A little Heart-to-Heart, or lack thereof!
Recently I visited a ranch here in my area where they have regular team roping events. Just basically a community affair get-together. I saw a fellow I had met before, who was in the vent, and said Hi to him. I asked him, "practicin eh?" And he replied, "No, not practicing. We're roping."
Now you gotta understand me...I'm just a pleasure/trail rider who just got back to riding a couple years ago after 30 years of having been away from it. But the passion and love for the whole scene burns big time within me. It's in my blood, as my dad was a horseman and rodeo cowboy. We put on rodeos and such. I just love the atmosphere and like to be around these events, the cowpokes, horses and the whole nine yards. And I like to be sociable and "talk the talk" and just "be one of the guys".
So, this fellow, in his rugged stand-offishness shows me I'm not "part of the club yet" with his comment. :-) That's okay. I met him before when I was first looking into getting my own horses and got to know him a little.
Another time at a rodeo I saw him and talked to him briefly. He was at the rodeo with a couple of his horses to enter the team roping event again. As I was exchanging pleasantries with him I went to pet one of his horses and it kind of spooked away from me. He said to me, "they aren't pets. You pet dogs, not horses." With that, I simply said that I had no problem with petting horses and left him to his business...seeing quite clearly where he was at.
The ironic thing is...concerning my comment about "practicin eh?"...in my way of thinking, and respecting the true cowboy history, what they were doing in the team roping even was exactly that. They are practicing/playing in a sporting event what true cowboys do as part of their everyday life on the ranch. Team roping is done when roping and dragging the calves to the fire for branding. To me, this is exactly what it is...a sport made out of a real life job for an honest living.
So, these animals aren't to be our "pets" but we can use them for a SPORT for our own amusement, pride and ego?! :-( We can keep them tied up at a rodeo, standing in the dry heat all day...usually without water, standing there with saddles on in the dust and heat...for 3 or 4 hours waiting for our 2 minutes of glory out in the rodeo arena.
But they aren't pets. No, don't you dare pet them, love on them or treat them like special creatures worthy of our affection. No, they are just tools or articles of sport to be worked and sweated up for our own amusement...as though they owe us something.
So far removed from this heartlessness...I love to just see my horses running free with their other horsey buddies out on the field. Part of my joy is to see my horse run off to be with her buddies after a ride. There is just SO much joy in horses...if one has the eyes and heart to see it! :D
I SO agree with you. Especially your last comment "I love to just see my horses running free with their other horsey buddies out on the field. Part of my joy is to see my horse run off to be with her buddies after a ride. There is just SO much joy in horses...if one has the eyes and heart to see it!"
I'm working at a bible camp this summer with Lacey and when I went in for my interview, the camp director (who knows me and knows that horses are my life) was laughing at my application becuase for the question that said "what helps you the most in your walk with God?" I said that Lacey does because she is the epitome of God's love in my life (ie, I have her, somehow, and I was sure I was going to be 40 before I had my first horse, and how she loves me unconditionally, even when I'm a jerk) and she shows me everyday how joyfully life is supposed to be lived.
He thought it was really strange that she has such an effect on my life. She's not just my pet though, she's my partner, my teammate, my best friend, and my freedom. I don't generally refer to her as my pet though because she really isn't a pet to me. She's so much more. To me, pet has a connotation of being lower, ownership, that sort of thing, but I really don't feel like I own her. I mean, I do own her technically, but I feel like we have a partnership more than a owner/pet relationship, if that makes any sense. Of course, it's something like a 60/40 (in my favor) partnership, but we both win.
I find that sad when horses don't understand our kind of love. But at the same time, who knows, maybe, hopefully, that man has another way to show his horses "love." Maybe it's not our way of love, petting, treats, all that, but maybe he does other things for them that he thinks of as thanking them. Maybe it's something like if we were speaking Japanese to our horses and he's speaking Spanish to his. We could be saying the same things, just in different ways, and to the other person we aren't "right" since they don't speak our language but to people who speak our language, we are "right." We can hope that's the case at least!
