding her in the mountains….or even around town. I used to ride Thunder, my older mustang, in town occasionally. He is retired now and enjoying a quiet life, and Liberty has been passed the mantle.
Life is about the journey, learning and growing….growing with friends and family…in this case, all my horses including youngster, Liberty.
So if you still have some crazy ideas that you haven’t tried, go ahead…there’s still time….lots of time. 'Cause I truly believe, you don’t want to leave this planet with those ideas still in your head. Be daring! Be crazy! Be you!
Alice Billings is a resident of Ridgway, Colorado, a painter, an artist, an author and friend to animals everywhere.