Monday, September 23, 2013

The Value of a Broke Horse...

I have a good girlfriend with two very rambunctious teenage boys. I often ask her how she can stand watching them do the dangerous things that they do without having a heart attack. Her response, "I don't look". So far the hardest part of raising my own filly has been letting her learn to look after herself. Sometimes that means "I don't look". I believe in setting a horse up for success by taking baby steps through new situations... But, it just isn't possible to baby step through every learning curve. Some of them you have to run through with breath held and fingers crossed. It is tempting to avoid those situations but I cant keep Hola bubble wrapped forever. She has to learn stay away from the boss horse or she will spend her life standing alone in a paddock. She has to learn that having a meltdown along the fence line isn't going to get herself turned-in any sooner or she will be the horse that runs through a fence when you take her buddy away. She has to learn to learn that hauling isn't always slow back roads on sunny days, being passed by a semi on a highway in the rain sucks, (for her and for me)  but we will survive, hopefully. She has to learn that pulling back wont get her anywhere or she will be that horse that wont tie. It is really hard to not look. To not help. To not avoid the scary situation. And I don't expect her to come away unscathed. She has fallen down while running the fence line. She has got herself snubbed up while tied and panicked and pulled back. The knot held, thank god, and she only pulled for a second, thank god, and then she remembered to come off of pressure, thank god, and she stepped forward, thank god.

Raising'em up yourself isn't for patsies. What I've learned more than anything else is...

The tremendous value of a horse that is already dead broke, solid minded and been-there-done-that. There is a whole shit load of "thank god" moments that lead to that creation of that horse. A whole lot of hard work and a little luck too.  

Hola Practicing her Big Fast and Small Slow Circles


  1. It's funny the way some riders/trainers look at horsemen like us and say, "But that's scary..." Like we have a flock of turkeys that pick around in the fields and first thing I do is throw the horses out with them instead of 3 pastures over. I get the wide-eye from other boarders saying I'm going to stress out the horses. Or when I say, "I'll be back, walking down the road with B to the ice cream shop." They call us crazy, but our horses are quieter and have a smaller injury rate :)

  2. WELL said my baby girl! It somehow reminds me of raising you! The black eye (thank god it was a baseball), the stitches in the forehead (thank god it was the patio doors that I kept too clean just once), the broken wrist (thank god it was just from rolling blading), the wild falls that you would take cause you always tripped over something (cause you were always looking the other way). Standing at the door as you walked away....waiting for the turn of your head and a little wave just to let me know you were going to be okay! (and thank god you were)
    Your weekends away from me and then the summers that eventually turned into the years as you fell in love with a wonderful man.
    I have used so many Thank Gods I don't think there is any left for me. But there is actually, I thank all the heavens on earth that I have three wonderful kids that bring joy and laughter into my life everyday. I thank the powers that be, that you all have the kindest soul and warmest heart and that you embrace life and treat it like there are no tomorrows. I am thankful that all of you return the love and shower me daily with it, you don't hide it and despite your getting to the age that you think some of the time you know better then me, I can deal with that too because you stand beside me. Not behind me and not in front of me and I love you for it.
    So I know that I haven't used them all up because all of you are with me everyday!