Horse ownership-a unique experience.
Horse ownership is a unique kind of privilege. At times, it is soul destroying. At times, it is a euphoric experience like no other. We spend so much on our horses-money, hopes, dreams, ambitions-sometimes for little or no reward. To a 'normal' person it must look like sheer insanity but to us horsey folk, we can't get enough of it and will happily trot through the fires of hell in pursuit of more.
Horses are extraordinary in that they are born with an innate desire to please. No other mammal shares this unique willingness to obey for little or no return, and with little obvious motivation. They could do us terminal harm with the stamp of a hoof, and yet for the most part they willingly try to interpret and deliver our requests kindly and with good heart. It is said and widely acknowledged that horses are not capable of deductive reasoning, but I'm sure that you-like me-have had many an experience that disproves that theory. When I am working with a very young horse, I often marvel at the fact that he can't possibly know what I am asking-the first time you teach him to lunge or long rein must be total double Dutch to him-yet he quickly works it out and delivers it freely the next time. I love to watch horses learn, it is hugely educational for me too and helps me to understand best what he requires from me. Having that horse look to you with open mind and willing heart is incredibly special, and if you can achieve this, then he will hold your hand as you hold his. Thus a friendship like no other is born.
Horses have distinct personalities, just the same as humans. They have likes and dislikes, thoughts and opinions, genius ideas and moments of utter stupidity-exactly the same as their human counterparts. Not every horse can suit every person and in order to enjoy a happy life together, it is important to either find a horse that suits you, or be prepared to bend in order to facilitate him. Not every horse will suit every job, so it is always important to be honest about your expectations-and to be objective about your horse's ability and temperament. We work so hard to make our horses happy with the best of everything we can afford, but the juice has got to be worth the squeeze-thus having long and short term goals and a realistic attitude is important in the attempt of ensuring enjoyment and success. No other sport requires this level of thinking, cooperation and commitment to every single aspect. No other sport requires you to allow for your partner's quirks and whims. A football won't refuse a goal if you kick it accurately. A formula one car won't crash if you drive it correctly. A javelin won't skew wildly off course and stab an official if you throw it clean and true, but a temperamental horse just might…..
We are a unique breed of humans that wish to live this way. We are special in our own right in our ability to find such blissful sanctuary in this huge and opinionated animal, after a hard day in the office, a busy day with kids, a row with your significant other…… These horses provide such mental and physical escape. The relationship between horse and man is unique and many layered in its complexity. And as I said, it is a privilege.