Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Land of Dreamers

Hello Dream Chasers!

I have just returned from a week long trip to California. I had never been to The Golden State before and I found it to truly be a treasure of a place. In the span of a week my family and I got to see more of the state than I think many Californians see in their whole lives. We flew into San Diego, went to the Los Angeles area to visit family and go to Disney Land, we visited Hollywood, went to Pismo Beach to dip our toes in the Pacific for the first time, we traveled up scenic (and treacherous) Highway 1, ate dinner in Monterey, then went onto San Fransisco where we spent three nights, toured the city, and attended my brother's graduation from Animation Mentor. *Inhale* Then on Sunday we traveled to Muir Woods to see the Redwoods and then flew back home to Maine on the Red Eye out of San Fransisco that night. Yes, it was a very full week, and it was amazing.

So, what does any of this have to do with horses? Well... absolutely nothing. But it has everything to do with Dream Chasing. My family and I visited California for two reasons, both of which were the start of dreams come true. The first reason was, as I mentioned, to attend my brother's graduation from Animation Mentor, an online computer animation course. My brother, Ben Turpin, has been working extremely hard towards this goal for the past two years. It is his dream to work as an animator for a big movie production company such as Pixar or Dreamworks, or to animate for video games. This is a rapidly growing industry and schools like Animation Mentor are producing many talented animators for the field.

The graduation ceremony was very entertaining and inspiring. One thing that they repeatedly emphasized in the ceremony was the importance of earnestly chasing after one's dreams. They said to look at graduating from AM as only the beginning. Too many people enter into their animation careers with a sense of entitlement, "I worked hard for my degree, I deserve this job." But it's people like that that don't make it long in the industry. They quickly get passed up by the ones that say, "Look how far I've come! But look how much further I still have to go! I can't wait!"  Those that continually seek to improve themselves and grow are the ones that really make it in the entertainment production field.

I'm not an animator, but I still took away a lot from what was said that day. Isn't that true for any dream you chase? Do you ever truly arrive? I'm sure some people think they do. But once you start believing that you have some sort of entitlement to the position you want or even the position you already have, that's when your dream begins to die. So really, Dream Chasers, the secret to reaching your dreams is that you never truly stop chasing after them. There is a reason this blog is called "Dream Chaser" and not "Dream Catcher". Yes, dreams do come true, THANK THE LORD, they do. But do you stop dreaming once it has? I think not. What's life without dreams?

The second reason we went to California was to visit my Uncle and Aunt and their 12 kids. I've only ever met two of their children before back when I was 6 years old. We have always lived a continent apart and considering the size of both our families (I'm the second oldest of five) we never were able to visit each other. So when we walked into their home and I saw my 12 beautiful cousins for the first time it was truly a dream come true. I cried, and it takes a lot for me to cry. They were all the sweetest, most well behaved kids I've ever met. I'm going to tell you right now, I am more blessed than all of you! All twenty of us went to Disney Land together and it was the most unforgettable time of my life. It was amazing to be in "The Place Where Dreams Come True" with so many little bright eyed dreamers. It truly was a dream come true.

My eldest cousin, Jennifer Dawn, is the same age as me. We became so close in the few days we were together. She is the sweetest, most pure-hearted person I think I've ever met. And, boy, is she a dreamer! She dreams of one day being a professional singer and songwriter. She has never had any sort of musical or voice training, but she has such a beautiful voice and an amazingly creative imagination. Jennifer told me that she has written 141 songs, "And that's not counting the ones I haven't finished or the ones I don't like to sing anymore," she told me. All 141 of those songs are ones she sings regularly to all her younger brothers and sisters. She sang to me some of her favorites, and I was truly blown away by both her voice and the great lyrics. Than she said to me, "Can I sing you my worst song?" She sang it to me and my mouth dropped open,  I said, "THAT'S your WORST song?!" It was called "Have Faith" and the lyrics were so uplifting and catchy that I caught myself humming it in the shower the next morning.

What really impressed me about Jennifer's songs is that she sings solely because she loves to sing and not to try and impress anyone. She told me that she only ever sings for her brothers and sisters and never has a chance to sing outside the house. I think I was the first person outside her immediate family that she has ever sung to. Because of this though there is an amazing purity to her songs and her heart shines through so brightly because she is not trying to impress anyone and she has no reason to fear what others think of her. I asked if I could record her singing some of her songs. I wish I recorded all of them! She actually wrote me a song while I was there ("It's number 142!" she told me cheerily). I recorded that one, which she simply titled "Miranda". I've never had anyone write me a song before. I was extremely touched. I also recorded another really fun and catchy one titled "Where is my Superhero?" But my favorite one, which she first sang to me on the way to Disney land, is titled "My Dreams." I'm telling you, I don't get emotional over music. If I ever tear up during a song, it just that, a little teary eyed. But while she sang this song, tears were streaming down my face. Was it because of the high emotions already in the room? Maybe. But still, when I listen to it now I still feel like she is singing about me. After she sang it, I told her all about my Dream Chaser blog and how I write this in order to inspire others to chase after their own dreams. I asked Jennifer if I could post the video of her singing on here and her face just lit up. This will be the first time anyone outside her family will have heard her sing. I hope you all are as blessed as I was.

So without further ado....

Never stop Dreaming!

Miranda Joy Turpin

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Interview

Hello Dream Chasers!

