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why do you own horses?

Discussion in 'Horses, Donkeys and Mules' started by elwood, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Jun 15, 2012
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    I wrote this story for my neighbor the day her father died. I later entered it in a Tractor Supply contest about senior horses and won 3rd place. Another reason why I love horses so much, sharing the love is priceless.



    Shortly after we married, my husband bought a blue-eyed snowy white cremello Quarter Horse gelding named Joes Tuff Bars. He was calm and gentle, but spirited enough to take me for a good ride. When a child or a nervous non-rider was on his back, he slowly plodded along. His gentle nature and beauty made Joe everyones favorite.

    Our neighbor, Virgie, and her husband, went to Alabama to get her 89-year-old father, Amos. He bragged around his small town that his daughter was coming to get him and buy him a big white horse for him to ride from Texas to Alabama a real cowboy. I stopped by one afternoon and Virgie confided what her father had said. She said, I would give anything if he could ride a horse. I told her, Ill be back in an hour. Amos can ride Joe. Virgies face lit up with a big smile.

    About an hour later, 22-year-old Joe carried me to their house. A recent rain had washed him sparkling white. He glittered in the sunlight like diamonds. While I was gone, Amos had taken a shower, put on cologne, his boots, newest blue jeans, Stetson hat, and a black cowboy shirt with pearl snaps and big red embroidered roses. With help to get mounted, Amos was soon riding tall. Joe showed off his gaits slow and stop. Amos clucked to Joe and kicked the stirrups. Joe took a couple of steps and stopped. Whoopee! Amos was riding!

    He chattered up a storm, talking about riding back to Alabama and waving to everyone he knew. When he noticed that Joe stopped, he clucked again, Joe took a few steps and stopped again. Joe was perfectly content to pose for pictures and take a step or two for Amos. A soft breeze was blowing, gently lifting his mane in a white fringe. Joe was a perfect gentleman. I was so proud of him. Amos was having the time of his life, his face almost split in two from the big happy grin he wore.

    We were all a bunch of happy goofs, watching an old man on an old white horse on a perfect day. From then on, Amos claimed Joe as his horse. Time passed, and Amos passed away. At his funeral were three pictures placed on his casket: they were of Amos riding on a big white horse waving to all of his friends.



    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jun 16, 2012
    hqueen13

    hqueen13 <Insert Snazzy Title Here

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    Very cool baymule!


    The saddle has little to do with the gender of the rider, for sure. I know of several very good male riders that ride english, and a number of females that choose to ride western.

    I rider english because 1, my horse is 6'+ at the shoulder and english weighs a LOT less than western, and 2, english saddles are often much better constructed to be able to fit the horse's back (if you choose your saddle wisely). Saddles are like shoes, if they don't fit they can cause all sorts of problems. The challenge is not only does the saddle need to fit the horse, but it needs to fit the rider, too. The rider has a lot more flexibility in fit than the horse, but its still important, a bad saddle seat can put the rider in a position that is not only ineffective, but could also cause them to be less stable and fall off more easily. The width of the tree (the internal framework that the saddle is built on) and gullet (front part of the saddle) directly affect the horse's ability to move, specifically through the shoulders, and then down their back. If they can't effectively use their back and shoulder muscles it can inhibit their ability to accomplish simple tasks, and also cause long term permanent damage to their bodies (including their feet, everything is interconnected).

    So many details to learn! I can say that it is truly amazing to watch a horse move in a saddle that doesn't fit, and then move in a saddle that allows them to have freedom of movement, their expression is priceless!
     
  3. Jun 30, 2012
    Buster

    Buster Lovin' The Homestead

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    I prefer more practical animals. I have a couple that aren't, but they are small and cheap.
     
  4. Jun 30, 2012
    terri9630

    terri9630 Almost Self-Reliant

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    I have them for my sanity.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2012
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    Practical is in the eye of the owner. And, those that don't own horses can't always understand why people that do own them have them. It's not something that can be explained nor understood by non-horse people.
     
  6. Jul 1, 2012
    BarredBuff

    BarredBuff El Presidente de Pollo

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    When I first started homesteading about 4 years ago, and was looking up all types of livestock. I could never figure out why one would want a horse, never could. Then I realized that they could start out as pets but morph into a "utilitarian" animal, which could plow fields, pull a cart, and then allow for some travel. If I ever reach my goal of a secluded homestead in Northwestern Montana I will have me a horse! :p When you are off the beaten path like that, horses would be more practical especially if you are off grid. They require no electricty or online manuals :D But I'd have two to keep one another company... :)
     
  7. Jul 1, 2012
    the funny farm6

    the funny farm6 Almost Self-Reliant

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    I read this section to my husband who is NOT a horse person and this is what his reply was :
    "I think you are a horse person or your not. That is the easy part. If you love someone who loves horses-you might have to just learn to put up with them. (Like I am)" and I would like to add his eye roll.
     
  8. Jul 1, 2012
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    My DH has never ridden with me. Not once. Not the first time. Nevah, evah, nevah! But he will buy feed, hay, farrier work AND help me haul the hay AND even go feed them for me when I can't. (they are on 16 acres about 5 miles from our house in town) He pets them, loves on them but never rides.
     
  9. Jul 3, 2012
    hqueen13

    hqueen13 <Insert Snazzy Title Here

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    That's where the mistake is made in thinking that riding is a requirement for loving them. Frankly, if I never rode again, I'd be ok with that. Being around them is part of the 'magic' for me, and part of what I value most. I admire the Bedouin culture living and thriving amongst their horses. Maybe he loves them in his own way, which doesn't require forking a leg over.
     
  10. Jul 3, 2012
    Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Lovin' The Homestead

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    Same here Baymule! My hubby loves them just like I do and doesn't ride them. Just like some people are dog people vs. cat people, you have to be a horse person. It has to be in your blood or the work quickly becomes a chore. There is something incredibly calming in horses and I think that has something to do with how they are used in therapy for many types of people. They may be wild and strong in nature but yet they are very fragile and sentient beings that will put their complete trust in us, if they so choose. What more can one ask than to have a 1,000lb, excuse me, 2000lb animal partner up with you to get the job done? I have 6 with 3 more on the way and couldn't imagine life without them.
     

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