Horses, punishment and New Year resolutions…
New Years resolutions. Is there a need? Life is punishing enough without willfully torturing yourself in the spirit of ‘new beginnings’. Anyway, everyone else is at it so we had better take a look.
Resolve is an excellent quality. Being able to stick to the task and keep your eye on the end goal is a thing seen in many an equestrian. Truly, why else would you persist with the four-year-old who cannot be convinced that he is, in fact, broken and riding since last August, just because he can jump a bit – as best demonstrated by his regular leaping out of the arena. Has talent, lacks direction, no manual.
Take the weather. No, actually TAKE the weather. Even though this winter has been far from our worst (so far) I’m still sick of it. There we are, out all winter long in the freezing cold, pouring rain and tornado winds, with the goal of getting our feral lunatic horses somehow trained enough to go to a show next year without incurring any lifetime bans from affiliate organisations. Resolve is not a quality that we equestrians lack in any way.
So why then, are we a collection of the most vice ridden humans on the planet? Chain smoking, swearing, wild parties-the list goes on. If we were horses, we would be weaving and box walking ourselves to death. New Years resolutions were positively designed for equestrians. You would think that with such tunnel-visioned commitment to our horsey aims and goals, a few self-improvement resolutions on the 1st January would be both a great idea, and easy to stick to-right? Wrong.
Why is this? I think I may have the answer. It’s BECAUSE of the horses, not in spite of them. This year, some of my horsey features included colic x2, a severed artery, hemorrhagic shock, cellulitis, an infection of the trachea, a couple of lost shoes and a vets bill that would have made Bill Gates sweat. Is it any wonder then, that we have so many noxious personal habits? Maybe if our horses made-and stuck to-some New Year’s resolutions, there would be some hope for the rest of us. A simple pledge would do.
‘I, (insert horse name here) pledge to behave like a normal horse in lessons and at shows. I will give up my feral ways. If something scares me enough to make me want to spook alarmingly, I will stop looking at the offending item and proceed as normal. I will not interfere with my stablemates. I will stay in my field, eat the grass as nature intended me to and keep my shoes on. I WILL NOT SELF HARM. I will no longer require a vet on speed dial. I will keep my rugs on. I will not get cast. I will pay attention to you at all times. I will be careful and leave the poles up. I will travel quietly. I will not dream up cruel and unusual avoidance tactics when you approach with my tack. I am sorry for my previous attempts/successes at ruining your life. Signed, (insert horse name here).
How hard can it be????
Happy New Year, folks