EOY P&L: Life, Death, and Tears

EOY P&L… my last post of the year always has some math involved. I don’t have the math skills to quantify the number of ways I hate math. I panic and tip 50%. I’m self-employed, I do my taxes armed with wine and Netflix. As much as it takes.

The hardest year-end reckoning happens here on the farm when I look around and do the math. How many did we gain this year? Who did we lose? On New Year’s I’ll want to remember each, mine and my clients. As if I could forget.

Can we pause here? Is anyone getting weepy? Anyone choking up? I truly hope not. Can I tell you the hardest part of this wonderful blog of mine? Really, it’s ungrateful for me to complain.

There is one thing that has been a challenge for me. It’s the number of times people tell me they are in tears. Sure, sometimes I write about death because where animals are concerned, I like it natural. There is nothing more natural than death. My friend says that all dog stories end the same way, and she’s right. Horse stories, too. And we cry tears. Fair. Even expected.

It’s all the other tears that upset me. Sadness about things that I had no idea would make people cry. Sometimes I go re-read what I just wrote because clearly, I’m pushing buttons, unintentionally hurting readers. It’s never my goal to make people cry, it wears on me.

Maybe I have bad boundaries. Maybe I should come with a trigger warning. Maybe I’m just a walking plague of tears and desolation. (Please don’t cry, I’m making a joke. And being paranoid.)

Maybe we are all just too full of un-cried tears. Or maybe we take things too personally. What if we all drown in justified tears? There’s a term for it: Compassion Fatigue. It’s an emotional and physical burden created by the trauma of helping others in distress. It’s a huge issue for caregivers like vets, rescue groups, and some trainers, but what about you? Have you become a victim of your emotions?

The antidote for compassion fatigue is self-care. Most of us aren’t great at this. Maybe it’s time to call your emotions back home. To become, not less caring, but more protective of your heart. To love yourself at least as much as you love horses. (Yikes, that’s a high bar.)

It’s the reason I’m so concerned about all the tears; I deal with my feelings by writing. Some of my most positive posts about training come from abuse that I see. It feels good to make that turnaround.

I also know that I have to pick my fights. The older I get, the more losses I gather, the more I try to make peace with death. Because someone is always dying. Since death is inevitable, I want to normalize it; talk about it like the weather. Yes, there’s a lump in my throat, but scary things shrink in broad daylight.

Of course, I do that with writing, too. I spent Christmas writing a poem/eulogy but didn’t post it. One person’s life celebration is another’s pain and tears. I’m trying to find that balance.

Back to our EOY P&L (end of year profit and loss.) This year we lost our oldest herd member and our very youngest. Chronology has failed one more time. Sure, it’s silly to think I’ll lose them in an order that I can predict. I’m only human.

When I lose an animal, I send off a donation in their memory. Amounts vary, it’s the action of generosity that matters. It’s a way that I give power to my tears because if tears don’t motivate us, they depress us. So hey, Colorado Horse Rescue Network, lunch is on me.

We’ve added two souls on the farm, as well. That’s a photo of Jack at the top of the page, demonstrating his favorite mental health technique. He’s a foster dog, staying for a while as his owner deals with some health issues. Meanwhile, teaching me what some people like about sleeping with hot water bottles. Really, this under-covers thing, who knew?

Norman has joined our barn family, a young Percheron/TB. He’s a handsome, serious young horse and we’re encouraging his sense of humor. I look forward to learning from him (and writing about it.) We’ve all fallen in love. Despite him being mortal.

It’s almost New Year’s; toast the lives we have had the wild luck to know and love. It’s also the day that horses all get a year older on paper. That must mean gray mares like me add one on, too.  It’s just common sense that it also means one year closer to dead. Cover yourself with animal hair. Sing off key! Dance with your demons! Celebrate life! (I say, in a dark-hearted and cheerful way.)

I hope that after expressing sadness about a loss, it also spurs us to action. I hope that we weep and howl against injustice and cruelty. That we share stories and laugh till we cry. That we cuddle our own heart like a lost puppy.

I hope that tears make us stronger.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
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Currently planning summer clinics in Scotland and the UK.
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118 comments

  1. Oh Anna your blogs make all of us laugh, guffaw (goat-wise) and cry – I know theres some saying something like if you never know sadness, how will you know happiness(really butchered that) you get my drift – I hope.
    Lots of your posts cause a few tears, but honestly, thinking about all the animals that have lived with me & the ones who do now, I have been so blessed. I have friends who don’t have ANY animals – I cant even begin to understand how they get along.
    Just keep on doing what youre doing!

    • Maggie, here we are, sharing morning coffee like we’ve done for years. Thanks for all your reading and all your comments. And for sharing that wonder of how folks survive without animals!

  2. It’s everything you say in this post, and also for me, it’s a validation that I am not so alone in what I feel and believe. You say it and others chime in and the numbers multiply. It’s meaningful to realize there are many more of like-minded humans out there. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  3. I have to admit that many of the blogs do bring tears to my eyes, but I am a very sappy, emotional person and if something strikes my heart, rather for it’s sad ending or the sweetness of joy, I will cry about it. It’s how I am, so please keep writing just like you do because all of it is wonderful.

