and the time I spent in Italy-
a horse tooth. I found this horse tooth in the pasture where my polish warmblood mare Schilla spent her summers.
I've always cherished this find and look back on that time in my life with mixed emotions. Bittersweet - as it was the last period of time when I was able to spend hours at the stable every day.
My daily riding came to an end
In 1998, after a dramatic bout with a burst appendix (and a close touch by my mortality)
With a week long stay in an Italian hospital (one where Da Vinci did his anatomy explorations) and many weeks of recovery at home I had time to take a constructive look at my life. I had to decide which direction I wanted to take it. I had to make a decision between art and horses.
After much drama, (including a shouting match with a fascist farmer).. I chose art.
I drove away from the barn that day with all of my tack and horse gear. I still remember in vivid detail the day when I settled my saddles on the saddle rack in our storage area -in a loft storage space at our Florence home... they remain still- waiting for me to come back and re-claim their use. Last month, my husband came back from a short trip in Italy (for business) and he brought back one of my bridles. It hangs in my studio today. I didn't clean it before I packed it up all those years ago- so if I look real hard, I can still see some remainders of my sweet mare on the leather.
this is a picture I took of Schilla one warm summer day,
lolling around in the pasture of olive trees and wildflowers
I look forward to the day when I will be able to welcome horses back into my life and find the balance between my two passions. I think it is going to be soon.