We bought our first horse six years ago, partly because I’d always wanted one and partly because we’d just bought a home with enough land to make it feasible. Over time, one horse turned into two horses turned into three horses, each one filling a unique role. The oldest is a been-there-done-that kind of guy who can handle the greenest of riders without hesitation. The youngest is loyal and friendly, the kind of girl who is unfailingly first to meet you at the fence. She's not the most reliable under saddle yet, but she has serious promise so we keep her. Henry is the newest of the bunch, my last ditch effort to find a dream horse; patient, calm, pliable. Despite a history of abuse he has never once failed me, regardless of the situation, and over the past year has become everything I dreamed of and more
All that is to say the horse barn has become a place of Zen for me—a spot where I don’t have to think, only be. My husband knows this, urging me out there whenever he senses my need to refocus, reflect, or generally get my shit together. The beauty is that the horses don’t care either way. They don’t care if I’ve met my daily goals, failed miserably, written a perfect passage, or just discovered my book has already been written.
With this in mind, I headed to the barn, hoping to forget I'd just finished reading the exact book I'd always planned to write. Forget someone else had beat me to it. Within minutes their presence started working and I forgot to feel bad. A half hour later, I wondered—what if I wrote the book from a different perspective? Then—what if narrowed the focus to a single topic? Now we were cooking!
What happened over the course of the next hour was a major refocusing of this entire project. Advice I had been given just days before, to more clearly define my purpose, had come about in a way I never expected.
It seems I needed to hit a wall before I could find my way around it.