How I Became An Editor

Here’s how I became a kamikaze pilot  an editor without really trying.

As you know, I wrote for the fall/winter issue of the American Trakehner Magazine. Afterwards I was asked to be the issue  editor for the spring issue.

I said sure, why not. As I assumed (and this is where I should have double checked) that I would just be editing all of the material. I didn’t realize I was going to be responsible for the whole magazine and curating all of its content. That was, until two days ago. Oops.

I think I need a redo.

I shouldn’t have assumed that I was going to be handed the articles. Of course, multiple people sent me ideas (that I should write) but a magazine is supposed to have multiple authors. So, I said great idea and thought that they would write the articles. Imagine my surprise when I contacted them and they pretty much said “Well, I gave you the idea but I don’t have the time to write the articles. Good luck.”

Wait a minute-  you think I’m not busy?

That is the most frustrating thing about the writing world and life in general (and I’m guilty of this too)- we all have great ideas but we don’t want to take the time to follow through with those ideas. We don’t want to get our hands dirty. Oops. I guess I expected people to take responsibility and to help develop and further the Trakehner breed.

My mistake.

This morning, before I took my medication for my narcolepsy, I was fuming. I pretty much wrote out several nasty articles in my head and I had every intention of putting those thoughts down on paper. Except, I stopped and realized one thing.

I’m younger than most of the American Trakehner Members. I don’t think they realize what that means. If they don’t pull in more young blood, the breed will die and/or it will be absorbed by other associations. However, I won’t let that happen. If I have to, I will bide my time. I will breed high quality horses and I will develop my ideas and one day I will be in a position where I can “take the reins” of the association.

Do I want to do that? Do I want to be on the outside until there is no one left? No, I don’t. I want to learn from the veteran breeders but they need to realize that they need to teach; not assume that the newbies know what it takes to be Trakehner breeders (because I know absolutely nothing). With all of the technology at our hands it is the easiest it’s ever been to teach others. We can do webinars and send powerpoints; we can do virtual conferences and online classes. You name it and we can do it; notice I say “we” not “I” because supporting and developing a breed requires the help of hundreds (if not thousands) of people.

I bought my first Trakehner seven years ago and I became a lifetime member because I knew I wanted to be a breeder; I wanted to help further promote and develop the breed. Yep, I bred for my first foal not really knowing what I needed to do as a Trakehner breeder (like make sure I got a breeding certificate from the stallion owner). It’s funny because this correlates to how I became an editor for the American Trakehner Magazine without realizing it.

I wrote a couple of articles for the last magazine. It didn’t take long and I figured why not write some more. I agreed to being an issue editor even though I’ve only ever done peer to peer editing. *face palm*

I have a week to put together the magazine. I downloaded InDesign and I’m going to teach myself how to use it. Oh, and I picked the perfect time to have this catastrophe because I also start my brand new job tomorrow. This job is the gateway to becoming who I want to be. Bring on the ill advised energy drinks. 

I’ll see you on the other side. 

As a side note- if you search for Trakehner/American Trakehner two blogs show up (and one of them is mine). Seriously, Trakehner people, where is our online presence? We have this amazing breed and we aren’t talking about it. How do you expect people to learn about the breed if we aren’t being obnoxious and promoting the hell out of the breed?

American Trakehner Brand

American Trakehner Brand

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To Dream is to be Divine.

Who are you?

No, seriously, when you look in the mirror who do you see? It is a question I ask myself every day.

Why am I who I am? What choices led me to be this person? Do I still want to be that person?

I write for the American Trakehner Association. I decided to write for them on a whim and sometimes I wonder if I jumped the gun. Truly, I have too much going on for me to volunteer to write for an organization I want to be a part of. There are days when I scratch my head and wonder why on earth I have horses. I must be insane. What is a girl like me doing dreaming such big dreams? I must be delusional; I should be committed.

When I think those things, I forget how brave I am to be going down this road. I’ve risked a lot. I’ve gambled my health, my hopes and sometimes, my sanity.

At this point in time I tell myself I’ll be happy if I can have my horses in my backyard. After all, I have a handicap (I have a incurable lifelong disease- narcolepsy) and my doctors have suggested I take a break from horses. I’ve written about this before but I want to write briefly about it again because this time I almost believed what my doctors told me. This time, I almost believed the whispers that say I shouldn’t dream nor should I hope to be a competitive rider because I haven’t got what it takes.

