“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010

Kath and I just returned from the Maryland Horse Expo held in Timonium, MD. It is a four day event held at the MD State Fairgrounds and features some of the country’s best horse training experts who give demonstrations all day long in almost every horse discipline that one can imagine. There is also a “trade show” where one can find anything to buy – anything from a “ten horse” horse trailer to a sparkling trinket that juices up a halter.

I bought a rock for $5. And I bought it for Louie. Actually it is a rock, mined in Utah that is mostly salt but also contains about 35 other trace minerals that a body needs. It replaces the man made “salt lick”, that is far from natural. The rock is placed in the stall, fed free choice, which means that when the horse wants it and chooses to lick it, its there. I thought it was pretty cool to buy a rock for Lou to eat. Lou thinks its cool too – he gave it a few huge licks this afternoon…

Kath bought Patrick a new halter that has his name engraved on the nose band. And I finished up by buying Zippy an “itching brush” which I can scratch all his favorite spots with, like his back. It seems that everyone likes their presents.

We were able to meet a few trainers, and I even got asked to come out of the bleachers to help with a demonstration and get my fifteen minutes of horseshow fame. The trainer, John Lyons, pulled me and four other caballeros from the crowd to come into the round pen and try together to push his horse’s hip against the direction he was reining him. This was to demonstrate how the horse could obey the touch of the rein against our combined physical force. The rein won all three times! I wasn’t as impressed with the reining as I was that the horse didn’t try to kick us all in the head! Hear that Louie?! Patrick?! Zippy?!

But the thing I really learned from Mr. Lyons was not so much about horse training. He was talking about how one trainer may train a horse this way and another may train a horse that way, yet he was not going to judge who was right or wrong. To judge would be egotistical he said. Things aren’t right or wrong, but instead, they are simply different….

I wish that I could always look at things that way – as things being different rather than as right or wrong. I wonder what the world would be like if we all could look at things from that perspective. More forgiving? More tolerant? Peaceful? I think we’d all get along better.

It is interesting how we find the things we need by free choice. The examples and the words we need are always there if and when we choose to see or hear them…they are even there at a horse clinic, in a plain place called the “Cow Palace”.

Leaving Maryland I carried away things that I could use to make my horses better horses, and an idea that could make me a better me…

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