A collection of words, in no particular order, from class and beyond.
It’s time to eat the rack of pork, which curves and sizzles like
The first touch after an eternity of longing
The sensation and shiver of goosebumps that overcome
The sense of you, gliding into my space
The way I feel your eyes roam, top of head to tip of toe
Thud, thud, thud
The sputter of my heart like
The beat of hummers wings hovering above the nectar
The cyclopean chasm overcome by a profound need
The way fingers glide along skin like sliding along polished wood in socks
The eccentric energy of bodies drawn to each other
The melding together like watercolor paints split on a canvas
The touch that feels like the prick of pins and needles
The ravenous void created in its absence
Oh how delectable it is to be in lust
Stefani Watson: “Mom” of the Barn
Hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, wearing a horse charm necklace and mud scuffed boots, Stefani Watson, sits on the front steps of Cazenovia College Equestrian Center, soaking up the sun and watching the horses play in the fields. As Cazenovia Equestrian Center farm Operations Manager and coach of the college’s dressage team, Watson has her hands full. Not only does she take care of the 70 horses that reside on the 240 acre farm, she also teaches two academic classes, is in charge of planning and budgeting for the Equestrian Center, manages personnel, and coaches the dressage team which has three members competing in the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) Nationals in eleven days. Dressage is a discipline of riding that consists of the horse and rider executing precise movements on the ground in a graceful and fluid manner. One of the major goals of a dressage rider is to have the horse react to the smallest, almost imperceivable, commands from the rider, so it appears that the horse is executing the movements on its own.
“Ms. Watson has a large job overseeing everything here which has a plethora of moving parts... it is her job to keep all the balls in the air, and that requires being able to be mentally nimble” said Barb Lindbergh, the Equestrian Program Director and long time friend of Watson. Yet, both women agree that “mental nimbleness” is easier on some days than others. The hardest part of Watson’s job is “probably the people” she said. “Horses are easy and predictable. Horses are pretty much the same every day. In this situation, we're not a boarding barn. It's nice because all of the horses are owned by Caz College so you're not dealing with borders needs and wants, but you trade that for the students and their emotions and their stress. A huge chunk of my job is being a therapist to students. That is not something that I necessarily went to school for. It's virtually psychology, so especially in this day and age, it's a huge part of what we do” said Watson.
Stefani Watson was born August 21, 1980 in Chester, Massachusetts. She recalls first falling in love with horses as a girl at her neighbors farm. “Driving by there every day, it was like the place I had to be, so as soon as I could get on my bike and go down the road by myself I was gone. I would go to their house every day and offer to muck stalls and do whatever for just 30 seconds in the saddle” said Watson. She later went to school at Johnson Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island where she graduated with an Associates degree in Equine Studies and Bachelors degree in Equine Business Management.
At Johnson Wales, Watson fell in love with dressage. Watson spent her last semester of college riding in Germany at the International School of Equestrian Studies. She said, “I rode five to seven horses a day. I would get up at 6 o'clock in the morning and have stalls and everything done by 8 o’clock, have breakfast, and then just ride horses all afternoon.” Europe is very well known for breeding competition horses and hosting huge auctions for very young and inexperienced horses. Watson explained that one of the coolest experiences she had in Germany was going to these auctions. The most expensive horse she saw sold was a three-year-old purchased by an American for $300,000. She said, “at that age, the horse has proved nothing and it might not even make it across the ocean. People spend 3.75% of the horses value just to insure it for a year.” These young horses have yet to even compete so there is a huge risk factor when purchasing them. Watson recalls being completely shocked by the amount of money people spend in this industry.
After Watson graduated from Johnson Wales, she took a full time position there as a Facility Manager and Equine Admissions Liaison where she repeatedly encountered Cazenovia College at horse shows, thus she applied for a position at the college. “So instead of offering me the position I applied for, they offered me a position two positions higher. So there's the Equine Care Manager, then the Assistant Equine Care Manager, and then the farm Operations Manager, and I had applied for the Assistant Equine Manager position, but got put in the farm Operations Manager position” said Watson. In 2005 she moved to Cazenovia, and has been there ever since.
Out of all of the things Watson does at Cazenovia College, her favorite part of the job is the horses. “The horses are easily my favorite part of the job, and the staff. I love my staff, they're just fun. They’re a great, super versatile group of people. They're just the group that makes you get up in the morning and say, ‘I'm going to play with friends’” said Watson. She also speaks very highly of the team she coaches, obviously very proud of their accomplishments. With three of her girls competing at Nationals in just a handful of days Watson said there is a lot of preparation to be done but she is excited and believes in her riders. Dressage team captain, Mariana Reisacher said, “Honestly, Stef is so much more than just a coach. Her nickname is actually just ‘Mom,’ which speaks volumes about how important she is to us as a mentor as well as a coach. I remember the first time I ever sat in a dressage saddle was last year during tryouts, right after I’d told her I hadn’t ever ridden dressage before. She shrugged it off and told me that everyone starts somewhere. And in a horse world that tells you money is God and if you haven’t ridden your whole life you have no chance, Stef makes dressage possible for literally anyone who wants to try.”
Look up in the cylinder sky
A slithering spirit coils through stratus clouds
It's Jesus! By Light
Yet a star by night.
Look up to the quaking mountains
Oh, magnetic Energy
Oh, restless Illumination
A sign, a spirit, a system
A synonym for science?
Strong Samuel, your judgement has come
Dusk till dawn let's wait together
Then we can run.
The aura of the unknown
The misery of the mystical
Excited electrons salsa and jive
Through cherub and combustion
The glare drawn by a spiritual spin
It makes me dizzy, a watcher from the ground
The source of electrical phenomenon
The Super Natural