We all develop our beliefs, often based upon ‘common wisdom’. As we go through life, we have a choice – test our beliefs against our experiences, and adjust them as necessary; or stick to them no matter how facts and experience may disprove them. Nowhere are unfounded beliefs relied upon more than in the horse world. I have personally found many of my once held beliefs were either never sound, or are simply no longer applicable.
I was about to exit my car, in the office parking lot this morning, when I looked down and saw the litter. No, this was not someone’s tossed out breakfast wrappers – but it would make some people just as crazy. This litter was a nice mix of bark and leaves, cascading over the curb to the pavement below. I smiled as I noticed a clue as to how so much litter had moved from the planted area to the pavement – several semi-circular ‘divots’ in the mulch, where the soil peeked through.
My smile was caused by imagining the bird who’d scratched out the mulch, in search of their breakfast of bugs, worms, or seeds. Sparrow? Jay? Turkey? As I mulled the possibilities, my mind turned to the many people I knew who would be upset with this little mess behind. Blowers would soon be called out, to return things to a sterile tidiness, if only for a brief time. The thought of such fussiness made me chuckle, as I gathered my belongings to head inside.
I have been admittedly lax in keeping up on posts. There is little horse activity, with the wet weather we’ve had; so we decided to send the household into chaos and get the interior painted. Once the weather turns to spring, all indoor activity goes on hold for several months, until days become so hot that we seek refuge in the air conditioning during the worst of it. So, interior improvements must be done while the weather is bad. The last time the interior was painted was at least fifteen years ago, when I did the whole thing mostly on my own; so it was time for a refresh. Many people I know choose to be handy, but when you decide to keep your horses at home, it’s a necessity – unless you are lucky enough to hire or marry someone else who’s willing to do the work.
I’ve heard it all of my riding life, but social media seems to have brought it out in full force. I’m talking about any riding advice that begins with, “You must …” I don’t think it matters the discipline, there are always those people who are convinced that what they have learned, and what has worked for them, is the one way to approach horse training and/or riding. Anything else, by default, must be wrong.
A few years ago, in the course of trying to retrain Tally after the “trainer” who started her had botched it so badly, I was making one last walk circle before getting off. But my dismount did not happen as I’d planned. We’d just turned across the arena when a slight rustle was heard from the ground behind us. Tally dropped her haunches and launched forward, followed by three of the biggest bucks I’ve ever experienced! The saddle slipped, I went sailing, and the day ended with me finding out I’d fractured a vertebrae. Such can be the result when dealing with an equine with explosive tendencies.
This post is about asking for your input. Three surveys, linked below, are the brainchild of my friend Caroline Stephens, for which she kindly asked my assistance. We are interested in where people are getting their riding information, particularly related to Dressage, and what information they are seeking/learning.
There is one constant, every winter – Noble hates the mud. Once it reaches a certain point of sloppiness, there is nothing that will entice him to cross the ‘bog’ to reach the higher ground and grass. This has been going on for years. Even when Java was around, we had to take the long route, through the arena, to get them turned out. Noble just does not like his giant feet to get wet, or to feel that suck from the mud. Nor will he go out when the rain is actually falling, even before the ground gets mucky. Yet, every winter it is inevitable that I see posts from people declaring that their horses do not need shelter or stalls, because they are living the life nature intended. If that is the criteria, then why do we keep our dogs inside? And more to the point, why are we not living around campfires still?