A Town Called Horse

January 28, 2018

Highway 187

Caballo, New Mexico


A Town Called Horse


I have moved my camp to a place called Caballo, which means horse in Spanish. The view to the east faces the Caballo Mountains and overlooks a lake of the same name. It is a containment of the Rio Grande, one of several here to the south, with Elephant Butte Lake to the north. Today will be a good day to learn all these things and I want to drive down to the beach. Going forward, once the weather warms, I will also hope to park there of the evening and enjoy the luxury of doing so. I have found a good place and it is already replenishing my spirit, in spite of the usual challenges.


There are challenges. I have yet to begin work, which poses a challenge. The longer I have to rely on my own resources and the ensuing freedom, the less I am willing to commit to anything else. I have the chance to contract some other water systems and will reach out on those tomorrow. In all fairness I will go to work when T or C calls me but if there is a smidgeon of unhappiness I will flee! To have the choice in the matter is huge, and for now I do. I have a small windfall in reach and will have it as a cushion, and a ticket to greater freedoms going forward. I am going to make every effort to see it remains that way! I have also amassed a plethora of inventory by working on my art and the level of inspiration it has provoked is not to be ignored.


So it is I arrive in Caballo, and find a good roost. My previous perch, while having electricity and a good view, was not ideal. The Interstate ran right above the yard, my privacy was limited and when the owner became a more constant presence it was time to leave. While exploring the country to the south of there I stumbled on this place and after a brief discussion rented the entire building. That I get to trade work for rent, at least for now, was also a real plus and yesterday I moved camp. Having my camper to reside in made it all possible though I am eager to get moved in. I need but make a run back to Nogal and do a little more work and I will.


For the moment I can work on the rooms and seek some solitude, such as I was surrounded by in Nogal for this past month. How well I used that time, and how much I wish to do so here. I will assist my new landlord today as I have promised to do so but will take time for my own pursuits also. I want to clean little more and make myself a workspace, and do some art, even if I simply sit on the step to do so. I feel drawn to this place as I do to the mountains it faces, and want to embrace it. I will pray over it also, and burn some sage, in hopes that such a blessing will allow it to come to fruition. My gratitude for having arrived here is immense and I will honor the opportunities as best that I can! Even as the mountains and the lake seem to reach to embrace me so I hope to do the same. I am so lucky to be here!


Even as I sit here in my camper I am drawn to the front rooms, in spite of the cold. It will be a long week of not being able to take full residence and the confines of the camper are already too close. It is perfect for what it was intended for and I am grateful for the freedom but I want to savor the space and the light of the rooms instead. If I was looking out those windows on the mountains my entire demeanor would change, it is just a little too cold to enjoy it! Still yet, I will head that way soon, as my desire to be there is more powerful than anything else. It seems yet another layer of my dreams are now in reach. Even if the job in T or C doesn’t work out, I have every desire to remain here. Where I have never set out to habitat a place without a clear reason to do so, and instead seeking jobs in places that hold such an appeal, I could do quite the opposite here. That there seems to be the opportunity for that increases the inclination. One way or the other I will stay!


I have taken up residence in a town called Horse. There are many interesting reasons for me to have arrived here. I was drawn to this country years ago by my job for New Mexico Tech but never chanced to explore these small villages to the south. Only once, on my own time, did I get so far as Hillsboro. I barely made the outskirts before my truck broke down and turned back because of it. Many years before that I ventured to Silver City and thought to explore the Gila Wilderness, turning back before venturing further for fear of that same issue. I have had a long standing love affair with this country, all hinged off those two adventures, and now I am here. It is the wilderness and the gateway to the San Augustin Plains, the Alamosa Canyon and the like of those which brought me back.


If I had thought to find a place to the north and the west of T or C there were none that filled the image of what I had imagined. I looked hard at La Placitas, as I did at Cuchillo, but no place grabbed my heart. I settled for a moment in Williamsburg but it wasn’t quite enough. I had made a promise before I left Nogal, to find a spot with the equal of its peace and serenity, and was intent to pursue it. Just two days ago, I did. Having wandered in all directions I was drawn back to the south and found this town called Horse, Caballo. Go figure. If there is one thing I connect to it is horses. Their beauty, power, kindness and all they represent has been a stanchion of my existence since my youth. I sought their company as one would seek another person, and found more comfort and connection there than I have ever had with most people. If not for the horses in my life and the companionship, the company, the ensuing freedom of their hooves across the ground I might not have survived the struggles of my youth! What they also provided me a means of survival in every other sense also! I built my dreams around horses, my goals, my education, and my professional life for many years. They saw me to the hills and then led me across the country, the riding stables, the show barns and then to the racetrack. There have always been horses in my life and if I do not have one at this moment so my life revolved for many years around keeping one. There will be another once I get settled, either a shared effort or of my own.


Now I supplement my life with my artwork, as Running Horse Design. There is room for that here also, in this town called Horse. If it is not the ideal place for a gallery or Trading Post it has the potential for it, if only on a small scale. Time will tell how that goes but I can certainly do my art here, and sell it elsewhere. I will go to work for the moment, if they ever get me on the clock, but I will do other things also. I have found that peaceful place I was looking for, and perhaps even more than I had considered. There is a lively little town to the north, new and old friends there, and the gateway to the rest at my doorstep. I can see the Caballo Mountains out my doorstep and the twinkle of the lake, its waters glistening in the morning sun. I am eager to go walk the lakeshore and to set out on its waters, if only in a raft!


To the west there is Hillsboro, a fifteen minute drive to the higher elevations and tree covered mountains. It is an artsy community also, and a good venue for my work. I think I will like it there, and it offers an alternative for my social life, at an almost equal distance as T or C. Beyond there is the Gila Wilderness and parts as yet unknown. If I have traveled so much of New Mexico there are places I have yet to go. If I am always seeking adventure, and those likeminded others who are all so hard to find, so they seem within my reach from here. I have turned a new page, for the moment relinquishing my effort to direct my life and instead letting go and letting the winds of fate to direct my path. Rather than having lost my way I seem to have found it again. The ensuing stillness, and the willingness to wait and see what is ahead is almost as serene as the peaceful hillside I have left behind. I think I have found the like of that here, in a town called Horse.


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