Real Simple

thReal Simple

Ponderings by Julie Bryant

It is perhaps one of the joys of memory that we can recall the simplest things from childhood with fondness. One of those, for me, was leaving a glass of milk and a paper plate of cookies for our postman. I used to wait with great anticipation for his arrival at our door when he would deliver the mail because I would imagine his delight at the discovery of ice cold milk and cookies put there just for him. When our doorbell would ring and he stood there with his empty glass, the paper plate and a napkin ready for disposal, I would beam at him waiting to hear his thank you. It was wonderful. Or in today’s vernacular . . .cool, awesome, epic . . . to my little girl’s heart.

Something so little. So simple. To some perhaps, so quaint, in our world of ever increasing disconnect through technology.

I believe that is one of the attractions of the horse. The simplicity of it all in the incredible attraction to a beauty this is somehow indescribable and that the beauty we see would be so willing to hang out with us. Connect with us.

God surely knew this would be one of His greatest gifts. That the animal He has already predestined to be the bearer of his Son at His return would be putting up with us in this lifetime. Mind boggling, really. Another connection, perhaps.

The other part of this simplicity, so many seem to be discovering of late, is what the horse is willing to teach us. A new generation, one would hope, of the Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, Bill Dorrance era that somehow got lost there for a bit in the newest gadget, bit of tack or latest whisper.

Consider these quotes:

From Ray – “There is no way that the horse will ever try to take advantage of you. He’s as honest and as truthful as anything you could ever work with. He has no ego that gets in his way. He has no pride that gets in his way. He doesn’t know what win or lose is. And those are the four things that get in the human’s way. It’s very sad. All the horse is trying to do is survive; he’s trying to make it. So I try to work with him like he was me, just like I hope he would work with me.”

From Bill – “I’ve always liked horses and I’ve always wanted to help them do their job better, whatever it was that they had to do.”

From Tom – “When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid; I figure it’s a sure sign that the animal has somehow outfoxed them.” A personal favorite of mine because it’s like looking in a mirror.

Even for these men of an era perhaps gone by, I believe they found a certain peace in their relationship with horses, that it was not so much the horse that was learning, but them. It was not so much that they were learning about the horse, but what they were learning about themselves.

“I did so many wrong things for so long, until the horse came along that wouldn’t put up with me. I couldn’t believe that. I couldn’t pound and hammer and make him all right. I’m not proud of what I’m saying,” Ray said.

“I found out there is something more to it, when you feel it in here (your heart), when you feel for him, when you feel of him; the confidence can go down through that body, or you can take it out.”

Do you want to cry out when you read that, to admit the same wrong, the same bruising of an animal’s heart?

I have made a living out of the study and analysis of the horse business and can probably give you a fairly good idea of what it will look like in five or 10 years (not real shiny frankly, but people will still be going at it and in simpler ways. Just my opinion). But sadly, I have not made a life of getting to know the horse all that well because I have been too busy in the business, where I see so many others trying to build this business without true growth.

Let’s please make it simple.

I’ll admit that I have not learned it, but what I do know is that it is there to find.

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