Journal Entry: May 11, 2006 --Thoughts and Updates on Horse and Canid

I decided to go through and look up pictures of different subspecies of wolves (not that I could find much) and then more photos of Ethiopian wolves and dholes, as also some colorations of horses, in order to figure out what colorations fit correctly with Horse and Canid.

At this current time, as far as coloration goes for Canid, I’m thinking either a subspecies of wolf I’m unfamiliar with (okay, so that’s a given with the large amount of living and recently extinct subspecies for grey wolves) that has reddish-brown fur, not as rusty colored as a dhole, but darker (burgundy-ish), maybe white and black on it, or no white, although unlikely to be grey. Either that, or it is a somewhat rusty red-brown, not to the extent of the dhole, somewhat similar to the Iberian wolf (on its legs and ears) but all over and without the grizzled grey. Or it’s an Ethiopian wolf, a dhole (most likely the kind that live in colder climates; they have the white pattern on them, longer fur, and shorter legs), or a rather reddish version of a red wolf. Note: these are based on coloration, as I stated, and I have a lot more aspects to run through that could end up leading me into an unexpected (and contradictory to this information) direction.

I wonder about the ears, I really don’t know what they are like. Dholes have rounded ears with lots of fur in and around them, although they aren’t as rounded and large as African wild dogs’ ears; Ethiopian wolves and red wolves have tall pointed ears (red wolves are coyote-like, and E. wolves jackal-like); as for a subspecies of grey wolf, it depends on the climate, but the ones in warmer climates generally have the taller, pointed ears, the ones in very cold climates are shorter (like an arctic fox) with more fur on them, and moderate climates tend to have medium ones (like the general North American timber wolf). So that’s a big area for me to look into, as also tail fur—length, shape of fur on tail (dholes have distinctly different fur on their tails than wolves, with that latter being more close-packed). Leg length and also how slim the legs are, along with body-fur length and body structure (slim/lean, medium, ‘bulky’).

Aside from the visual things, which are becoming a large part to figuring this out now, I still have more to do in looking into my canine behavior/shifts/mindset/etc. and those of canine species (and subspecies if I can), but going off of behavior has its limits when there isn’t much information available to me on the species/subspecies (which is obvious if going off of any of those four options I stated). Recently, I’m finding myself being deterred, more and more, away from grey wolves, not that it completely excludes my therioside as being one, but that the grey wolf would be a much lesser known, to the U.S., subspecies than what I’ve come across and typically seen—my mind has continued to scream “no” to arctic, timber, European, and other subspecies of wolves that look like those; hence some of the coloration--black, white, and ‘silver’--just aren’t fitting.

Regarding Horse’s coloration, it’s not something I’ve really bothered to focus on, because honestly I’d rather figure out the species of my canine and feline sides before I try to figure out the specific coloration/breed of my horse side. However, the idea has entered my head at random times, but not until now have I let myself actually think about it more, especially since Horse is being my primary right now (prominent just above Canid, Cat being the next down), so it’s one of those trends with my therianthropy—the prominent one wants the focusing on for figuring out its specifics (or rather, my human mind sees it as the best opportunity to gather and put together information for that therioside).

I’ve wondered for awhile now if maybe my horse color is buckskin, yet the other option I’m considering for now is brown with black on the lower part of the legs for the brown one and maybe a small amount of white somewhere, or no white. I’ve seen the latter as being almost like a “prototype” concept, so to speak, for my horse side for a few years, but that maybe nothing more than a generic concept, kind of along the lines of people often viewing their theriosides as black until they discover more about it and thusly discover its real colors. As for buckskins, I’ve been drawn to them for years now, and I think before I even heard about the Spirit movie (with the kiger stallion), and it isn’t for aesthetic reasons, that I can see, considering there are much more beautiful horse colors and patterns that I’d much rather prefer it to be than buckskin. However, when I looked up images of kigers and then of buckskins, I felt a leaning toward the buckskins and a deterrence from the kigers. Many kigers don’t have the “right” color that seems to bring about a sense of resonance as the buckskins do, although some people may think they look the same (and some do, there are darker buckskins and lighter kigers) but I’m referring to the examples like I put in the links.