So maybe, I don’t have the things I need to be a competitive rider tomorrow, but I do have everything I need to be successful in the long run. I bred for an amazing filly that catches the eye of everyone person that meets her.  I forget how gorgeous she is because I’ve had her since day one. I’ve taken my horses for granted because day after day I shovel their poop and I feed them their food and I ache at night from the chores I do.

It’s a bit silly because I have this lovely horse (Julie) who is a dream to ride and I just say “eh, no thanks, not today.” I forget how many people would love to have the opportunity to ride a horse of her quality and training.

I also forget how much I have accomplished with how little I have. I look around me and I see people who have to sell their horses or starve their horses or have to give up riding because they can’t afford it. I’ve been stubborn enough to keep my horses when most other people would fold. This past week I almost caved. I threw a hissy fit because I was frustrated and certain all of my hard work was for nothing.

I stayed the course though and I’m still here. Things are (for the moment) looking up. I even have this little flame in my mind- I want to breed Julie again. I won’t (although, if the funds were there I would), not until my debts are paid and I am financially sound. In fact, I am using breeding Julie as a carrot to force myself to become financially sound. When I get my debts paid off and I have plenty of savings I will breed Julie- as long as she is physically fit and healthy. I love raising babies and I love how fast they grow. I love how inquisitive they are. The next time I breed, I intend to savor each day I get to watch the foal grow up. I intend to be more aware of the pitfalls I befell the first time around. The next time around I will make sure I plan and then plan again.

On Monday, I start a new job; a new career. One that has the capacity to support my horsey habits and then some. The past ten years (yes, it’s been a long time) have been a journey to discover who I am and what drives me. As a horse person that means that I had to figure out that I do not want to own a commercial horse farm nor do I want to spend hours teaching lessons. I figured out I’d rather have a private facility where I breed Trakehners to help better the breed; not to line my pockets.

As I’ve written before- I know that there will be more traps and more times where I despair. I just hope that every time I feel like I should give up; I  stop and remind myself of all I have accomplished and all I will accomplish. So, I won’t get everything tomorrow- I will get everything I dream of (and sometimes more than I dreamed of) by just being me and by remembering that I am lucky to have what I have.

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Big, Ugly Frogs

Dressage for Mere Mortals

In Japan there’s a saying that goes like this: “Eat your biggest, ugliest frog first.”

I love this phrase, which I take to mean, “Tackle your largest problems before anything else.” When it comes to riding, transitions are the biggest, ugliest frogs in my itinerary. Nothing else shows off flaws more quickly, other than falling off.

In the spirit of eating that big, ugly frog, I asked Natalie (as in Natalie Perry Dressage) if we could tackle transitions in today’s lesson. Natalie’s always up for a challenge and was happy to help.

Transitions are all about preparation and part of that preparation is the half-halt. While I use half-halts somewhat intuitively in the trot, in the excitement of the canter, they’re sporadic.

My thought was to work on the the half-halt in the trot to lengthen and shorten the gait. Then, with the cues imbedded in my brain, work on…

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Trakehner Troubles

It’s Wednesday but I keep thinking it is Tuesday. My mind is running in about ten different directions. I’m sure you know the feeling. I’m sure you also know how stressful change can be. Yes, change it is our life blood but it is also the thing we dread the most.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. I got rid of my clunker truck and now have a shiny, almost new car. I feel like a big girl. It’s the perfect car to go with my new job. It’s a big girl job where I work in an office but I’ll still be immersed in the horse world. Sorry, you can’t get rid of me that easily. 

All of these are positive changes, but at this moment in time I am freaking out because I am a perfectionist and things aren’t going as smoothly as they should be. I feel a bit like this horse:

Look at me I’m hot stuff and then, yep, completely knock myself out.

I just don’t know what I am doing. Am I being hard headed by keeping my horses? Would they be better off with someone else? I mean I don’t have the time or energy for them and today is one of those days where I am questioning my dreams (you guessed it- I can’t pay my bills). Such is the life of a horse addicted, college educated woman. Or maybe, I’m just crazy.

Check back because I’ll be posting updated photos of my girls soon.

Here’s an aside- I am stressed because I have no hay for my horses and I can’t pay their board. They need more shavings and I don’t get paid until Friday but that paycheck is already gone because I need to pay the other half of my down payment on my car. So I bought scratch tickets with my last few dollars and well, my luck held and I lost that money. It’s days like today that I wonder why I try. It’s days like today that I wish I had someone walking this path with me. It’s stressful being alone because at the end of the day. All you have is you.