“There is something about the outside of a
horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
I think a good way to introduce this blog is to honor the namesake himself with an explanation of what he means to me and why I hope the name will be a fitting one. Chrush (pronounced just like the old orange soda or what you had on the cute boy in fifth grade while you were drinking it) is my equine partner and love. I was lucky enough to come into his life when he was 3 years old. The past 4 years Chrush has taught me more about life than I would have thought imaginable from someone whose vocabulary is pretty much limited to “snort” and “neigh”. Chrush has shown me the beauty and grace of the world around me, the importance of living entirely in the moment, and the wonderful truth that getting your hands dirty can help your soul get clean. So much of what I’ve learned from my experiences with Chrush has bled into my design work, and I’d like to share just a few of those lessons here.
I grew up around horses, but I didn’t start riding seriously until several years ago with unrealistic goals. I knew I could work hard, and I was willing to put in the hours so I figured I would progress quickly and be cantering and showjumping in no time. Boy, was I wrong. Good horsemanship takes many, many years, and at first this drove me crazy, however, when I was able to accept that the journey would take a while, I was finally able to enjoy all the steps along the way. I’ve found this patience to be crucial to my work as well. When I work with a client, my goal is to create an atmosphere that represents and reflects who they are, but this doesn’t happen in a day. I’ve learned to enjoy the ride as my client and I get to know each other, and explore together what will be the perfect fit for them.
There is no way around it – show jumping is dangerous: speed + power + obstacles + temporary manned flight = the potential for a lot to go wrong. I am a little bit nervous everyday, except for the days when I’m a lot nervous. Courage isn’t the absence of fear—it means facing our fears and moving forward. In riding, the courage is slowing my breath and connecting with Chrush to accomplish the task at hand; the jump. In my work, courage to me means there is no need to fit preconceived notions of what design should be or followthe latest trend. There are no boundaries, no rules.
My time with Chrush has also taught me torespect limits, not only my own, but Chrush’s. Horses are strong, but they are not indestructible. I respect the awesomepower of Chrush, but I respect his fragility as well. I believe that this is a key aspect of respect: acceptance of the way things (and people) are. I hope that my years with Chrush have made me a more respectful, accepting person, and this respect is crucial to doing great work with clients. Only by respecting their unique tastes and personalities can I play the part I hope to play in helping create something that they will truly love.
For me, what makes a good blog is when someone shares their specific point of view and in doing so touches on things that apply to all of us. I’ve named my blog Chrush because it is a word that carries great personal weight for me , but I hope that this will become a place for others to bring their own personal loves and cares—their own “Chrushes”—into an ongoing conversation in which we can all learn from each other.
So, Chrush: the name of a beautiful horse, and a fun blog and an inspiring journey.
My love for Chrush and equestrianism has not only informed my life metaphorically—it has also provided a deep well of design traditions that I draw from.