It's hard to see people not love their horses the way I feel love should be shown. For instance, my BO doesn't trim her horses hooves during the winter when they aren't being ridden, she doesn't pay much attention to them aside from when they are going to be ridden, and she's very goal oriented with them. I know she loves them all dearly and that that's just the way she shows love. I personally show love by keeping Lacey as conditioned as possible, just hanging out with her sometimes, taking care of every one of her needs, and being more relationship oriented with her, I'm also goal oriented but the relationship on the way to the goal is way more important to me than the goal. That's just how I show love. She thinks I'm silly for babying Lacey as much as I do, but Lacey does things to please me and she crumbles when I get mad. My BO's horses do things to see what they can get away with and could care less if their rider is POed. Of course, that probably has the most to do with the relationship aspect of our love styles.
I guess it basically boils down to the saying "different strokes for different folks."
Excellent post. :D
Also, sorry for the super long post! You caught a talkative soul right before bed when she's the most talkative. :lol:
No problem. I'm pretty wordy myself. :lol:
BTW what is a BO? Just curious.
Good reply. Personally I don't see "pet" as refering to ownership, but I guess more of a responsibility to a domesticated animal dependant upon us for food, shelter and care. I guess we technically "own" them because we paid $ for them, but the bond or responsibility could have come without the exchange of money.
I actually love the independant nature of the horse (kind of like a cat). Even though we feed them, love them and insist that they obey us, and have a give and take partnership....they still express their wild and free spirit. I hate to see anything just caged up or existing in a little paddock...just there for man's use. That's just me. Probably nothing really wrong with it.
I don't even mind my horses being hard to catch at times. They play their little "hard to get game" and then finally let me come near. I'd rather have that then some docile, mindless, lifeless horse. A couple of times I've come off of Gypsygirl...once knocked out and in looloo land for a half hour...and she stood their beside me the whole time. So the loyalty is their when it matters. She even broke her reins when she was tied up...from being spooked...and just stood their for me to calm her down and retie her. Now I only tie them very loosely, if at all.
So my horses have minds of their own, but we enjoy times of affection and fun. Grasshopper is more rugged, but has her own little fun and affectionate ways. Gypsygirl is more cuddly and soft, but very spirited.
I agree with you, but there are those horse owners who just see them as a work animal and spur the snot out of them, then turn them loose until the next sporting event or job. What I find is horses are great indicators for showing people's personalities...or lack thereof! People vent their anger, impatience and their natures around animals. OR they vent their overflow of love and joy around them! The latter...that's me! :lol:
But I can be firm and on top of things...as needed, as well. I'm every bit a "man" but with the love and joy of the Lord bursting at the seams! :wink:
Different strokes for different folks -- some people see horses as pets, some see them as a tool. Some see them as the equivalent to a cat or dog and others as another livestock animal like cows, sheep, pigs. Do what you want with your animals and they will do what they want with theirs.
What mac said.
If you don't want to be judged for the way you keep horses, you don't get to judge someone else. Not everyone thinks of horses as pets, nor believes they need snuggling and treats.
As a religious person you should know the saying, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
Plus, a horse going without water for 3 to 4 hours won't kill them. It's not ideal, but it certainly won't cause any long term harm.
Are you sure you're a guy, Rawhide?
That whole hearts and flowers post made me feel like I was reading something by a teen girl with Black Stallion Syndrome. :-P
Funny thing is too...I can hardly picture this fellow I originally mentioned having given a name to his horses. Something about an animal having a name. Like naming your chickens. Pretty hard to eat one after that. :shock:
Yes, it pretty unlikely that one's cows would be given names.
Yep, different stokes for different folks....has always been that way, but it certainly doesn't condone bad behaviour or the mistreatment of others.
Babies, children and animals....good barometers showing where people are at. :-)
But hey, don't go too far and in the wrong direction with "judge not". Why do you think we have laws and guidelines for proper behaviour? Rein yerself in there, Pard! :lol: You even judge your children's behaviour, and everyone else's. Good judgement is a GOOD thing. Hello!
Speed Racer; I just noticed you are "female". I thought you were a man at first. Sorry. Probably wouldn't have called you "Pard". Honestly thought I was talking to a man.
Exactly, different strokes for different folks. Which is why the person mentioned should not have treated RawhideKid the way he did. He judged him automatically, simply for attempting to pat the horse, or for the comment he made.
The fact that the horse shied away from RawhideKid has me concerned. Most well-treated horses don't shy away from a raised hand. We rescued a pony, and that's what she did, but only because her owner mistreated her. Could be just me though =P
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