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Why HORSES? Why do you ride.....aka "Why is there air"

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  • Why HORSES? Why do you ride.....aka "Why is there air"

    Anybody else here old enough to remember the old Bill Cosby comedy record (yes, record....I AM dating myself eh?) entitled "Why is there Air?".....there were alot of funny and humorous pokes and jokes on it......

    Anyhoo, for some reason while mucking out this am I started thinking about how inevitablely everytime there is another equestrian related accident/tragedy all the "non-horsey" people will/do ask "Why do you ride"....Why do you do all those non-rational borderline CRAZY things with, around, about, for horses......

    I gave up trying to explain my own rationale YEARS ago......it suffices for me to respond "Why is there air?".....Family members have in the past few years come up with their own rationalization of my chosen lifestyle choices......

    Passion AND addiction.
    That works for me........Ever notice how enraptured "we" "horsepeople" get when talking about things only "we" could "understand"?
    WITHOUT this "irrational" and even at times certifiablely "crazy" lifestyle I wouldn't be breathing my air.....I simplely wouldn't be who I am.
    I can't explain it. Heck, at times I don't even understand it myself.....it is not "rational" "safe" or "controlled" (despite atttempts to make it all of that.....it just IS.

    Horses are my passion and my life.

  • #2
    Horses define my life. Yes, many times I ask why do I want to do all this work? (selfcare for four horses). Why do I want to spend all this money? Why do I want to complicate my life with this? And, why do I want to risk injury?
    Because it is who I am, what I deeply love, and without it, I wouldn't be happy. Only a person passionate about horses understands this!
    I laugh to myself when a casual conversation with a non horseperson ensues, and that person exclaims, I love horses! They are so beautiful, you are so lucky! Someday I hope to have one! Then a day spent cleaning muddy horses, picking out hooves, mucking stalls becomes a real eye opener for them! This turns into them saying, How do you have time to do all this, and you mean you really enjoy this? YES, I do really enjoy it. It is a way of life, and this IS my life. That is what separates those who have the passion, from those who LIKE horses.
    As for the danger involved............I know I am not invincible, but I have spent years of learning, and continue to learn constantly how to be a better, safer rider, how to give my horses confidence, trust, and understanding them through their eyes. Having a hobby with another living, breathing animal, who has a mind of their own is risky even at the top of the sport, but then there are people who choose to climb the sides of mountains, leap from planes, drive race cars, etc., etc. Living life is about the joy you find each day, each moment that we are given. So, yes, Silver Image, I totally agree, it is our air, and if one is not part of it, there is no understanding.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sometimes I wish my passion lay in painting, or cultivating orchids, or breeding exotic hamsters -- some less expensive, less hazardous pursuit. But there is a poem that pretty much says it for me:

      Dearest God In heaven,
      Give me the strength to guide my horse.
      Make my hands soft and my head clear.
      Let my horse understand me and I him.

      My heart you have blessed with a special love of these animals,
      Let me never lose sight of it.

      My soul you have gifted with a deep need for them, let that need never lessen.
      Always let my breath catch as the sun gleams on elegant head.
      Always may my throat tighten at the sound of gentle nicker.
      Let the scent of fresh hay and a new bag of grain always be sweet to me.
      Let the touch of a warm nose on my hand always bring a smile.
      I adore the joy of a day on the farm.
      The grace and splendor of a running horse, the thunder of its hooves
      makes my eyes burn and my heart soar, let it always be so.

      Dearest God grant me patience
      for horses are harnessed wind, and wind can be flighty.
      Let me not frighten or harm them, instead show me ways to understand them.
      Above all, dear God, fill my life with them.
      When I pass from this world, send my soul to no heaven without them.
      For this love you have given me, graces my existence and I shall cherish it
      and praise you for it for all time.
      I don't know who wrote this poem, if anyone does please give the author credit!
      ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....

      Comment


      • #4
        Beautiful Anselcat!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Silver~Image~Farm View Post
          Anybody else here old enough to remember the old Bill Cosby comedy record (yes, record....I AM dating myself eh?) entitled "Why is there Air?"
          Everybody knows why there is air. There is air to blow up volleyballs, blow up basketballs ...

