Tag Archive: Horses

The Dreams and Reality of Horse Riding

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wild-horses

I think there will always be a certain majestic quality to horses for all of our kind.  They’ve been carrying us around for centuries thanklessly and besides that, just look at this picture and tell me it doesn’t fill you with some sort of existentialist or romantic feelings about the past and future?  (© Serena).

If you know me then you probably know I’ve got a strong affection for animals of all shapes and sizes, at least as much love for them as I do for people.  I guess that might make me a “hippie” of some kind to some people that value human life above all other forms of life, but I don’t particularly mind being judged by those whose opinions really don’t affect me or matter to me in the least.  With that said, I’m not against those who do value human life above all other animal life but I just like to have a personal understanding and respect for the sanctity of life in all of its forms.

I’ve had some experience with horses, both good and bad.  The reality of horses might be a little jarring for some people at first or it might be just a “situation normal” moment of realization that won’t even make you shrug your shoulders in indifference.  For me, I suppose my early exposure to them made it easier for me to re acclimatize myself with them later on in life.  I rode my first horse while I was a very small child with the constant aid of adult supervision so the experience was completely safe, secure and monitored so I was never placed into any moment of real danger.  I think if anyone has a desire to get their child (or any young person in their life for that matter) involved with horses, then it’s probably a good idea to start as young as possible.  The same rule applies for those who expose their children to playing musical instruments, performing athletic sports and activities, or getting involved with any sort of skill or activity you’d like for them to get a head start in. Sooner is better!

christopher-reeve-after-accident

I think it’s a testament to the human spirit to see Christopher Reeve smiling and being as brave as he was in the years following his crippling injury during a terrible horse riding accident.  (© Andre Queiroz).

It’s shocking that even celebrities are not immune to the very real dangers that come with horse riding.  The cruel irony that Christopher Reeve, the actor who played the “Man of Steel” himself, Superman, could be rendered paraplegic from an injury and have his quality of life changed so drastically is something that is hard to see and one can only wonder how difficult it was for him to live with it.  The late great Robin Williams who attended Juilliard (arguably one of, if not the greatest schools for the performing arts on the planet) along with Reeve, set up a trust fund for Reeve’s children shortly after hearing about the accident.  They were friends ever since they met in school, and now that they are both gone, I think it’s only right to honor their memory by giving ourselves and future generations the best equipment we can, in the form of knowledge.

horse-farm-in-iceland

This photo emphasizes the point I’ve been trying to make perfectly; teach the children! (© Ryan Harvey).

I think that being responsible caretakers of horses and each other is the best way to prevent any serious and tragic accidents or injuries from occurring.  I know that like everything else that’s wrong where we’re involved, there is never going to be a hundred percent safety here or anything else that involves physical activity.  Just remember, we’re smart enough to prevent it, we just have to not be lazy… it’s not the horses fault, it’s ours.