And yet, I think it may be beyond just color “resonance” but that I don’t feel I am a kiger mustang, and actually, there was a time last year that I automatically assumed I was a mustang, particularly one that had always been ‘free’, but I’ve come to realize that’s idealistic of me and false. There’s still the possibility that I was a captured mustang that became owned by someone (who, from what I can tell, took good care of me; that’s another subject though), but I seem to be leaning to thinking that I was born ‘domestic’ (using it in this case as not being feral/mustang); maybe I had some mustang roots not far back, I don’t know, and I doubt I ever will if that would be the case. Simply put, buckskin is nothing more than a more likely possibility, but a lot more investigating into this will have to be done.

To continue the topic of Horse, as I said, she’s been prominent lately, and especially since my classes ended and my summer break began, although she was still somewhat prominent within the past few weeks, but Cat was the primary, with her and Canid about equal in second. I feel like I’m finally free for awhile to really enjoy being and staying at my home, with my pastures, my “stable” (bedroom and house), and I don’t have to go stay for hours each day in a public place where I have to hide myself as a horse. My home, especially my room, is my safe place, my stable, and the yards/small pastures on my property are my freedom for body. I have the chance to do some level of ‘galloping’ (and yes, I really do gallop when I run at a slow rate, whether in the house or outside), I can play somewhat similar to some horse actions, and be able to have an overall enjoyment in what level of ‘horse’ I can have physically in a human body—the limitations are strong, but I find ways around some of them to allow me to have more comfort and happiness. Unfortunately, I can’t grant myself the things I desire the most as a horse because my human body can’t allow me to have them, yet at least I’m not bothered too extensively or often by those things.

I must admit, I was playing The Endless Forest and I just let myself get into running around (as a deer-creature) for a few minutes at a time, not caring where I was going, or what I was passing by, as I angled the camera to view me from the side so that I could see the trees rushing by me, and allowed myself to listen to the stamping of the hooves. It was soothing, in a way, yet had the character been a horse I think I would have fallen into a more ‘trance-like’ state of joy—simply, I miss those days that I seem to only remember through either instincts, emotions, or desires, and I’ve never known any visual past-life memories of them (or any other theriosides or past lives of mine). I remember all of the times that I’d play Zelda: Ocarina of Time just so I could run around on (or more so for me, to run around *as*) Epona in the fields, though being disappointed that the fields were “too small” and that I didn’t have other horses to run with, but I loved seeing the scenery moving by and hearing [my] hooves stamping. My horse therioside is bittersweet, in numerous ways.

Another thing I’ve remembered throughout my life is that as much as I loved horses and collected horse toys (not the really cutesy ones, the more realistic ones, except for their colors sometimes) when I was a child, and the ever-present-daily feelings and ‘bond’ I’ve had to horses during and after my childhood, the only times I thought of actually riding a horse were very brief, fleeting thoughts. I didn’t want to ride a horse, I wanted to *be* the horse that could gallop, run, jump, rear, and other things as a horse does, and though I didn’t realize until late 2004 that I actually *am* a horse on some level, to some extent, it didn’t change how I felt. Yet now that I understand better that part of my therianthropy, the thought has entered my mind again, and maybe with more seriousness this time, that now I would like the opportunity to actually ride a horse at some point in this life. I know very well that my body can’t fulfill those deeply rooted desires I have as that animal, yet the closest chance I have of ‘feeling’ them occur/be fulfilled is to ride a horse—not something most therians would get to do with their theriotypes in the physical (although I’ve heard wonderful and realistic descriptions of some people’s dream, astral, and such shifts where they could actually be in ‘body’ their theriotype and live as it would). Not that I plan on buying a horse, or getting into show jumping or racing, but rather, I would like to take some riding lessons at some point and be given the opportunity to ride on the horse as it would gallop and preferably run. Yet even now I still think “That’s just awkward. Why would I want to *ride* a horse?” I want to and don’t want to at the same time.

