In this episode, Lisa and Julianne take a quick break from the series, Conversations with the EQUUS Herd, to speak with Gretchen Lida, contributing writer for Horse Network.
Gretchen is an essayist and an equestrian, with work appearing in The Washington Post, Brevity, The Rumpus, The Washington Independent Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Plaid Horse Magazine, Horse Nation and many others. She teaches composition in Illinois, lives in Wisconsin, sometimes lives on Nantucket Island and is still a Colorado Native.
Gretchen brings a sense of normalcy for "horse people" in this time of uncertainty through her series of articles for Horse Network. From articles on the "less than half-truths" behind the familiar t-shirt saying, "My Horse is My Therapist" to the joys of riding an opinionated mare, her writing draws the reader into a world where being a horse girl and knowing a horse girl is something to be proud of. As she states regarding the benefits of the positive side of the stereotypes involved,
"Power. Or, better yet, empowerment. So, to those who quake at the thought of a horse girl, I say, “Good. Be scared.” That’s right. Beware the horse girl. The word beware comes from an old English term that referred to prudence, being wary, or a sense of vigilance. It meant to watch carefully, and with caution. And it is true horse girls are a thing to watch, a thing to be careful of, and a thing to fill you with awe.
We Horse Girls are fierce."
In this Zoom call, the conversation between Gretchen, Lisa and Julianne includes flashbacks to the EQUUS Film Festival in December, favorite films from the fest, reviews of some of the films on The EQUUS Channel, and personal stories of favorite "horsey memories." They also stray into the current hot topic of how to cope with isolation during the pandemic.
In a personal essay for Horse Network, Gretchen sums it up. “Still, the need for quiet and ceremony is deeply human. For me, that need for ritual and contemplation is fulfilled in another building. One that smells more like timothy than incense and that requires a different brand of footwear finery. I am a member of the church of Equus.”
To find more about Gretchen Lida, visit https://gretchenlida.com.
To learn more about podcast host Julianne and her partner Bruce Anderson, tune in to "Whinny Tales: Horse Stories, Pony Legends and Unicorn Yarns," the official podcast of Nature's View and The Marley Project, their equine and arts-based 501 (c)(3). You can also visit www.naturesview.us to schedule an appointment. A documentary about their work and films in the Natural Humanship Training Series, are available on The EQUUS Channel at https://filmfestivalflix.com/festival/equus/film/the-edge/. Julianne is the organizer of the Camden Tour Stop for the fest, so visit www.equusfilmfestivalcamden.com for a complete listing of activities and updates on a possible rescheduling of the spring event for the fall of 2020.
For more information about the festival or for links to the films and literature mentioned in the podcast, visit equusfilmfestival.net. To see the EQUUS films, visit https://horsenetwork.com/equus/.