Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gotta Get Right Back on That Horse

I've always had an inexplicable love of horses. I say inexplicable because I've had three experiences that were less than favourable. 1) As a boy I visited Sunnybrook Stables, where the police kept their mounted unit. Shortly after feeding one of them some hay I learned a valuable lesson: always know where your thumb is. Ow! The force of a horse's teeth chomping down on your finger is like getting it caught in a slamming car door.

2) Ireland 1977, galloping through a field in the country with my dad. Picture-perfect setting, surrounded by fresh green meadows. Patty O'Connor holding his shillelagh while Danny Boy echoes through the ethereal mist that blankets the lush, rolling hills.

Actually I made most of that up, I don't remember shit about what the place looked like. But it was in Ireland.

Anyway. There I was, twelve years old riding my trusty steed when I was tossed and fell off the side, only to be dragged through the field with one foot in the stirrup. Luckily there were no cow-patty speed bumps to make life more interesting.

3) Early twenties, I went riding at a local stable with friends. The horse I was on had no interest in doing much of anything. So we just sauntered along for a painful eternity until he sighted the stable, which happened to be at the bottom of a large hill with a 70 degree incline. Sure, now we decide we want to gallop. In Trigger's enthusiasm I was almost bucked over the front, sure to meet some grisly fate in a tragic equestrian trampling accident. Despite these experiences I love horses and would ride again tomorrow.


Because I won't allow a few negative experiences to prevent me from living the good ones. Too often we allow our attitudes to be beaten down, and give in too easily. I have a hard time holding a grudge; I find it takes much more effort to resent someone than it does to forgive them. Relationships die too quickly these days, when sitting down and talking it through can usually get things back on track.

Something that's always bothered the hell out of me is the attitude some people take after a messy break-up. Too often I've heard, "Men are just__" or "All women are__". No they're not. Maybe the one you were with is. I've only loved two women in my life, the first turned my world upside down when she broke up with me (I was about 21). But I never felt she spoke for all women, and my interest in the opposite sex never waned. I never lost faith in the goodness of people then or since.

I hope we can all keep things in perspective. There's too much we can miss out on when we choose to close our eyes or worse, our minds.


  1. I used to love "My Little Pony" cartoons. I think I had the doll... hhhhmm... can't remember. It's really true, we should not allow those negative experiences to affect the future. I know I'm guilty of it! I guess it's part of my vulnerability issue, eh? I'm working on it :)))

    PS. I've never ridden a horse. It's on my bucket list!

  2. Oh God let's not look at your vulnerability as an issue, m'kay? Please. Like anything else it's healthy if kept in check, and as you said earlier quite necessary if we're going to let anyone in.

    I'll stop now before I write another thirty paragraphs. lol


    BTW horses are amazing, usually very gentle animals. Quite easy to bond with.

  3. i grew up in province but never ride a horse..
    but someday i will.

  4. Hi "A.A.",

    Horses are like people, they have distinctive personalities. When you find one you 'click' with, riding can be a great experience. So I'm told. :)