Anna, & Guns: if only it were that easy.
Few people, even some of those who have been hanging around the horse world for sometime, ever really get to understand what my idea of a relationship with a horse can be.
Sports riders, amateur or professional, become fixated with performance, and with obedience. For them the horse is a tool, an essential necessity in the game - the name of which is to win. If the horse doesn’t fit that role, then it will be exchanged for another horse which might succeed. Professional riders, or even seriously competitive amateur riders, would laugh were they to read these words of mine. To such horse riders it is success which counts.
To me a horse brings companionship. There’s nothing to beat a ride on one’s horse up into the woods on a bright summers day. It can take years to get really close to a horse and it must be a two way process. The mutual trust, the elimination of fear, the rapport - they all have to come together and gel. The horse has to see the human almost as an equal but one from another species. With persistence on the part of the rider, the horse will eventually come to accept that there is less to fear whilst alongside a human.
Maybe the horse doesn’t have to run away from that strange noise.
For our part, we humans know that a horse cannot live in the modern world without a human as guardian.
If I am honest the DiDi was not the horse I enjoyed riding the most in my lifetime - a HannoverianXCob named William was.
DiDi was not the horse which fitted the best with my plans for retirement; Joe a stubborn carthorse cob was.
DiDi was the horse that expressed back to me, the emotions which I felt towards her.
Whenever she was highly agitated, when she was close to freaking out, I could calm her, with my voice, my touch, my mere presence. And together we would play whilst working on her fears and hesitations.
Then along came ulcers and the accursed lung disease. The ulcers could be managed; the lungs no one could not repair. Helpless I watched her remorseless decline.
Over These last six months I have lived by the words of my own horsey poem - some lines of which read thus:
And finally, Boss, if I am in pain or when my useful strength has gone;
Do not turn me out to starve or freeze or send me on to owners new;
They did not know me in my prime; You did, my Master,
You should end my life when the day has come, in a quick and painless way.
Living up to those words proved to be a highly burdensome task. But I believe that is exactly the pledge we make when we take on the responsibility for the health and well being of a ‘dumb’ animal which cannot fend for itself.
Can I find another DiDi , or a Joe, or a William?
Maybe I could with time, but what becomes a serious question for a retired pensioner such as I is:
“Do I have the days left or the physical fitness?”
And perhaps : “Do I have the stomach for more potential anguish”
I think not.
But in time we shall see. Maybe a horse will find me. Dogs seem to.
Last edited by xxBarry Godden; 07-07-2012 at 02:31 PM.