          Horses? Definitely an addiction that started when we were tiny children. Other little girls played with dolls. Us? We played with horses of course!

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            WHEW!!!

            Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
            Everybody knows why there is air. There is air to blow up volleyballs, blow up basketballs ...

            Horses? Definitely an addiction that started when we were tiny children. Other little girls played with dolls. Us? We played with horses of course!
            I feel so much better realizing I am not the only one who did NOT like dolls!!! I had no clue what to do with a doll......but god forbid anyone should've messed with my plastic horse collection!!!.......Even now I've learned to "explain" (even to my trainers) that the REASON my horses have such EXTENSIVE (ok, ok AND color coordinated!) wardrobes is because I did NOT have "barbie dolls" to "dress up" as a kid......

            Thank you for adding that lovely poem!

            With the 5 FEET of snow this winter I was asking myself what the heck was WRONG with me??? And I did have dreams of waking up on a nice beach with "cabana boys" bringing me margaritas.......but then I realized....nope, I'd STILL rather be here on our lil 15 acre farm with my horses and looking forward to watching a real handsome Cabana Boy (4 legged one! "work"........Sigh....

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            • #7
              You can't explain a horse passion to those that don't have a burning interest themselves.
              When I dropped from college to work with horses, my mother was so mad, she didn't speak to me for over ten years.
              I was too busy with the horses to notice, really.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                You can't explain a horse passion to those that don't have a burning interest themselves.


                There are times I wish I could give it up... because of the heartbreak, and the expense, and the disappointments that can be overwhelming.

                And then I walk in the barn and my fat old horse whinnies when he hears me and I realize I couldn't live without horses, in some capacity.... I just wouldn't be *me* anymore!
                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have asked myself this question recently after a string of losses which including the sudden death of my first (& only) horse after 15 years together, a painful breakup with my riding instructor of seven years (and my instructor becoming paralyzed in a riding accident around the same time), a sad situation where I was working with someone else's horse and had to watch the horse backslide because of the owner's lack of commitment to his training, etc etc.

                  During all this, I had to ask myself: why? Why I am still doing this? My horse is dead, I'm floating around barn to barn looking for rides, I'm trying to settle on a new instructor but I'm understandably gun shy....

                  I guess I don't know. Even through all the pain, even when I seriously dreamed of quitting, I just couldn't do it. It's an addiction. For all the bad times I've had for the past two years, I had fifteen wonderful years with a spectacular animal whose humor, dignity, quirkiness, and loyalty informed my whole way of seeing the world. I guess I'm hanging on in hopes that one day another horse will stir my imagination the way he did.
                  2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
                  Our training journal.
                  1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
                  I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    While the first two husbands resented the horse passion, the third one understands. The only thing that gets him up early in the morning is thinking about training his two year olds. (standardbreds) I realized I am blessed with this addiction.......when others get up in the rain and cold and want to go back to bed, I just dress warm and can't wait to get to the barn!!! Lucky me, lucky US!!!!
                    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why horses? Why do you ride....

                      Bluey: "You can't explain a horse passion to those that don't have a burning interest themselves."

                      You cannot explain a passion of any sort to someone who does not have their own....how sad that is!

                      Horses make getting out of bed every day worth the effort, even when nothing else is. A bad day with my horses is far better than (almost) any other day I have had.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Because I need the horses like I need air to breathe. There is absolutely nothing like the connection you develop with a horse. They are my friends, my therapists, my partners. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tabula_rashah/1751887482/
                        I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
                        If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          STSfoot....

                          I'm sorry for your loss and can understand how you feel......the "downs" involved in this passion/addiction can be overwhelming......I wish you well and hope that you can find again another horse/trainer/situation that brings you MORE of the joy you have already experienced......somehow I think your previous "partner" would want that for you.....

                          But still....to those who don't have this kind of passion/addiction in their lives......life just isn't quite "right" without it.....well said TR......and whats' the story on your POWERFUL and IMPRESSIVE guy????.......WOW!

