(THIS BLOG ORIGINALLY POSTED IN APRIL OF 2010. This year, my husband’s family came for Thanksgiving to the new house. All of them had a great time and were extremely pleasant, but none spent any time outdoors. So interesting…)
IS THERE ANYONE CLOSE TO YOU WHO JUST DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE ANIMAL THING?
My Mother was here for the last few days.
Sadly, she never has and never will get the “animal thing”. Every time she is here, I get the proverbial, “Why so many horses?” and “How do you get all that hair off of ______ (fill in the blank)…?
Actually, her resolve for most all of my problems… broken refrigerator, unfinished basement, property tax bill due, dry skin and need of a root canal can all be traced back to “If you just got rid of all of these animals, your life would be easier.”
Well, it bothers me that my Mother will never understand my love for animals. However, I know that our philosophies are just different. For her, animals mean work and a mess and they cost money. For me, animals mean work and a mess and they cost money. But, our opinions of that are completely different. Do you know what I mean?
First off, I’m not going to chide my Mother for her views. She is right. Animals are work, they are messy and they do cost money.
And, I’m not going to be upset (well, maybe a little) if she will never come to terms with my regard for animals.
But today, in deference and reference to my Mother, I want to put to paper why I have animals.
WHY I HAVE ANIMALS
I just wrote that header and I found my fingers pausing. I have to think about this. Why do I have animals? Hmmmm.
I think it is different for each kind of animal. But, the main reason is because their personalities and thought processes are very engaging to me. You see, I find the personalities of humans engaging, too, but humans aren’t as honest as animals. Humans don’t always tell the truth. Animals cannot hide the truth. I like that.
I like that they are honest in who they are and honest in presenting who they are.
Of course, there are dishonest horses (we all have met one), but they aren’t dishonest in their honesty, if that makes sense. You KNOW a horse is dishonest so you watch him more closely. Perhaps the word, “dishonest” is not appropriate for those types of horses. Perhaps, “avoidance opportunistic” is more appropriate. Dunno. Anyway, what I am saying is that I think I love animals because I love their truth. (Actually, I think it would be great if humans would pin their ears when they were upset… but human body language isn’t so obvious, is it?)
Well, since this blog is about the bond between Horse and Man, I thought I would speak about horses specifically. And, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t already have horses… So, I guess I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know…
OK, here goes: Horses are way bigger than us. Yet, they let us ride them. Why? Would you?
I think horses are loving, willing and charitable most of the time. I mean, think of any other animal that weighs 1200 pounds. Would you approach it? I wouldn’t even approach a 250 pound man! So, I guess I feel honored that horses invite me into their circle.
For me, sitting and watching the horses interact in a group is fascinating. They all have their personalities and their duties within the herd. And, they are all true to that. No ifs ands or buts in the herd. It is what it is. Which, I might add, is very different when you have a large gathering of women, let’s say…
Horses are consistent.
They act like they are going to act all the time. I like that.
I like that I know that Tess will always be at the gate first. I like that her baby always gets a kick if he gets too close to her at feeding time. I like that my Icy filly is always just outside of kicking range but incessantly irritating since it is in her personality to push. I love that Gwen is always the strongest, that Sam is always wild yet willing to let me approach if I do it right.
I love how Finn is goofy but sincere in his protection of Beautiful Girl. I love that BG is sweet as can be and totally willing to let me do anything with her because she loves me best. I admire that Remi survived as a mustang in the wild and now lives, always regally, here. I love that Bodhi is learning from her and beholding to her.
I love both of my Shetlands… Dodger because he is like Yoda and Slick because he is relentlessly like Collin Ferrell. Norma is so precious and so discerning that I feel privileged that she lets me love her. And they all, always, make me feel accepted and appreciated. Hmmmmmm.
Is that enough to feed and house them all? For me, absolutely. I think of them as my outside roommates and really good friends.
I love seeing them everyday. I love interacting with them. And, to me, they are better than roommates since they don’t leave any messes in the house (well, kinda they do since I track in hair all the time…).
I can leave them whenever I want without explaining why. Actually, I want to leave my horses far less than I remember wanting to leave my roommates… But anyway, what I mean is that they GIVE to me so much more than most people have time to give. Horses seem to want to hang out and be with you. If you listen to them, most listen back. If you treat them the way you want to be treated, they do the same. Horses are honest, humorous, discerning, gentle, faithful and loving survivors which are also traits I find in all of my close human friends. Hmmmmm.
There you have it.
I love having horses because their animal traits mesh with mine.
Sure, they are hairy and messy – but so is Hubby. Sure they cost money but everything costs something. However you cannot put a price on what moves your heart – to me, that is priceless.
What matters is that horses give consistently more than they ever get. I want to give back. I want to nurture them, help them be happy and be around them as often as possible.
And, in this awful economy recently, the horses have gotten the short end of the stick. Horses are neglected, starved and dumped in epic proportions nowadays.
So, for me, I’m just one who is trying to right the wrong, a few horses at a time. It makes me feel good.
That is why I have horses.
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