DUDE I'm getting old...
As my horse and I get older, my priorities have changed. For me, I no longer give any cares about what color my breeches are and if they match my decade old pair of riding boots. Most of the time they don’t.
I give more cares about making sure my horse’s insulin and glucose levels don’t tip into the dangerous IR zone, so that I can keep him muzzled and on the grass, if even for a few hours a day. He earned it.
I give fewer cares about shopping for new horse stuff, like blankets and browbands. Instead, I take meticulous care of the items I do have.
I give more and more cares about planning for a life without horses. Horse are delightful, stressful, emotionally draining, wonderful amazing creatures, and can be financially burdensome. While I have loved my time owning horses, I’m looking forward to the days in which I don’t have this responsibility.
I give less and less cares about a specific discipline. I have explored almost every discipline there is, and at this point if I feel like riding in a western saddle while out with the hounds then that’s what I’m gonna do. Or if I feel like trail riding in a dressage saddle. Or whatever.
I give more and more cares to making sure I stay safe around horses. I have no desire to become an instant lawn dart, shot from the back of some young punk horse. I’d rather have the steady eddy type. I have nothing to prove in the saddle, and I really like my bones just as they are - intact.
I give less and less cares about keeping up with horse competition news. I will, of course, always have Olympic fever and follow a few of my idols as they compete, but now my obsession with all things horse competition news has faded. I’d rather read about the latest in laminitis research or hay nutritional value.
I give more and more cares about horse welfare. I’m done thinking that some horses need a good beating because of an attitude “problem”. I’m done thinking that kicking and spurring and whipping over a fence is what you need to do because your horse is “naughty". There’s a better way - and if you don’t have the patience for it, perhaps you don’t deserve horses. YES - I’m speaking to every one of you “pros” out there that I have seen being an ass to your horse.
I give less and less cares about what you think about me when I confront you for bad horsemanship, or turn you in to the show office or USEF. And because I always carry a camera, good luck in making your case.
I give more and more cares about educating horse owners about things that are preventable. There’s a lot of bad horse predicaments that can be avoided by taking care of your horse daily. Take off the blanket. Inspect his legs. Take his temperature. Brush him.
I give less and less cares about the big barns that churn out lessons and buy/sell horses and go to every single show and have a dozen Grooms to help you get on and off your horse. There’s a place and time for that, and it works for some - but not me. That’s not horsemanship - but if you want to learn more, I’m here.
I give more and more cares about how Grooms are viewed and treated in the horse world. I’m heartbroken by the emails I receive detailing some working conditions. I’m motivated that there is a lot more open support of Grooms (awards, recognition, classes, press). I’m determined.
LET'S GET READY FOR AN AMAZING 2018!!