...quiet, about a lot of things...
Friday, August 25, 2006
People sometimes ask me why horses do it?..jump these things we ask them too. Put horses in a field and left to their own devices, I've never seen them jump tires or coops or haybales. They spin and rear and buck and play, but I've never seen them jump an obstacle..unless chased by something and trying hard to escape.
Yet, put a rider on their back,if they respect that rider..these horses bound over anything...really anything...Go to Rolex..in KY..and you will horse fly over the most amazing things, at a full gallop. It is breathtaking.
So Why do they do it? Some do it out of fear, not many though. Believe me, if they are afraid..sooner or later, they stop....and sometimes, that's that.No more jumping. Period. Some do it cause horses love a JOB. This is their job. These horse can be machines. Lots of race horse come of the track knowing only one lead. The left..(diection of travel). They are born, broke to a saddle, gotten out of their stalls, walked to the track, breezed, walked back to the barn, hosed, wrapped, and deposited back in their stall. While its hard for me to imagine the monotony of this..some horses thrive. It's their job.
And some horses are like my horse. My lovely little horse Roux. Roux jumps for me. He flings his heart forward, and I follow. He didn't know what jumping was til we met. He wasn't at all sure it was for him. I wasn't sure it was for him. No one, certainly the observers gasping on the ground, was sure it was for him. But...I loved him. and as silly as this seems, I think he fell for me too. And so, since I kept INSISTING, he finally started trying. Once he started trying....there was no stopping him. Today he showed me he was willing to try just about anything.
Cross country jumps are varied. There's always a water obstacle, lots of solid fences, sometimes you jump off a bank...or up "steps". Then there are ditches, also refered to as coffins. Large holes in the ground, as far as the horse is concerned. Tigers at the bottom. Roux is not fond of ditches. It took a looooonnnnggg time to get over one..even a little teeny weeny one...that I could jump on the ground leading him over like a dog. I would jump back and forth...back and forth..with him in tow...people laughing at me..I'm sure I did look ridiculous.
Today, my little Roux, the Lion hearted jumped a ditch that made me tremble...probably at least 3 feet wide, and deeper than that. Put a foot wrong and you could fall in...like a COFFIN!!!! We galloped up, he looked...I looked.... and he jumped!!!Oh how I fawned over him. Leaning up to his ear I let him know what a stud muffin he is...and then, turned back to jump it again. We galloped and this time, no one looked.. we flew...and landing on the other side, I waved my hand in the air like a winning jockey. Roux shook his head from side to side in the way only a true champion can. Bring it on, he said... I stroked his neck and laughed. Oh, today was a good day for jumping!!