aSpring, however short-lived, is a magical time in the Angeles. It was a busy time for Grace and Skye.
There was the work of the ranch itself, with new horses coming in and selections to be made among the horses already in residence. Grace's goal was to position the ranch as a reputable and premier stud farm with a separate western performance element. The bulk of her charges were draft, stock, Spanish and sport horses. But there were also a smaller number of Arabians, and horses that did not fit into a specific program, and of course, here and there, the rescue horse.
There was also art. Both Grace and Skye had caught the bug. When the riding day was done, pencil, paint and pigment called out to them. And Grace wasn't one to do things in a subtle way. She purchased a life-sized sculpture with no less than four animals...The Bremen Town Singers by Kitty Cantrell...because if painting one is fun, painting four will be a blast...
Skye meanwhile was also beginning to explore her heritage, such as she understood it. When she came across a series of posters and books designed for young native students, she became aware of less than romantic realities. The stories and posters sought to bridge a cultural gap between native youth and their ancestors. They addressed the negative impacts of the changes indigenous people have endured in the recent past - the replacement of an active lifestyle and wholesome food with reservation life, commodity groceries, and a dominant consumer culture that places little or no value on traditions, on spiritual connection, on land, on human rights.
It was a lot to try to comprehend. At the same time that it brought up a mixture of conflicting feelings, it did not damper a dream that had been stirring in Skye. She wanted to make a regalia for riding. The whole thing. A proper dress and moccasins for her and a saddle and bridle for her horse. It was a dream complicated by reality, however. "Proper" meant knowing the specific style of your nation...the symbolic language spoken in the designs and the materials. And all Skye knew in a generic fashion was that she hailed from Oregon. And the horse issue also needed to be sorted out, although that was actually simpler. They were spoiled for choice as horses were concerned.
And then there was the why. The motive. Did she want native regalia so that she could compete in shows? Certainly part of the whole spring fever involved the preparations they were making for a couple of online shows, and a live show at the ranch. Was she getting a bit caught up in that? Or was there something deeper going on behind her desire for a riding regalia? There was nothing wrong with wanting to compete in a costume class...but a competition-style regalia was not going to happen in time for the biggest of the shows unless they just went out and bought one made by someone else.
The pony-horse Skye had chosen was sturdy and unflappable, and would have looked great in regalia, but he would not have been able to show in Breyerfest. Grace and Skye had a conversation about intention. Not about curbing it or redirecting it, but about understanding it. And sorting out the difference between a material goal (regalia) and a spiritual journey...becoming oneself. (Eckhart Tolle might suggest here that we already are ourselves, and so we don't need to go on a journey to find ourselves, but of course he would say it more eloquently, so let's just make some space for that idea...)
Finally, there were some physical spacial realities. A proper ranch outfit was going to need a better tack room. And some updated tack. There were heaps and piles of vintage leather and big rusty buckles and clips, some of it usable, most not so much. Among the old leather there were other treasures. Each process, each task no matter how mundane, gave the girls opportunities to build their sisterhood.
See more wonderful sculpture by Kitty Cantrell at https://kittycantrell.com
Hi, my name is Corina, the official story teller for Grace and Skye. Grace owes her beauty, style and charm to Anne Field, Field of Dolls. Skye does too, for that matter, as Anne fostered her for a while, giving Skye a complete makeover in the process. The horses, dogs, cats, saddles, bridles, furniture and so forth are the work of many artists. I'll do my best to acknowledge them as we go from day to day.
This is the ongoing, unfolding story of grace little, manager of redbird ranch, and her little sister, skye her many horses