the migraine in my head

Sunday, May 29, 2016




I've been thinking
too much

h e l p m e


Yeah, I've been thinking.

Like a lot.

Too much.

About life, about truth, about how so much of what happens in this world has cosmic implications.

Cosmic as in, we can bring the Kingdom here to earth.

Or we can choose not to.

About how people have a lot of opinions, but sometimes, they miss the truth because they're too busy shouting.

About hope.

How I'm not sure whether the short circuit of my brain even grasps the definition.


allthesequestionsareforreal
likewhowouldyouliveforwhowouldyoudiefor
&wouldyoueverkill


What does it mean?

What does THAT mean?

What does ANY of this MEAN?

Can I be honest?

Painfully so?

The Bible is kind of a weird book.

A very weird, complicated, messy book.

Because it's a book about messy people who live in a messy world 'cause of their own messy sin.

And yet they are totally precious to a totally un-messy God.

I don't always get it.

Some sudden revelation will hit me and I'll be all, “Aha! NOW I get it!”

It fits in the box and I can even put a bow on it, make it all pretty and neat and perfectl and I can point at God and say, “You go here.”

But then I read something doesn't fit in the box.

And that's annoying because yo that is my box and EVERYTHING must fit in it.

So, the questions come.

If this doesn't fit in the box, what about the other stuff?

What if all that other stuff doesn't fit in the box?

Oh...oh what if I have been wrong this entire time?

What if Grace requires more effort than I thought or that Love I loved is just looking for an excuse to leave?

And I know none of that makes any logical sense, but you see...

I'm a kitchen
s
i
n
k
You don't know what that means.
Because a kitchen sink to you is <not> 
a kitchen sink to me.


Am I the only one who feels like they interpret things a different way than anybody else?

I'm not trying to be a hipster.

It's just that I'll be going along like, “Oh, yeah, I'm pretty sure this means that.”

And then somebody says something different and it's not even that I disagree.

I just don't see it the same way.

And most people might be okay leaving it at that.

But no, I must confirm am I right or have I failed miserably?

And too often I waste weeks checking out everyone's opinion on the Truth instead of just seeking the source of the Truth.

Why don't I go to Him when He is Truth personified?


And I know that I can <fight> or I can let the lion win
I begin to a s s e m b l e what weapons I can find
'Cause sometimes to s t a y alive you gotta <kill> your mind



Ever the perfectionist, I can't stand it when I don't have all the answers.

Sometimes, I can convince myself that I don't need to know. I just wanna know and I can totally survive without it.

But then some stupid question has to pop in my head and I can't answer it.

Nothing sends me into an infuriated spiral quicker than not knowing the answer to something.

Because for some reason or another, I don't want to believe that it's okay to simply not know.

I guess not knowing tastes too much like failure.

Why is that?

Not knowing is really just an invitation to trust.

To which, my flighty nature counters,

“Okay, yeah, but I could trust if I knew.”

But that isn't the definition of trust.

Trust means holding to the steadfast belief that what you have been told is true and that the person who told you will keep their word.

There are so many things I don't know. I don't have all the answers to life or theology or the cosmic implications or insert questions here.

It's okay to admit that you don't know.

It's okay to be okay with not knowing.

And choosing to be okay with not knowing, choosing to accept His invitation to trust..

When you choose to do that, failing to know isn't really failing anything.

It's just a reminder to listen and learn from the One who does know.

And when we pursue Him instead of just pursuing answers, we can rest in the truths that never change:

God is good.

God is love.

God has grace even for this.

Even for the mess.

Even for me.


/////

I'm sorry I haven't been posting a lot. I have a lot to say, just struggling to find words to say them. Do you guys ever feel this way about not knowing things?


An Open Letter To The FEI

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



An Open Letter To The Fédération Equestre International

You've probably heard about the study that has been released, stating that tightly fastened crank nosebands cause distress and pain to horses. You're probably not too worried as it is a very poorly done study.

But, the legitimacy of this particular study aside, you should be worried.

You should be worried because this study has been discussed on ABC News. You should be worried because it is unlikely that anyone will be asserting that it isn't the equipment, but the rider who causes pain. You should be worried because this will quite possibly be the final blow to equestrian events in the Olympics. Judging from your desperate scramble to make these events more interesting for TV by things such as proposing shortening the international Grand Prix dressage tests, suggesting name changes to events to make it more understandable to the public, adding more tricky obstacles so eventing is more exciting(re: dangerous), etc, I assume this interests you.

All of these things in an attempt to keep us on TV. All the while ignoring the real problem.

The FEI.

Forgive me, I don't mean to berate our reigning organization so unfairly, but I must confess, your actions in previous years have been...disappointing to say the very least.

