Thank you, Dallas Morning News, for a great job portraying The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses! Read it at http://dallasne.ws/qjHmBn

Book info Midlife News Projects The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife Horses

 

A big thank you to Dallas Morning News Writer Kathleen Green and Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographer Robert Hart for this week’s Dallas Morning News My Town feature that highlighted The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses. What I love most about Kathleen’s story (notwithstanding her exposure of my fairly serious (and obvious) Mexican food addiction and my enthusiasm for horse shopping at Teskeys) is that she really gets what this book is truly about — and the amazing power of embracing any midlife dream as an antidote to the sense of ennui that can settle in on all of us at this pivotal time of life.

 

What’s your dream?  When you were young, what did you think you would always get around to doing — someday? Whatever it once was, I’d be willing to bet it’s still there. Really. Look under that  pile of  outgrown clothes, in the bottom of that overflowing junk drawer, or wedged between the post-it notes on your exploding calendar or bulletin board. You’ll find a hint of it.

 

Yes, for me it has always been horses that capture my imagination. But as the chapters of this book reveal, horses are really just a metaphor for  anything that brings us a sense of freedom, a proverbial breath of fresh air, right here in the middle of our lives. It’s time to  win independence over the day-to-day minutia that creeps in and takes over while we’re busy taking care of others and doing what we’re “supposed” to be doing as responsible adults.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all about being responsible and doing what we need to do. These are by no means mutually exclusive ideas.  However, it is only when we embrace this natural midlife pause to reflect on our earlier dreams (whatever they are!) that we realize the opportunity is still there for us, on some level — and our dream is still waiting patiently for us to walk into the corral our subconscious built for it and make the decision to reclaim it.

 

What are you waiting for?

 

 

Saddle Up! Your Midlife Horse is Waiting!

Happy Trails!

 

The magic of this midlife horse thing? On a good day, it feels like the look on a baby’s face when he tastes chocolate for the very first time.

News Projects The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife Horses Women and Horses

Meet Teresa, (pictured here with her midlife horse, Lladro). It was on a quiet morning ride, when Trace and  I were the only other ones at the club,  that we began to mimic, in follow-the-leader  fashion (at a respectful distance on the far end of the arena, of course), Teresa and her beautiful and majestic Fresian through their daily dressage maneuvers.

Here's Teresa and Lladro enjoying one of those "first chocolate" midlife horse moments . . .

We botched them all, of course, as neither of us knew what the hell we were even trying to do, but in the process (and in Teresa’s charitable kindness) a friendship was formed over our midlife horses.

As we rode along afterwards together (with Lladro casting a disdainful but tolerant eye toward Trace) it was our discussion of what our midlife horses mean to us that actually sparked the exploration that, three years later, became my soon to be released book, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses: Finding Meaning , Magic and Mastery in the Second Half of Life.

. . . and here, modeling the kind of “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” relationship we all hope for with our midlife horse!

Teresa was giving me the 411 about the Fort Worth Horseshoe Club where I had just moved Trace. “We have the cleaners — they come out every day and clean their stalls their buckets their feed bins. Their stalls are cleaner than my house. We have the groomers, they come out and shampoo, brush, apply hoof dressings and keep their horse looking like a million bucks. We have some that stay pretty much on the ground, others who take a lot of lessons, some ride just for fun and others are very serious competitors — or used to be. There really is something in this experience for everyone!”

“What do you think it is about horses that attract women at this time of life?” I asked in what would become the genesis of this book .

“You know the look a baby gets on his face the first time he tastes chocolate? That’s what a good horse day feels like — and that’s what keeps us coming back for more!”

 

and then, living her midlife horse dream to its fullest expression, Teresa gives us all a vision that is nothing short of magical!

 

The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife Horses by Melinda Folse (formerly Melinda Folse Kaitcer) - Order yours today at www.horseandriderbooks.com!
Saddle Up! Your Midlife Horse is Waiting!

 

 

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” Buck Brannaman

News Projects The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife Horses Women and Horses

 

by Melinda Folse (formerly Melinda Folse Kaitcer) Order it now at www.horseandriderbooks.com!

What a profound statement from Dan “Buck” Brannaman in the riveting documentary, “Buck,” now showing in theaters everywhere (learn  more at www.buckthefilm.com) . Go see it and reply to this post with your favorite quote! Free “Saddle Up Your Midlife Horses” t-shirt to the first five who respond!

What is most interesting to me about this statement from this celebrated “horse whisperer” is that, in the midlife horse experience we often completely miss this gift of pure gold.  It’s so easy to blame the horse when things don’t go as we hoped in this relationship. We deny what our horse’s  behavior may be telling us about who we are on the inside. Or, paraphrasing Buck and before him, Ray Hunt, and before him, Tom Dorrance, “horse problems” almost always turn out to be horses with “people problems.”

That invaluable reflection from our ponies, girlfriends, is the essence of what we can learn from our midlife horses. And, whether we like it or want to admit it or not, you can’t fool them or change their opinion. Horses just call ’em as they see ’em . . . and it’s up to us to figure out what changes we need to make so we’ll like what they see in us!

What did my horse, Trace, tell me? (I’m not sure why I’m sharing this, but it does give context to my struggles, documented for all the world to see in my recent book, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses.)  That I have an innate tendency to overthink, overachieve and overreact. That I am something of  a control freak and get upset when I can’t have my own way. That I am sensitive to others’ feelings and emotions, need a certain amount of sincere, positive feedback, and am happiest when I have a job to do or something new to learn. I don’t like being pushed around. There’s a certain amount of disrespect I’ll put up with from people if  I like them, but enough’s enough. And bullies bring out the  crazy in me.

Fortunately, my second horse, Rio,  shows me a sweeter, gentler reflection (if a little headstrong): I like to have fun, I’m sweet and committed (sometimes overcommitted) to doing the right thing, loyal as a dog, and my quirky personality gives me a knack for making people laugh — especially when things start to get too serious.

 

What does your midlife horse tell you? Don’t have a midlife horse, but wondering what’s going on in your inner landscape — and outward relationships? Get yourself one of these swishy-tailed mirrors and you won’t be wondering for long!

The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife Horses by Melinda Folse (formerly Melinda Folse Kaitcer)

Join the fun, challenges, and camaraderie only Midlife Horses can bring! “Like” us on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, and check out our community videos and photos (I built it — y’all come! If you send me your favorite midlife horses stories, photos and moments, I’ll post em!) on YouTube and Flickr.

Happy Trails!

Saddle Up! Your Midlife Horse is Waiting!