When reading the ads in the horse trader, it is easy to see alternatively how misleading and tactful horse people can be. For example, when you see "experienced rider needed" in the ads, this means that the horse is unpredictable and as wild as the Jack of spades. Or "Perfect Husband Horse" -- this means that the horse is so lame and broke that all it can manage to do is to pack the spouse of your dreams around plodding one foot in front of the other without killing him. And when you read ... "Change of circumstance forces sale," this is a nice way of saying... I am in the middle of a nasty divorce and/or have completely run out of money...
It's with this gem I would like to start my blog:
"A change of circumstance" led myself, my two kids, two horses, one dog and a slightly sickly looking blue fish to a place that no one in LA proper knows about. Blank faces and sudden hollow eyes stare back, "Shadow Hills" I repeat -- I live in Shadow Hills. "Oh where's that?" they answer. I usually toss it off but say jokingly, "Oh it's bumfuck nowhere, right up against the mountains," or if I don't want to scare them off completely, I say "it's near Burbank just off the 5."
In reality it's a land that time forgot, only boasting about 3,000 inhabitants mostly, all Republican horse lovers. It's where people still wave when they pass you in their trucks on the street and where they know your name at the feed store. It's hotter than fuck in the summer and colder in the winter. I live in the country and yet still make it out to continue what is left of my social life. Without the telltale hay in my hair and the smell of horse shit no one is any the wiser. Its a land away from LA, and yet is a true example of the many different lives one can lead in this town. I can be a hay-tossing trail riding hat tipping horsewoman one minute, and the next, dressed to the nines with my most glamorous friend sitting eating dinner at the Chateau Marmont. This I love.
No one knows I am coming from the boonies. No one knows that I have friends out here -- like the 90 year old Rope Guy, the old cowboy who still makes the best custom ropes in whatever color you want. No one knows that I am friends with the Truck lady, who yes, lives in her truck, or the Italian raisin who has been in the horse business for 68 years and still likes to flirt when I use his arenas to ride in.
But. The question is: Now what?
I have survived the lefty conspiracy theorist jam making bread baking organic vegetable obsessed husband, and some how in a rebellious perverse immediate backlash of a move, ended up here. Minus the Husband, but, surrounded by the Horse Loving Republicans, and a lot of dust. Be careful what you wish for -- because at some point it might happen. For years, in fact I cant remember a day in my life that I did not wish to be able to wake up to a horse in my back garden -- and now it's finally happened. What you don't think about are the finer details of one's wishes. For example. How much these animals shit -- they shit about five loads per meal and they eat three times a day and I have two of them. Do the math. That's a lot of shit no matter how you look at it.
The adrenalin has run out and I am in the middle of the road on empty, wondering what the fuck I am doing on this pseudo-ranch -- when a week ago I was jet setting in London to see friends, the Anish Kapoor show and my favorite aunt at the Chelsea arts club for dinner. City life just feels better. For all the farmy fantasies one cooks up, the truth is, nothing beats funny friends in loud cafes, good art shows, beautiful people to look at, fabulous dinners, pavements and parks.
For everything else ... there are always road trips.
Yes, I am lucky. And yes, I am still stuck out in the middle of nowhere.
Like I said, Now what?