I was sitting having supper with a few people the other day and, as it does around here, the conversation turned to horses. I have got a little bit out of the way of those conversations over the last couple of years - truth be told I'm beginning to feel like it's all been said. Anyway, it was quite interesting listening - a couple of people discussing their take on how things should be, you know, how you should ride the horse, and who is good and who is not, usual kind of stuff.
I know that's all pretty important and that the way I have described the situation there sounds pretty trite, but for me there's something else more important that comes before all that. And this is the unspoken subject concerning the truth of the relationship between man and the horse.
Something happened at that dinner table that really said it all for me. There, in a nutshell was the evidence of what I think is one of the biggest problems that we give the horse to deal with.
The guys were talking about this trainer and that trainer, and I just said, 'well, surely from the horse's point of view, it's easier for him if he knows that when you say, Go over there, he just knows that that is what he has to do'. That's all I said.
The next comment was, 'That sounds really heavy', and then the next person around the table started telling a story about 'really heavy trainers' and how, since the Dorrances it didn't have to be like that.
So why is all this significant, and so significant that I am moved to write about it. It's because what I said, well, I think it's true. Not only is it better for the horse, it's safer for everyone, and who is there on this planet who wants their horse to be any other way. That's the point of having a horse, so that he can take you where you want to go. But all that didn't even get thought about. The mists came down and suddenly the conversation was all about people that could make horses do things as if by magic, and this special trainer and that special trainer. And all I could think of was the poor horse just wishing someone would take control and be in charge.