Why do we do it? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-03-2010, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Why do we do it?

In my 5 years of riding, I have seen and heard of many horrible accidents(In real life, through the news, and on youtube). And at each accident, I would gasp, hold my breath, and wait until the person deemed they were "ok". Even if there were some injuries, I've never really been affected by these incidents. Until today...

I had just got home from school today and I turned on the TV to animal planet. A show called "Untamed and Uncut" was on, which shows video of bad accidents with animals while the narrator explains what happened and why it happened.
On this particular episode today, I watched a man be knocked to the ground by a horse, stepped on and then kicked full force in the side of his head. The camera wasn't close enough to see details, but from a distance of at least 200 feet, I could clearly see the hoof sized crater left in his skull.

It really shook me, more than any accident I have seen in person. (And I watched a person very close to me be bucked off her horse and land smack dab on to the top of her head, narrowly escaping snapping her neck). It made me think, "Why in the h*ll do we do this?"

Obviously, we ride because we love it, including myself. The horse industry wouldn't be holding billions of our well spent currency if we hated it. I love horses and riding, and I'm not going to stop any time soon, But I am still wondering...

What compels us to sit on/work with a 1200 pound animal and risk broken bones, scars, brusies, and even death?

I'm not trying to start a bash-happy thread, so if you could kindly leave it out of this discussion, it would be greatly appreciated.

Cookies to whoever read the whole thing! And thanks for your imput!
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-03-2010, 06:08 PM
Green Broke
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We love the thrill! The adventure. The conquering of a big, strong animal. The wonder and beauty a horse possess.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-03-2010, 06:24 PM
Green Broke
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I think I know what clip you are talking about. Was it the wild horse race clip? If so then they kind of put themselves in that position. I don't think about what could happen I just try my best to be as safe as possible when I'm around my horses.

100% Anti-Slaughter and PROUD of it!
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-03-2010, 06:31 PM
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I love it. Obviously. As much as we complain about the work involved, I honestly would have nothing to do if I wasn't cleaning tack, going to get hay, mucking stalls, pounding fence posts in, learning about the intricacies of electrical work for installing electric fences, reading up on anything horsey, and obviously, riding.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-03-2010, 06:32 PM
Green Broke
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Ya, I just watched it! It took him getting bashed in the head to realize he will start wearing a helmet.
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-03-2010, 06:37 PM
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We take precautions like being safe about riding horses inside their comfort zones, wearing helmets, eventing vests when jumping, correct boots, fitting saddles, and correct tack.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-04-2010, 12:29 AM
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As others have said, thrill and adventure.
I love the partnership. The trust I have to put into my mount each time and the trust they put in me to keep them safe.
We all take necessary precautions when we ride for both us and our horse. Helmets and back protectors, protective boots for our horse. Everyone knows that sh!t can happen. Freak accidents.
Equiniphile, I don't have anything to do if I'm not fixing fences and rugs, cleaning paddocks and tack either.
We're all probably at least partially insane anyway
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-04-2010, 12:41 AM
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Oh my goodness, My daughter and I watched that today too. When the barrel racing horse reared and flipped on its rider my daughter (who wants to barrel race) just looked at me. I asked, " you still want to barrel race?" she said "Yes!"

I agree , we just need to take as many safety precautions that we can to cut down on the risks involved. My wish for her is to be a better horsewoman when she is older and learn to listen better to her horse. If her horse is acting up or acting strange don't just push it off until it is too late.
On the Animal planet show , the barrel horse had teeth/mouth issues.

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-04-2010, 01:47 AM
Green Broke
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because im addicted. I cant stop, i cant explain why, its just something ive needed since i was young. haha we caught the horse bug ;)

edit: oh and, i love that show, but i laugh pretty hard sometimes because the narrarator sometimes doesnt have a clue what hes talking about and makes it sound WAY more vicious then it is, like, he talked about two horses that got loose in a parade and he talked about them like they were vicious, blood thirsty animals who tryed to hurt people *facepalm*

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-04-2010, 07:31 AM
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This post reminded me of something a friend sent to me once....it's really long, but I think it answers the question of why we do this....

Why does the horse, an animal with such a big heart, live such a short life? God gives us horses and compels some of us to love them.He gives us a few good years to care for and learn from them, but when the time is right, it's up to us to see them off gracefully. OK, perhaps not gracefully. Blowing into a Kleenex is rarely graceful. But we can be grateful.

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a person courage, if he/she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life. Even the smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer the fear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful. Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle - or a computer - a horse needs regular care and most of it requires that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch.

Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves.

If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it. I found one of ours on the front porch one morning, eating the cornstalks I'd carefully arranged as Halloween decorations. Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people - which makes the whole partnership thing allthe more interesting. If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday - but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than turning a key in the ignition and putting the car in "drive."

In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he's fed up with how slowly you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry you over fences...if it suits him. It all depends on the partnership – and partnership is what it's all about.

If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion, in addition to basic survival skills. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven.

You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider. These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work.

If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our over saturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures. If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals...Some of us need these reminders.

When you step back, it's not just about horses - it's about love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, or a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us. When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow. We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle. Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return. Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true companion..

In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place. And so we pray ''Dear God, After You've enjoyed
a bit of jumping, please give our fine horses the best of care. And, if it's not too much, might we have at least one more good gallop when we meet again?"

I don't know who wrote it, but I love it. Even though it makes me a bit teary every time I read it.

It is not 'cool' to ride without a helmet! period.

Last edited by Shimla101; 12-04-2010 at 07:35 AM. Reason: fixing paragraphs...
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