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Appreciation, Alex Cearns

I feel alive with tingles because this image - that you photographed and gave to me - FIRST SHOT OF THE DAY! - now carries my creative contribution, a highlight of a journey still ongoing, so I can complete the circle. 

Cedar was born with a birthmark, and as an unwanted racehorse I was drawn to take on, a stablehand pointed out to me that her "star" was actually a heart, in fact her name was "Heart of Burgundy." At that time in my life, some 16 years ago, I may never have noticed!

Cedar and I have lived more than most these past years. I intended to train her, as did others, only to understand she was the teacher, or turn away from her, turn her away. I lost count of the "horsemen" who told me to shoot her. 

We have suffered together, we have loved more than I was capable of imagining. 

Throughout the years her heart permeated me and our life. It is no exaggeration to say that I am the best version of me that I can be, because of her. 

Even while away from her, teaching in Europe for many months, thoughts of her inspired me to name what I passionately share; "The Heart of Horsemanship." 

Everything I wrote, several blogs, stories, instructions that will one day be published, I gathered as "The Heart of Horsemanship." When at last I released my fears, I began The Heart of Horsemanship as a co-creative project, inviting others to join me, and I knew Cedar was our representative. I imagined a close-up beautiful image of her birthmark, her loving face. 

I snapped various images, none contained her essence. I KNEW that Alex was to be the one to capture Cedar and the photoshoot manifested in September. Alex generously gave me this image almost immediately. Inspired and thankful, I could commence creating based on this photograph - a logo and branding that signifies who we are and what we're for! 

This moment Alex had with Cedar inspired an adventure these past 3 months! I have hired and fired graphic designers who were not able to transform the image as I imagined. I have attended a photography Workshop with Alex & Debora despite not even owning a camera! I have fallen deeply in love with capturing moments I experience with the animals I befriend in pictures, and pleaded with the Universe for a DSLR - which came to me via my co-creative partner for Christmas! I have repeatedly resisted, then surrendered, to learning something I considered too difficult - Photoshop. And as the busy weeks have passed while I continue my work, operate a business, work every single day, each second felt like lost opportunities to expand The Heart of Horsemanship - Cedar's message to the World. I distressed myself enough with this viewpoint to sit with the genius that is a computer, shift my attitude towards optimism once more, and with Alex's image, Alex's gift, and Cedar's inspiration, I learned how to create what we needed. Sleepless, fueled by passion, I saw the image inside my head appear on screen by Christmas. 

Here it is, Alex. My labour of love, created with ingredients from sources like you. A mix of passion and imagination. A blend of beings who contribute small, but always valued, gifts and ideas. I care not that it could be better, or different to another eye, this image is exactly what I wanted and I am happy! 

When I was a child I was an artist who was discouraged, so chose academia, then a "career", then thankfully Horsemanship, as my paths. Your contribution to The Heart of Horsemanship this past year has significantly contributed toward coaxing the artist from her small space within this adult. 

Your work is so much more than capturing moments for display! I wanted to remind you that you emit the ingredients for expansion and you may not hear about your contribution from all the recipients of your gift! You are a light. 

We shine, we create a better World. 

Love,

XJ 





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