Sunday, December 6, 2009

when I retire...

It's good to see that I'm still stirring the pot :-). There are quite a few comments coming in (not via this blog's comment system unfortunately).

It seems I need to clarify myself. No wonder, with all the rambling I'm probably a bit unclear at times. So here we go...

I said I like to take things slowly with horses, as I like them to be not just OK, but happy around me. I said I always ask politely first when I ask for anything. In most cases, that's enough and they follow my request. I said I only increase the pressure when necessary, and only as much as is necessary.

What I did not say is that I enjoy putting pressure on a horse or that a lot of pressure is necessary to achieve most things. I did not say I like to yell at a horse, nor that I like to use strong body language to get my point across.

These things I do if and when necessary only.

So to those who who still think I'm a cruel and uncaring meat-head who likes to beat up on poor horses, I say this: Wear your pussy-footsy hats proudly. There are lots of horses in this world who do not have the good fortune to be owned by caring people like you. There are lots of people who don't have the means, time, good fortune, education or possibilities to be so kind to their horses. You and your horses are lucky to live in relative luxury and in enlightened times. Good for you and good for your horses. Keep up the good work.

I'm looking forward to retiring from horse-starting and horse-training. When that happens, and I'll have my couple of beloved horses only, I will no longer need to do anything other than gently. When people stop sending me a horse that they can't handle themselves, don't have the experience to start under saddle themselves or have allowed to pick up scary habits, then I will no longer need to raise my voice or use loud body language. I guess I'd like to be like that right now!

However, between economic necessity and requests from people to work with their horses, I guess I will go on handling and riding unknown quantities and known problem horses. And while ever that's the case, I will continue to go as easy as possible and as hard as necessary to ensure that these horses are given the best chance to be someone's beloved riding horse.

Hope that makes sense.

Yvonne, Greg and I had a lovely ride today on Flamenca, Darah and Carlos respectively. Lots of toelt for Yvonne and I :-) How nice to just go for a ride and enjoy the horses and the landscape. The weather was beautiful and the view magnificent. Photos here.


Laurel said...

Hi Chris,

You're quite right, we who are pussy-footsies do have the sheer luxury of living now and in relative affluence, :-).Our horses don't need to transport us or our worldly goods as a matter of necessity, and can be our soul mates and life teachers, or even just pets if that's what we want and can be sensible enough to teach our horses manners and how to keep people safe. I noticed even John Lyons now says horses can be many different things to different people, and that riding isn't always the be-all, quite something for a cowboy to come out with I thought.

Anyway,keep on keeping on :-), keep safe, and Happy New Year. I'm enjoying your blogs,


cy said...

Hi Laurel,

Thanks for your comments :-).

I didn't know that JL said that. Yeah, very un-cowboy-like ;-). But he's right. The trouble a lot of people have is that they assume everybody does (or should!) feel the same way they do about horses. They do not understand that every horse-person relationship is unique, and that you cannot prescribe exactly how a person expresses that relationship. And what they don't understand, they tend to reject, and once their mind is made up, the door is shut.

I feel different about different horses, same as I feel different about different people (that wasn't well expressed, but you know what I mean?). One can be like a pet to me, my buddy. Another just a horse I train or ride. So obviously, another person might have another view entirely on this or that horse. And so long as we all do the best we can for the horse in our care, that is ok.

Well, all the best to you for the new year as well. I hope your equine critters will give you lots of good times, like you give to them :-). Hug your horse! Be a horse hugger ;-)