Maybe it's how time and time again, influential dressage riders are caught riding with their horses' heads forced to their chest and you look the other way due to lack of 'proof'.



Maybe it's how you assure us all that you care deeply for the welfare of the horses, how you will look into allegations with the utmost care, but it was mere weeks ago that a rider was filmed repeatedly jerking and spurring her horse after he tripped and you accepted her half-hearted apology and the excuse of 'I thought we were going to fall and I wanted to wake him up'.


Maybe it was your decision to not implement the objective Taper Gauge to ensure nosebands are adjusted in accordance with the rule that states that a noseband should never be tight enough to cause injury. And yet, when presented with the opportunity to enforce this rule, you found it too invasive.

I agree that we should not punish riders unfairly and that we should take care to view all parts of a story before condemning anyone, but that's the thing. In recent years, I have yet to see you condemn even the most obvious cases of abuse.

That's why so many international warm up rings are starting to ban cameras and harass journalists. It makes a person wonder what you're hiding. Except that we all know.

You're hiding the flagrant use of rollkur under the new name of LDR(low, deep, round).

You're hiding your blatant bias toward flinging forelimbs instead of soft, correct riding.

You're hiding yourselves lest we see the money and the politics that keeps this industry filled with people who couldn't care less about who suffers, so long as they win and so long as you hire judges who let them.

Why else would Totilas be trotted in the soundness jog three times, yet allowed to continue on to limp his way through a Grand Prix test?

Why else would 60+ photos of a certain Danish rider with his mare's nose firmly against her chest get no reaction from you because photos, even that many, are only a moment in time?

Why else would voiced concerns be ignored, brushed aside with the assurance that 'we've just had a meeting'?

Why else would course designers continue to make courses filled to the brim with obstacles intended to frighten, confuse, or trick the horse, despite the ever increasing body count of riders killed in the cross country phase?

Why else would you refuse to make anyone take responsibility for their actions?

And, so now, we arrive here.

I'll be honest. I am not a fan of crank nosebands. This is because I have rarely, if ever, seen them used properly. In proper use, it's essentially just an extra padded strap of leather. In it's most abused form, it is used to shut the mouth of a horse so that no one sees it gape against the improper use of the bit, specifically the curb.

The study released is poorly done. But I have no doubt in my heart that there will be other studies, ones that are better, that will show the same evidence.

Study or no study, maybe the reason televised equestrian events are on the decline is because the public dislikes seeing horses paraded around in a facsimile of harmony. And with this becoming a storyline, it won't matter that there are riders out there who ride and train compassionately. The public is known for its tunnel vision.

I do believe if changes are not made to enforce the established rules and make the safety and welfare of horses and riders a top priority, that we will see events such as dressage, showjumping, eventing, etc go through death throes as an Olympic sport. Perhaps we already are.

And it is because we, as individuals and as organizations, have seen evil and allowed it to continue.

Willful ignorance at its best and brightest.


In Which I Gush About Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Or rather, his Rolex 2016 dressage test.

As anyone who keeps up with the eventing world knows, Michael Jung won this year's Rolex, even more flawlessly than last year(yes, he won last year as well).

I love the Rolex, but tbh, I didn't have time to watch it live on the USEF Network and I have yet to have time to catch up on the On Demand streaming. I AM IN A LOT OF EMOTIONAL PAIN BECAUSE OF THIS.

But.

I did have time to watch all of Michael Jung's rides, particularly his dressage test, which iS THE BEST THING I HAVE SEEN THIS YEAR.


LOOK AT IT.

LOOOOOOKKKKK.

DO YOU SEE HOW RELAXED THIS HORSE IS????

DO YOU SEE HOW STRAIGHT AND SUPPLE SHE IS IN LITERALLY ALL OF THESE MOVEMENTS?????

I freaking love this test.

I freaking love this horse.

I freaking love this man.

Why, why, why does competitive dressage seldom ever look like this?!

Like, dude.

I genereally hate flash nosebands because I rarely see them used properly. More often than not, they are fastened too tight in order to keep the horse from gaping its mouth away from the bit. BUT THIS MAN. This mare can lick and chew all she wants, it's beautiful.

This. This is horsemanship.

And it carries so exquisetley over into the other two phases of competition.

Check them out cruising through the cross country course.

And take a look at Michael Jung winning Rolex 2016 after completing the showjumping phase.


As a total random note, I love that "Roxie" is a mare. I love mares. I really love it when mares dominate the top levels because I feel like mares as a whole are super underappreciated. 

SO ANYWAY I DON'T HAVE MUCH TO SAY THIS WEEK, BUT WATCH THIS PAIR.


(obvs Jung is not the only stellar horseman at the Rolex, but as I said, he's the only one I've had time to watch.)

Go hug a pony,
Ashlyn 


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