                          When I was working I had a good job that I enjoyed very much, it was stimulating, challenging and rewarding but somehow I still find that I like this "job" more.....even though at times the working conditions are incrediblely "challenging" and the obstacles sometimes SEEM overwhelming......I just melt when my mare "whickers" at me or my gelding puts his head down for a sugar, smooch and scratching......There is NUTHIN like that "bond"......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Horses ~ Ponies ~ Ride ~ Drive / WHY ? HAVE TO !

                            "THIS" is ME ! Feeds my soul ~ spirit ~ heart ! ALWAYS HAS ~ ALWAYS WILL.
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Claudius View Post
                              While the first two husbands resented the horse passion, the third one understands. The only thing that gets him up early in the morning is thinking about training his two year olds. (standardbreds) I realized I am blessed with this addiction.......when others get up in the rain and cold and want to go back to bed, I just dress warm and can't wait to get to the barn!!! Lucky me, lucky US!!!!
                              You are right, caring for horses you never, ever even think to sleep in, just get up ready to go.
                              That kind of energizer bunny get up and go sure gets on the nerves of so many in the rest of the world.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have no choice. I HAVEto have horses in my life. I've tried it without them and it just doesn't work. I was born with the horse gene.

                                P.S. Don't cross the J street bridge after dark.
                                Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Silver~Image~Farm View Post

                                  But still....to those who don't have this kind of passion/addiction in their lives......life just isn't quite "right" without it.....well said TR......and whats' the story on your POWERFUL and IMPRESSIVE guy????.......WOW!
                                  That is Gideon- the gelding that started my love affair with Morgans. I had him from a yearling until I lost him suddenly in 2008 at a wayyy too young age of 16. He was that amazing, once in a lifetime horse. We showed, hunters, jumpers, dressage, did a little eventing, drove, saddleseat, and once when my mare that I was showing western came up lame- I threw the western tack on him and actually placed fairly well in the classes even though he'd never neck reined before He even went to college with me. He was well behaved enough to to put a total beginner on for a trail ride (he took my husband on his first horseback ride) but was a complete handful when someone experienced sat on him. That pic I put in my above post is Gideon and I doing our first big distance ride- 100 miles over 3 days
                                  I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
                                  If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post


                                    There are times I wish I could give it up... because of the heartbreak, and the expense, and the disappointments that can be overwhelming.

                                    And then I walk in the barn and my fat old horse whinnies when he hears me and I realize I couldn't live without horses, in some capacity.... I just wouldn't be *me* anymore!
                                    Am very much in this position with my mare, who has a suspensory problem that showed up *just* as we were really getting tuned in to each other, a long and VERY expensive process. I keep thinking, I wish I'd bought a different horse, or not bought a horse at all, or not started riding again. The heartbreak can seem like too much to bear.

                                    And then I go to the barn to take maresy for a walk, brush her, and just love on her, and I realize she is worth it, it's worth the trouble and expense, and I can't imagine giving it up.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I had plastic horses AND dolls... BUT, while my friend was worried about which doll married Ken and changing their outfits every 3 minutes, MY dolls were at the horse show grooming ponies and jumping oxers made of books, and the younger dolls were working students... I had a fine string of champions of course...

                                      I tried going without horses once. Was diagnosed 2 months later with clinical depression. 4 months after that my husband caved and bought me a horse.

                                      I really think it's just something in our genetic make up. They should make a blood test for it. These parent's are carriers for producing the horse crazy gene 1 out of 4 times or something... Wouldnt my parents die if they knew they were actually at fault for my obsession?! While not being horsey, they were very supportive of my craziness growing up. Thank goodness. My in-laws though, i couldnt count all the arguments with them over the past 10yrs of why the times we were broke and living off mac & cheese we still had a couple horses... They'll never get it. Thankfully, my husband understands.
                                      Your Horse's Home On The Road!
                                      www.KaydanFarmsEquineTransport.com

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                                      • #20
                                        I've tried to quit riding before. Several times, actually. Usually ends with me sitting in the horse-books aisle in Borders, bawling my eyes out like a baby. So I give up. Riding is not my talent, and my money could go further elsewhere, but something in me cannot keep going without horses in my life. I become completely unbalanced and everything just goes *wrong.*

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