Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
There comes a time when you realize life is not about "me", but about "them".
The "them" may not be other people always. How we treat horses & dogs are a part of who we are, just like how we treat other people. But what defines who we are, in the long run, isn't about what "I" can do or achieve for me.
One of the best things that happened to me in my Air Force career was being passed over for major. I was falling into the trap of focusing on getting ahead in work, and letting my family fall where it might. When I was passed over for promotion, it helped me appreciate the role of my family and kids.
5 years later, I became what was then the oldest Captain to get promoted to Major (although a couple of years later another guy beat me for that dubious record). I later made Lt Col, did some work that I thought was important, and retired when cutbacks eliminated my job and left me in a 'busywork' job. And when I retired, I still had my family and kids (and dogs, and had added horses about that time as well).
It is easy, for me at least, to get caught up in 'getting ahead' - be that a career, or goals in anything. And I've watched men who sacrificed their families to achieve their careers, and most of them end up miserable and pathetic.
It isn't wrong to have dreams, or to work toward them. It isn't wrong to have things you do for yourself - but IMHO, it works far better when those goals are a part of a team - family, co-workers, etc.
To use a horse analogy, it is the difference between demanding a horse do XYZ so you can win a ribbon, and encouraging a horse to do his best - and understanding if his best is less than what will bring you glory. It is the difference between a horse who is a partner, and one who is a tool.
Hopefully my own experience in life hasn't dragged my answer too far away from your thoughts. This guy may or may not be the guy you spend a life with, but how you treat him is every bit as much important as how you treat your horse. Both define who you are as a person, and the balance you strike in dealing with both will form the person you become.
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."