Check it Out!
[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index]

Sunday Sermon

This is from Gail Ivey... see signature at bottom and a very nice piece.
Actually, as an endurance rider, I feel pretty good about our treatment of
horses.  Granted, they may not "on their own" go out and run 50 or 100 miles
in a day, but I think what we ask them to do and the training thereof is
more to the natural desire of the horse than any other discipline man has
devised for them.  And we do listen to our horses....  probably more than
any other discipline in existence.... be proud to have a well conditioned
and happy long distance equine.... and keep listening when they whisper!!!

Now Gail's piece:
Posts of the last couple of days got me thinking about how us humans expect
things from our horses, yet rarely allow the horse to do them according to
their ability.  We spend a lot of time thinking about we want them to do,
unwilling to compromise or make sacrifices in order to make it easy for them
to do what we want.  We go on autopilot, we do what we always do, we get
what we always get.  We grieve over their unhappiness, but grieve worse over
our inconvenience.  Convenience wins out.
We don't invite the horse to share our world, we bring him in whether he
wishes or not.  We remove his ability to move, then demand that he move for
us.  When he expresses himself, we want him to shut up.  When he finds a way
to cope with his situation, we want him to stop coping his way and do it our
way.  We ask so much, take away so much, return so little.  Food, water,
shelter we provide, then proceed to invent things the horse "ought" to be
grateful to us for, when we can't provide his basic needs - room to move,
companionship, freedom to behave like a horse.  Despite this, our horses
give to us all that we ask, try so hard to understand us.

In our defense, most of us try to understand our horses, too.  But how many
are willing to remove that idea in the back of our minds of "yeah, but I
want him to..." and just look at what the horse needs us to do for him to
make it easy for him to do it.

Nature made the horse the most beautiful of all creatures.  Humans want to
think they can do better.  We push and pull, force and mold, warp and
exaggerate, overconfine and overmedicate.  Yet, still the most beautiful
moments come when we do not interfere with what nature gave the horse.  When
we can allow nature to bring out the best in the horse, we can improve him
mentally and physically.  When we deny what nature gave him, we destroy him,
mentally and physically.  Lately, I've had to be around some horses and
their humans who are bent on getting what they want from the horse, and
removing his ability to do it.  The horses flash and wring their tails, buck
and rear, flip their heads, pin their ears, kick out, bolt, or just plain
don't move.  They are scolded, spurred and whipped for their "insolence."
These are not cruel and intolerant humans, simply ones who do not understand
the horse, and are doing what someone else told them they should do.  I
don't think anyone wants to hurt their horse, but worse than that, no one
wants to be told they are hurting their horse.  So, my heart aches for their
horses.  There's nothing I can do, except try to be an example of a better
deal for the horse, to the best of my ability.

Gail Ivey
School of Horsemanship
"The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse" - Winston
"The best thing for the inside of a horse is the outside of the barn" - Gail

(The Human Electrolyte)
                   HORSEMAN VIDEO SHOWCASE  -- Instructional Equine Videos
                Darolyn Butler-Dial & Mark Dial                    21415
Cypresswood Dr.  Humble, TX 77338
                    TOLL FREE # 1 800 228 8768           Farm:  (281) 446
7232      Fax: (281) 446 0113
                           e mail:    Web Page: http:

    Check it Out!    

Home    Events    Groups    Rider Directory    Market    RideCamp    Stuff

Back to TOC