Friday, January 28, 2011

I didn't write this but I could have.

I mean not that I could have written something this wonderful because I do not claim to be a great writer.  But reading this was like a page written straight from my heart.

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few
short years, a horse can teach a young girl courage, if she
chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life. Even the
smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To
conquer the fear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or
being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat
for any child. For that, we can be grateful.

           Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle or a
computer, a horse needs regular care and most of it requires
that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch. Choosing
to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the w
ater buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip
their noses and drink heartily; we know we've made the right

           Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science.
Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular
turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others
will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too
fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to
find shoes gone missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll
swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure

           If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they
have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but
           horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and
even horses with a sense of humor.. Those prone to humor will
test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you
least expect it.

           Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or
willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will
elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as
there are people - which makes the whole partnership thing all
the more interesting.

           If you' ve never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a
simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact,
learn the basics on a Sunday, but to truly ride well takes a
lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than
turning a key in the ignition and putting the car or tractor
in "drive."

           In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will
have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll
be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your
mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you.
Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he' fed up with how slowly
you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have
an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can
ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry
you over fences - if it suits him. It all depends on the
partnership - and partnership is what it's all about.

           If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to
work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment,
           and compassion in addition to basic survival skills. You'll
discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal,
how little you know, and how much you have to learn.

           And, while some people think the horse "does all the work",
you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your
           horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting
on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven.

           You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really
want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work
ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best
partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works,
we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by
smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and
rider. These are the days when you know with absolute
certainty that your horse is enjoying his work.

           If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives,
most of us have to squeeze riding into our oversaturated
schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of
our households and employers. There is never enough time to
ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are
stolen pleasures.

           If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life
with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears
into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn
is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where
life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep,
someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals.  Some
of us need these reminders.

           When you step back, it's not just about horses - it's about
love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is
celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery
from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken
limb, a case of colic, a decision to sustain a life or end it
gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle
of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death
that caring for these animals brings us. When our partners
pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow.

           We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our
lives have been blessed.. Our memories are of joy, awe, and
wonder Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave
hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

           To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us
in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our
hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of
heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors
           and often carry us into and out of fields of battle.

           Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of
journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to
           challenges we set before them, asking little in return.

           Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a
human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and
the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the
burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true
           In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our
horses--or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful
God loaned us the horse in the first place.

           Author Unknown

1 comment:

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