  4. I believe you are absolutely correct that tears make us stronger. Feel our feelings and then let them move on through. I often cry when I read your blogs but it seems to me it’s a good kind of cry, for me anyway. I find that tears flow when the HEART is most open.

  5. I’m going to use this post as a call to action for 2018. When I get stuck, I’ll remember that “the action of generosity matters”. And as far as tears go, you have the uncanny ability to touch people, the tears that come with that shouldn’t be a burden but rather a reminder that you are doing good work by moving people (to tears, laughter, thought, and action), which elicits positive changes in all of our relationships. Happy New Year Anna, and thank you!

  6. I love love love your writing. And yes there are times it moves me to tears. Your essay today suggest that tears are always associated with sadness, and that sadness is a “bad“ thing. As a Taoist, I’m ever reminded of the important principles of this philosophy by my horse whose name is Tao (came that way even, I didn’t name him!), I don’t see tears as either good or bad. They are, as was suggested in a beautiful essay on the subject by Martha Stewart, another expression of emotion, like laughter, and can be equally healing. I also want to add that many many times, my tears come from experiencing truth. Or from feeling the connection of empathy. So even if assigning goodness or badness to tears, there is much range to the experience you’re creating for your readers. Today yes, you move me to tears, remembering the many amazing beings I’ve loved and lost, but it is the gratitude of having had ones so precious that is most tear worthy. Thank you for sharing what I know is the sometimes tearful effort of writing.

  7. As an introverted empath, these things really touch my soul. Life touches my soul. I have to be very careful to spend quiet time nurturing me. So important for the animals in my life. I don’t want to overwhelm any if them with my reaction to others pain. Somehow they always know even after my personal recharge! I’m so happy to have found your blog Anna. I know I’m not alone.

  8. Don’t spare us. Post it all. Our tears need to fall, and you are such a strong tender. And anyway, much more often I laugh out loud when reading your missives.

    >

  9. As I write this I hear a mule braying in the distance….seems very fitting. To all a New Year filled with animal love and learning. They are the best teachers. Grateful for blogs like yours keeping it real and honest. ✌🏼️❤️🐴

  10. With reading your posts my eyes will often tear up because you’ve written a phrase or some special sentences that encapsulate a way of looking at the world that I feel as well. Or perhaps it’s something new you’ve commented on that strikes me as being so real, so truthful. When it comes to reading about the death of an animal, however, I am in floods of tears. But what you say is so true and perceptive —-and appreciated. It eases my sense of loss knowing others have felt the same pain. And,as you say, take some action for all the animals still here.

  11. I am one of those who has been moved to tears by your posts, as well as laughter, thinking, wondering, resolving, feeling inspired……. the tears are a good thing as long as there is a balance. You are a strong realistic writer who does provide a great balance between the practical and the spiritual, the emotional and the intellectual. You make me smile and laugh at least as often as the tears, and often withing 5 seconds (or two lines) of each other. That not being alone bit is pretty important too. So all the best for 2018, and please keep writing. Off to pick up some manure and throw some hay. ps i hate math too. failed it badly at school

    • Chris, did you just congratulate me for your bi-polar mood swings?? 🙂 Thanks for commenting. I plan of writing more about what I call the middle path; you’ve described it well in this comment. Thank you.

      • oh i think i like the middle path, its where i want to walk. and run. (who am i kidding about the running bit ? ) and i think why i am not on the same path as many others i meet, who seem mainly one extreme, or the other. mood swings? haha what mood swings:-)
        .

  12. Oh Anna- as has already been expressed in other comments, your posts often go straight to my heart, bypassing the chattering mind. It’s that heart-opening, truth telling, knowing in my bones that brings the tears. Deep resonating TRUTH brings tears – for me. So they are a GOOD THING!! You have a gift with words and insight. Our tears just validate it!

  13. Anna, I so love your writings – your keen awareness, insight, knowledge and heart. This post makes me want to add something I am trying to understand. We all experience loss. I am trying to be able to deeper then the sad event, to see the true essence (soul) of the being – compassionately — and understand their soul has their own journey to experience & learn from. As their loved one, it is my job to support them the best that I can, and remember in the end, it isn’t about me per se, (save for the beautiful experiences we share) but loving them enough to support them in what they are here for. And then knowing we will always be connected through love.

  14. Much love to you Anna. This past year my 17 year old kitty, Dynamo, passed on. Hard. The worst though, was losing my horse of a lifetime, Chai. She gave me the wings that I’m pretty sure at my age I’ll never have again. We went on adventures – had great times! She was the first horse I got on after a hip replacement and two shoulder surgeries.
    She colic’d last January, and I was able to find funds the intrusive colic surgery. After weeks of recovery, she rallied and we had a few good months together. I wish I had known we had such a short time! In June she again experienced a life threatening colic, and being 20 years of age I chose to let her go. I’m not over it yet. She was worthy of mourning. She had fire in her soul and grace in her heart.

