Much of the time with our horses (as with much of life) everything goes wonderfully — just as it should. Our horses are sound, healthy, happy.
We ride into the sunset with flowing manes and golden rays.
But what about the times when things go awry — the hoof, the leg, the eye we count on to function normally, suddenly limps, swells, inflames?
I’ve come up with a philosophy that has helped me though the tough times of life, and horse stewardship, and I’d like to share it with you.
Most of the Time, Things go Right :))
Most of the time, thankfully, things go wonderfully right. We ride our healthy, sound horses and live the dream we envisioned when we first set our sights on owning one.
“My horse is coming along beautifully!”
“I had the BEST ride over the weekend!”
“My mare is in foal — I cannot wait to see what this foal will look like!”
Yet in all this wonder, we tend to forget — we are experiencing the Perfect Two-Thirds of Horsemanship, when everything goes according to plan. :))
But ~ Sometimes, Things go Wrong :((
However, as we dance with horses through the long-haul of life, we will, from time to time, experience the Flawed One-Third, when things go wrong. (Yes, hopefully this will be an even smaller proportion . . . )
Some mysterious injury occurs.
You come out to ride, but your mare’s leg is blown up.
You go on an amazing, fast-moving ride, but your gelding takes a bad step, and is now off . . .
A bout of colic.
Or worse . . .
You have to call out the Vet or haul to the Hospital.
No riding . . .
Your mind works overtime in an endless loop.
“Why did I let this happen?”
“How STUPID was I to not ______________!!!”
“How can I be sure this will NEVER happen to my horse again?!!”
You start feeling sorry for yourself.
All your horse friends are out enjoying the good weather, their sound mounts . . . and you are unable to ride yours.
You start wondering if this is the way it’s going to be from here on — are ALL hopes dashed of EVER riding and enjoying your horse again?
As a horse owner, breeder, trainer, farrier over the past fortysomething years (I’ve raised four generations thus far :)) I can tell you, I’ve been through all this.
The two aspects, good and bad, seem to go somewhat hand-in-hand.
And I can tell you, sometimes it doesn’t seem at all to work out. Sometimes a horse must be euthanized. Sometimes a horse must be determined to be unsafe or unusable.
But MOST of the time — Two-Thirds of the time, everything works out beautifully. :))
So you know what I’ve learned to do?
(I’m repeating it here, as much for me to remember, as for you to hear!)
I’ve learned to get over the worry, get through the bummer as best as possible — as if it were a test — bless the One Third, and move on.
Because without the One-Third, I would never have the Two-Thirds — the beauty, wonder and perfection my horses bring my family and me.
(Like the photos, above and below, from last fall of my daughter, Ella, enjoying our horses. :))
But this summer presents a different picture.
Lately, it seems the One-Third has been busy at work.
A mare with a blown leg, a large hospital bill. Another horse with an inflamed eye.
Oh, I can feel sorry for myself.
But I’d rather feel grateful that the leg has quieted — the mare will heal!
The eye has toned down.
I’ve found it better to focus on the Perfect Two-Thirds, and do what I need to do to get through the Flawed One-Third, than to worry and drive myself nuts!
So when horsing (or life) seems to go South on you, when bad things happen to good people, good horses — take a deep breath.
Ask: What do I need to do now?
And DEAL with it, the best you know how.
Take your lump and get over it.
And focus on the goodness.
And be grateful for all the perfect rides.
And consider the time you spend nursing a sick horse as bonding time with your beloved.
And know that, in time, as long as you stick with your positive horsing program — the Two-Thirds shall prevail.
And yes, you will be riding again.
And loving your horse, in all her soundness!
And if you discover that you do have the wrong mount, if all that’s associated with a certain individual seems to ALWAYS go South . . . determine when to cut your losses — search for the horse that will better serve your needs.
And move on into the glory of horsemanship you envisioned from the start.