Watching a driving event, I am always caught by the blinders worn by the horses. They are so dependent on their vision for their safety yet they operate through trust and listening, depending on the knowledge of their driver.
I’d never make it as a cart horse.
My eyes and my thoughts are always wandering, and instead of that “trust” factor, I am always asking the next question of “why” or worse yet- “how about,” and “what if.” In short I am a nuisance to every vet, trainer, barn manager, clinician and researcher I come in contact with.
It’s not just horses I do it with, I do it with everything and everyone. At the end of a day I am filled with questions and sparks and I feel like a bee that has been gathering pollen from one flower and dropping some and picking up more at the next flower.
And these are precarious times for our horses. They started out providing a backbone of life for us through travel, hauling, working. Armies moved on horseback, trees and stones dragged, land tilled, merchandise and livestock moved. The horse was a work animal. But it was also something more because it was slick and beautiful and you could ride on its back and feel its muscles and it could move you faster than you could ever move yourself. And it was tamable/trainable.
But we don’t need it for work anymore. And in many parts of our country we are running out of land to easily keep it. (think New Jersey, Delaware.) Owning and riding horses is out of the means of most of our population. We have generations growing up who have never stood next to a horse or had that horse passion lit through a Saturday morning show where the horse was the hero.
We may not recognize it or feel the squeeze in all areas yet, but our horses are under siege. I spend a lot of time fretting about that.
I hope to express some of those concerns. I hope to write down some what-if’s. I hope to present some ideas that have worked in other areas and ponder their help or effect on horses.
And I am hoping that there are some readers out there who are also searching, thinking, researching what the next horizon holds for our horses. I am looking for a spirit of optimism and hope through this journey. I am well aware of the problems, my sport is for solutions.