Turning Inspiration Into Action
By Tiffany MacNeil
How do you put into words, music and images, the magic you feel from horses? This daunting task presented itself to me earlier this year, and it was one of the most challenging, emotional and fulfilling endeavors I have ever undertaken.
First, ask the horses for guidance. Second, ask for help from your family, friends and community. Third, take a deep breath and just do it. Keep handkerchiefs close by for tears, and get ready for one wild ride.
When I first had the notion to make a music video for the European Association for Horse Assisted Education (EAHAE) Conference this year, I was way out of my depth. I hadn’t written a song in over 20 years, didn’t know any videographers, and wasn’t sure why the idea had even come to me at all! But the universe has a unique way of putting things in front of you when the time is right, and I just kept trusting that.
The catalyst that really kicked things off was an episode of “Behind the Music” with rock group Bad Company. Paul Rodgers is one of my favorite vocalists, and his mention of believing in yourself struck a chord. After the show, I couldn’t remember the exact words he had used, so I filled out the contact form on his website and asked if I could get the correct quote. They immediately replied to me, and in one fell swoop, my project was real. And I knew the name of my song was “Believe, Believe, Believe,” though I didn’t yet have the lyrics.
A few days later, snippets of words and melodies started appearing when I would drive out to visit my horse, or when I was quietly walking with him, or spending time in the pasture with the herd. When I had a number of these pieces, I contacted a musical friend to ask, “Is this a song?” And it was.
Then, lots of practice and into the recording studio. My nephew, who is studying music, offered to help me with this critical piece. Now on to producing a music video: location, videographer, horses? The horse community in Napa Valley stepped up to find the perfect winery (that also had horses on-site), a friend of my husband put me in touch with a sign language interpreter, another friend gave me the name of a film student, and everything miraculously did come together.
Buzzwords they may be, but co-creation and collaboration were at the very heart of this project. Though I can be quite independent, I realized early on that a project of this magnitude would take a village (or a herd). The message from the horses was that I needed to find a way do this, to transmit the concept of believing in unseen forces that guide us. I have done my absolute best to fulfill that request, and I am so grateful to all of those who came along on the journey with me. We did it!
Here’s the final product:
Counter-Canter Culture: We are pleased to say that “Believe, Believe, Believe” is an official selection of the Equus Film Festival NYC, which will take place on on Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd. Learn more about the festival here: Equus Film Festival NYC.
Tiffany MacNeil creates and facilitates inspirational experiences for individuals and groups, with nature and horses as her partners. Her business background, lifelong connection to animals, and involvement with yoga form a diverse collective on which to draw. She is the Founder of True Nature Horse Programs (www.truenaturehorse.com), based in Northern California.