I’ve had times of wondering if maybe my horse side isn’t a horse and is instead a cervid or antelope, and though I would like to have one of those two as a therioside, I’m always reaffirmed that it is a horse, and honestly, I really love it that way, even with the bitter aspects of it all (more of them than my other two theriosides). I’ve loved cervids and antelopes for a long time, and I think I’ll continue to hold that deep liking of them (and sometimes a spiritual connection through guides), but they aren’t me, no matter how much I feel I can “relate” to or even just greatly like them, though mainly ‘relating’ to them through my horse side—some similarities in mind and behavior exist there, but not enough to make me cervine or antelope. It seems I’ve recently fallen into a state of wanting to discuss horse theriosides with other horse therians, although I did message one on Werelist (she stated in her intro that she was just looking into it, I think) though she hasn’t messaged me back, but considering I haven’t heard other horse therians’ experiences with their horse sides, I’m quite intrigued to see the commonalities. Do the others feel what I feel as a horse? The overwhelming desire to just break into full force stride and run across open pastures or plains, especially with fellow horses beside me? The anxiety, edginess, and fear of uncomfortable and unknown places? The playfulness and joy when in a safe place? Among other feelings.

When I read in my Encyclopedia of the Horse book early this year about the “Mind of the Horse” I was struck with surprise at how much of it sounded so familiar, how I knew the feelings and desires it spoke of and honestly felt that I understood them, even though I’ve never owned or rode a horse (beyond one pony ride when I was a kid) in my life, and have almost always had to view them briefly at a distance. I always knew about the anxiety and fear, especially when that horrible image of the horse in “tar” (journal 3/23/06) would appear in my mind—it was so disheartening, and yet that’s how I felt inside in that part of me, even if my conscious human self, and even my feline and canine aspects wouldn’t feel strongly that way. I’ve always felt the running desire, although I’m usually one to avoid confrontation, I think the flight instinct/desire shows itself more when I see other horses running in a herd, I feel that I need to be running with them (certainly, it’s too dangerous in a horse’s mind to stay behind when your whole herd has taken off running); yet I’ve gotten many times when I want to run or gallop just for the pleasure of it, because I can’t do it as I desire in this body. Horses know how to be horses, and they want to be in horse bodies with horse senses and abilities, not in a human body and with a partial human mindset that is far too awkward and ‘wrong’ in the horse’s perception.

Sometimes when I have strong phantom horse shifts with the mental shifts I can’t help but wonder why I can’t fulfill my desires. “Why can’t I run?” “Why is someone holding me back? I feel like I’m being tied down and locked in a cage.” And that to a horse is frightening, it thinks of danger in such situations, and thusly I have to bring my human mind to the forefront quite a bit, because my human mind was being the deciding factor of what I would do with my body, which was to not run (especially on all fours, because the way I desire to run in those shifts, isn’t at all possible in this body; I’m not talking about getting down and running like a kid on all fours, I’m talking about running on my phantom limbs), or to not kick and scream/neigh. Maybe I also tend to remember the shifts as worse, emotionally, than they actually are, though that makes me wonder if I originally make them as memories more in the horse mindset, or more prominently in the human mindset and just don’t recall them with the lower emotion. Nevertheless, through the bittersweetness, the low number of other therians who have a horse side, and the fact that I view myself as having been a domestic horse that was owned (and rode) by someone/more than one person in a past life, I still love that it is a part of me, that it *is me* to some extent—it’s a part of me that not human, feline, canine, or even that possible avian fills or even would fill. It’s distinct from them, it’s prey, it’s strength and power, it’s running, it’s fear and anxiety, it’s a special playfulness, and so many other things that the others don’t cover with only overlapping in a few areas (except human, which is almost always the most prominent, and thus the “decider” of most things); it’s Horse, and most of all, it is me, part of who I am.