My apologies for the long wait for this next video blog entry. Life has been a crazy up and down roller-coaster this past month. But I FINALLY got around to finishing this vlog update today. Part of this video was actually filled in Texas during my interview at Downunder Horsemanship Ranch. I didn't get as much vlogging done as I would have liked, but as least I got some. Hopefully you will get a good feel for how it felt for me to be there. So without further ado...

Peace and Joy,

Miranda Joy Turpin

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Hello Dream Chasers!

It's good to try new things from time to time, right? Well, today I am doing something different and trying my hand at video blogging. Now, this doesn't mean that I will only be doing video blogs from here on out, but for the time being I just want to see how it goes. You will be able to find all of my blog videos, along with my other training videos, on my YouTube page here: youtube.com/user/MirandaTurpin  Please let me know what you think of the video blogs. I appreciate your input.

So, without further adieu: Dream Chaser Entry 1: Anticipation

Miranda Joy Turpin

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Apprenticeship with Clinton Anderson

I've been a fan of Clinton Anderson's Downunder Horsemanship for some time now. I've watched Clinton's show on RFD-TV for several years now and for the past year and a half I have been actively following his methods. I am a big believer in his program. I trained Matti using the Downunder Horsemanship program exclusively (see my previous post for videos) and have used it with other horses with great success. Thanks to The Method I've regained the confidence that I lost after my accident and I am convinced that it is the best method of horse training for me. It is my desire to progress as far into the program as I can and to help other people discover The Method as well.

A while back I found out that Clinton Anderson had a three year Apprenticeship program where a select few go live and work at the Downunder Horsemanship Ranch in Stephenville, TX and learn everything Clinton knows about the Method. When the Apprentices graduate they get the title of Downunder Horsemanship Professional Clinician and they are able to teach clinics exactly how Clinton teaches them. Here is a link to an article on the Downunder Horsemanship website that goes in-depth about the Apprenticeship

Well, to me this sounded like a Dream Come True.  So ever since last summer I have been working to train Matti using the Fundamentals Series and make a video to send into DUH (a video demonstrating every exercise in the Fundamental Series is required when applying). That is why I spent January and February in TN; so that I could finish what I started this past summer.

I mailed my application packet on March 1st and have been anxiously waiting for a response since then. Well, on Sunday afternoon I finally got a call from Shana Terry, Clinton's first Professional Clinician. She told me that she was impressed with all the hard work I put into making my video and that she wanted me to come for a week long interview at the ranch! Needless to say, I was psyched!

Now, because of the busy schedule at the ranch right now (there are clinics scheduled at the ranch every month from now until November) they won't be able to have me come for the interview until the fall.  Though I'm a little disappointed that it's going to be so long until I can go, it doesn't dampen my excitement. In all honesty that timing is just about perfect. It will allow me some time to get better in shape (I've started running, a blog post about that will be coming soon) and will allow me to work summer camp at Camp Ketcha. Plus it will allow me to just enjoy my summer in Maine.

Of course, just because I have been asked to come for an interview does NOT mean that I am going to be Clinton's next Apprentice. Hundreds of people apply for the Apprenticeship each year and about 20 are asked to come for the interview. Of those twenty MAYBE one will be asked to come to stay for the six month trial period. Even so, just going to the ranch for the one week interview is the chance of a lifetime. I am certainly going to treat it as such. This is not a time to get cocky. Now that I know I am going to be going for the interview I am going to spend the next several month pouring over The Fundamental Series over and over again until I have it memorized. I'm going to work hard to get in shape. And I'm really going to commit myself to being the best riding instructor I can be at Camp Ketcha. After all, if I don't prove to be valuable at the job I already have, how can I hope to be seen as valuable at Downunder Horsemanship?

So, I will certainly keep you posted on how things go while I am preparing for this venture. If anyone out there has any questions about Downunder Horsemanship or the Apprenticeship please feel free to ask me. When I was first thinking about applying I searched all over the internet to see if I could find someone else that had already applied so that I could pick their brains, but I never found anyone. That is why I wanted to post about this on my blog, so that you can pick my brain. My intention for writing this is not to brag, I am nothing special. I have a LONG way to go to being a pro at the Method. The reason I am sharing this is so that you can be encouraged as you chase your own dreams. If I can do it, you certainly can do it!

Don't stop chasing those dreams now! You're almost there!

Miranda Joy Turpin

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fundamentals Project Complete!

Hello Fellow Dream Chasers!

The past two months have been full of dream chasing hard work for me. It was really a great start to the new year. In the first week of January I flew back down to Tennessee to stay with Bill and Gloria for a few weeks and finish training Matti using Clinton Anderson's Fundamental Series. I was only supposed to be there for three weeks but I ended up staying seven weeks, thanks to some bad weather we got in the middle. But in the end I got it all done and I have FINALLY finished what I started this summer, I have created a video that demonstrates every exercise in the Fundamental Series. Now, it's not perfect. Matti and I both make our share of mistakes but over all I am pleased with the results. I feel like this video will be beneficial for others who are trying to learn the Fundamentals themselves.  I have posted the video in six parts on YouTube. The run time in total is about 70 minutes. I hope you enjoy. And PLEASE comment! I want to hear what you have to say.

Fundamental Groundwork Part 1

Fundamental Groundwork Part 2

Fundamental Groundwork Part 3

 Fundamental Riding Part 1

Fundamental Riding Part 2

 Fundamental Riding Part 3
Peace and Joy,

Miranda Joy Turpin