Category Horse Girl

2023 in snippets

Here it is, another last-minute roundup of things that I was doing this year or that were happening when I wasn’t publishing here, which was essentially the entire year minus two days, including this one. 

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear passed away at the end of June.

In April, he began seizing on our walks in front of a neighbor’s house, always in front of that specific house. I leapt to the frighteningly dysregulated conclusion that these neighbors were doing something to trigger his seizures (which were otherwise well-managed with medication)–that they had some kind of anti-dog sonic device or were spraying a chemical on or near the sidewalk or something that was hurting my boy, and I was ready to fight them immediately. It was significantly easier to get angry and feel like it was a situation I could control than acknowledge that his time with us was coming to an end. Yes, our walks were more often ending with us needing to carry him the rest of the way home because he was tuckered out, but I reasoned it was a matter of overexertion, what with all the joyful barking at the world for the first couple blocks and the frenzied challenging of any dog he saw or heard on the way. He simply didn’t save enough energy for walking! We’re just getting closer to the day where we might need to take him out in a stroller, is all. IS ALL, because we definitely aren’t going to lose him any time soon! Sure, he was losing his vision and his hearing and had already lost most of his teeth and his internal clock was getting wonky, but he was still well-muscled and brimming with enthusiasm for life. 

Continue reading

Xena: The Warrior Princess: The Cosplay

Xena’s Journey to Hades and Back in Cosplay Form began as an ambitious Halloween costume idea in August 2022 and “finished” August 2023…so, well past Halloween and yet also in time for Halloween. Despite not being quite finished, it’s now “old” so in true Sisyphian fashion I’ve started on another ambitious cosplay that will almost certainly not be finished in time for plans I don’t have. I could learn my lesson, but why?

Xena: The Costume Base

I decided to construct this cosplay from leather, primarily because I wouldn’t then have to go shopping to find just the right brown vinyl fabric. Especially when I already had some damaged hides on hand that I’d purchased at a deep discount for just this type of experimentation and I could get started right away. Leather also offered the benefit of durability and the beauty of natural material; the dings and scuffs of bargain bin leather add character to a project like this. Leather has visual weight.

It also has physical weight. I absolutely, positively, 100% cannot flip around like Xena regardless of what I am wearing or the power of trampoline upon which I might hop, but the added weight of this leather armor keeps me extra grounded.

Using leather in the interest of saving time turned out to be an exercise in self-delusion. With fabric, you just cut it out and sew it together. With leather, the cut pieces need to be dyed on all sides, multiple times if you want deep, dark color. The excess dye needs buffing off the surface. The edges need burnishing. Places where attachments are made can need skiving to remove bulk. You need to align pieces that are to be joined so stitching holes will match, and then you punch all those stitching holes by hand and sew it all together by hand. Leather also needs conditioning and finishing. And if you screw up, if the pattern was not quite right? Sometimes you’ll have to cut a new piece of leather and start the process over while feeling guilty about the animal who died so you could suck at cosplay.

Continue reading

Tyrant on Five Acres

“The authoritarian stands ready to punish and everyone under his thumb tiptoes around—getting weaker and sicker in the process. What does a person do when she knows that the authoritarian in her life is always ready to speak and act like an authoritarian? She flinches. She keeps her distance. She makes wide circles. She keeps her mouth shut. Sometimes, to make sure that she isn’t wrong in her assessment and unfairly judging the authoritarian, she tests him by saying something provocative or by breaking a cardinal rule—which of course provokes the authoritarian’s wrath. So, she goes back to hiding, not testing those waters again very soon.”

Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D.

It’s important to think carefully about the long-term implications of owning an animal so large it needs to be stored on someone else’s property and what it means if your relationship with this property owner ever sours. I took this into consideration…not at all, because my brain was ablaze with the joyous chemical storm of a lifelong dream within reach. A horse of my own.

At the time, I didn’t really have a reason to consider it. I was going to be boarding Navani at the same barn with my friend, who had repeatedly assured me that this was “one of the good ones” and everyone there seemed to agree. “We’re like a family,” I heard over and over again. And for a while, it felt like that was true, especially in the year before I had a horse there. People seemed to like and respect one another. Laughter rang down the barn aisle.

The atmosphere always changed subtly when the barn owner came around. It quietened. Doubtlessly science has an instrument sensitive enough to detect an otherwise invisible collective puckering of sphincters. Or I’m projecting? I was definitely intimidated by her at first, and she knew it because she commented on it, frequently. It amused her. Whether that change in energy was real or imagined, something inside me went on high alert whenever she was in proximity. 

Continue reading