My Life in a Snow Globe

It’s been one year to the day since I stuffed my life into a snow globe and shook it like a wide eyed child.  Every single thing in my life has changed, my location, my job, my existence, my everyday.  When I told my husband about my “dream job” to replace my dream job that was slowly destroying my health and tearing my body apart, he said he trusted my intuition and his intuition agreed.  This wild idea, this shift; would mean leaving our home, my community of dancers and their families, my circus community and the kid’s school community, for adventure, opportunity and big dreams of a different life.

Everything about my days has changed.  They center around my children, my school, my horses and spending every single moment outside that I can eke out of my busy existence.  For six months, it meant a daily commute across the mountains to teach and run Gildenfire Dance and Acro and Viha Aerial Yoga, teaching and growing the Discovery Lab with bright creative students and families and fighting a splintering court battle to try and relocate my children for a better life.  Was it worth it?  Everyday when I watch my children thrive and my heart sits quietly watching as I get to use my creativity to teach children, to teach yoga to my lovely community at Dragonwood and to be a student everyday as I work with my horses, I know we made the right decision.

That intuition connected me to the idea of Inez.  I felt led to see the orphanage that had appeared in my facebook feed magically.  I felt called to go there and volunteer.  My heart told me there would be a baby horse that called to me and that needed to be a part of our family.

Just before Thanksgiving a dear friend brought her son, horse lover and aspiring documentary film maker Wilder to see Inez and interview me about our story for his upcoming documentary.  One of his questions asked if I was drawn to Inez, did I know she was the one?  “Yes,” I gushed, “I had been at the orphanage and liked several of the foals but when I saw Inez, it felt like an emergency.  We had no fence, no supplies and were completely unprepared but my husband said ‘yes, we can do this.’  Within days of her being caught and torn from her herd, she was in my yard.”

So I’ve tried to use that same intuition in decisions about Inez.  It’s not a perfect sense however and there are mistakes to be made and learned from.  This training a foal is not a linear conquest.  There are steps forward and steps backwards and steps sideways.  We have days of success and days I feel like I’m flying a horse kite instead of taking her on a walk.

I try to focus on confidence, trust and positive moments.

Shannon, my friend and trainer and I loaded her into a trailer with Pippin and hauled her up to Dragonwood.  She had a third trailer ride, first time in a stall and first time in the arena all in one day.

We worked with water crossings this fall as often as we could.  We played in flat puddles, deep ponds and even an indoor man-made puddle.

She spent time with sweet young girls.  She’s curious about them and needs these experiences to learn to mind her manners.

New sounds and strange objects appeared in the yard as my husband played the part of electrician, plumber and heavy equipment operator to get a frost free tap and GFI outlet installed to bring power to the paddocks for trough heaters.

This little wild horse permeates my thoughts, how to give her the best life, how to help her learn to trust, how to teach her to be my partner.  I read, I talk to everyone with wild and domestic horses about their challenges and successes, and I ponder.  If something goes wrong, I head back a couple steps and see if we can find a way to make it work.

She is a work in progress, just like my kitchen, just like my mini-farm, just like my life.  Some days it’s just a mess but those days teach you.  As for my snow-globe, all the glitter is still afloat, magical and not entirely settled.

4 thoughts on “My Life in a Snow Globe

  1. Beautifully written and photographed, Jenna. Your courage, compassion and intelligence are to be admired.
    “Every single thing” in your life has changed except for the strong foundation of love between you and Neil, your two wonderful boys, and may I add, your in-laws.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.


  2. Jenna, what a wonderful writer you are.
    One day you can write a children’s book about this adventure. It would be a great teaching tool, and we need this especially for our horses.
    Love your story and will do my best to follow you.
    Love Inez too. I have always been a horse lover, which I learned from my mother. My grandfather raised beautiful Percherons.
    Bless you for giving her a safe home with love.


  3. Barbara,
    Thank you! I hope one day to do that. Perhaps you can do the illustrations! You and I both have such a heart for animals and children, I’m so glad we have stayed connected. ❤️


  4. Wow she’s really getting big and oh boy she’s going to be so striking when she’s grown up! You have a lot of baby brain moments to get through. Have you ever read Anna Blake’s blog? I think you’d really like it! You might also enjoy Madison Shambaugh and her liberty work. I still question my sanity last summer to adopt a mustang 130 days out of the “wild” (4 years untouched in the BLM corrals.) Even though she was gentled and broke to ride when I got her, I remember one day about 2 wks in I had to move her from the Ranch to my home for the weekend and I was lunging her in the pasture and she went crazy all galloping in circles all full of it, then she stopped and reared up high legs flailing- just like a wild stallion in the movies. I about died. That was probably the most wild she’s been- honestly most of the time I can’t believe how good she is for her lack of human contact time compared to her age. What I think helps is that she was kind of a “tabla rasa” (blank slate) other than her own personality and disposition traits- she wasn’t bringing years of past owners and trainers and unknown baggage. They really can learn to bond and what helped Zara slightly was that she kicked and broked her her trainer’s wrist a week in, with 95 days left before the EMM competition, so she had to enlist the help of another trainer and friend for a while. I think this helped Zara be more “socialized.” Anyway sorry for the long comment! You are doing great and I love that you made these changes in your life.


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