“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
And changed me it has. My interest in horses started as a child. Mainly because of my mother. My mom was quite the horse woman. She grew up on a farm with no electricity, where her father farmed with Percheron horses. It was these big strong draft horses, that she and her sister would ride for pleasure, 25 miles on a Sunday afternoon, and post the whole way. On occasion they rode them to town, by the roller rink, where the music wafted out onto the street and their horses would prance to the beat. Mom would race her horse on occasion and talks about her horse always needing to go another lap around the track before he could/would slow down.
You can see a picture of my mom on her horse on page 46 in this issue with her recipe for Caramel Roles. This amazing woman has been active with horses her whole life and continued to ride as long as she was physically able.
Thanks to my mother, I came by my passion for horses honestly and it is a common interest that we have shared over the years. But, my passion laid dormant for a few years, while I was busy riding motorcycles, racing snowmobiles, playing football… doing all the things a young man gets caught up experiencing. But my love for horses never left.
My wife and I were high school sweethearts, and when we first started dating we soon discovered our mutual love of horses. She had also grown up with horses and we spent many an afternoon riding her family’s horses together. I was hooked (on the girl AND the horses).
Recently my wife asked me what it was about horses that made me so passionate about them. The first thing I said to her (my go-to answer for this question) was, “It gives me freedom.” I can’t run anymore, but I can on a horse.
The second thing I mentioned was the thrill of the first ride after hours of training a new horse ““ building trust and bonding. When there is trust and respect between horse and rider it’s rewarding. Horses are pretty honest ““ they either trust you or will kick you.
I also like their size and mass. For example, the other day, the gate in our back pasture was open and 4,000 pounds of horses were out loose running around. When I whistled, they respected and trusted me enough to come back in. …And I appreciate using a horse for what it’s bred for. Getting on the back of a horse that’s designed for a specific purpose, like cutting or reining, is thrilling. They are such athletes and it’s a privilege to be on their backs.
I don’t party or drink. Working with horses is better for me. It’s all the high I need, and as Emerson says, one I am “grandly”
We hope others will find the enjoy and passion that has blessed our lives by being fortunate enough to be able to participate in
this great horse industry.