    • I’m so very sorry for your loss. But…oh my you said it so perfectly. “She was worthy of mourning”. Yes! Exactly – they are! I can only imagine the fire in her soul and the grace in her heart, but I’ve appreciated those classic and beautiful qualities in animals that I’ve loved. They are worth all that we feel, both good or sad.

  15. What if the tears, the sadness and the inability to take action is caused by witnessing a horse owned by someone else in your barn? This mare is obviously suffering. I plead with the owner in every gentle way I can. I can barely afford my own horse. The fact is, I’m in debt.

  16. Hi Anna, I’m one of those people who told you I have had tears…for me that might mean I was sad, hurt, extremely happy, giddy & any other emotion known to the human race! The tears fall because a connection has flashed through me from your words to my heart and head…it’s a calming signal, the release makes it joyful, makes it shared and safe. It’s a hard task giving our emotions words and you do an excellent job, please continue to do your hard work or is it your hearts work💜

  17. I wanted to add to my earlier comment that we do need to protect our hearts sometimes, and to know when to retreat and nurture that heart. In my field ( psychotherapy) it is the therapists who are the MOST idealistic, the ones who MOST want to do good that are the most likely to suffer burn out and compassion fatigue. I imagine that could be true also for the horse world.

  18. Self care. That’s the difficult part. I know that my tears spring from a reservoir so deep that I’ll never cry them out, and I understand that. My animals are more pragmatic than I. They take
    it day by day and accept. I am not ashamed of my tears, but you have given me new insights about what motivates and how to look outward and upward when death ends a life much loved.
    Thank you, and Happy New Year.

  19. Well, after having read this sentence, ” This year we lost our oldest herd member and our very youngest. Chronology has failed one more time. Sure, it’s silly to think I’ll lose them in an order that I can predict. I’m only human” I just had to add my little something to that and hopefully give you a bit of a chuckle in the process. When I was a very young child (I don’t remember how old, just know I was probably under 6 or 7) I was very curious to know everybody’s birth year because I was convinced that we all died in the order we were born and I wanted to know who would die before me, and who I would outlive!

  20. Yes I am a man and yes many of your posts “allow” to cry. I would not have it any other way. Maybe I am crying for the loss of one of your animals that I have come to love over the years through your eyes; maybe it was because of something that reminded me of the mortality of my own animals, a 17year old cat, two horses that I love, or maybe it is about my own mortality at nearly 77 years old. Whatever it is I always feel better afterwards, in part because you are dealing with real life. Keep it coming sweet woman.

  21. When I read something that makes me cry I am always thankful to have found someone who can express in words what my heart feels. If I couldn’t find words to unlock these responses, they would just build up inside until my heart would truly break. Your eloquence gives me, and so many others, the gift of release. Thank you so very much.

  22. Thank you for this, Anna. I have so loved your communications this year, they have meant a lot and resonated deeply. This time I was grabbed by a line about your “serious” young horse. I have a serious horse, too. Beautiful, spirited, very intelligent and curious. But, somehow we both have a difficult time playing with each other. How are you helping your horse with his seriousness?

  23. Your writing is a celebration of life and its inevitable progression. You open our hearts and our eyes. I laugh out loud as much as I cry while reading your blog and books. Thank you.

  24. A very wise old man, a Catholic priest, told me, “From pain and suffering joy is born”. I have seen the truth of that over the years. I’ve heard it echoed by other people, the words different, the meaning the same. My maternal grandmother took a dim view of people saying a person or animal had “passed on” or been “lost” when in fact there had been a death. She would say flatly that death had happened, it was no different than birth, a life event, part of the living was the dying. It is important to face that truth, sad or joyous, painful or not. It is also important to acknowledge the things that move you, touch your heart and soul. Your words, Anna, do that, they face the truth, touch our hearts and souls, recognize living and dying. Tears can be deeply cleansing, they can remind you that your memories are important and part of your life experience regardless of the emotions. You’ve moved me to tears with your words, ticlked memories, shown your forthrightness and truth. Don’t worry about us, those who can’t deal with the truths you show us will either learn or leave, the rest of us are here to stay. You’re a shining mark. Speak the truth you see.
    I hope you and your animals all have a Happy, Healthy. Wonderfilled New Year.

    • As someone who chooses words, I love your grandmother. Words for dead are hard. And that quote from the priest. Certainly has been true in my life. Thanks, Aquila. I always appreciate your comments.

    • Oh, I so agree with your dear grandmother. So many it seems, don’t want or maybe, can’t accept that death happens. They didn’t go somewhere else, or pass on to something better – they died. And I believe that God in heaven misses them too. Love the words from your wise priest too, couldn’t agree more.

      • I think it’s because we humans are no longer really connected to the physical world. We don’t see life playing out in front of us anymore, animals being born or dying, the simple acceptance of each second by them. And somewhere in our mad rush to “civilization” we became so uncomfortable with death we had to camoflage it with words that deny its existance and effects on every living thing, for death will come to all.

  25. I’m probably one of the many who’ve said ‘this made me cry’ but my tears are just as often tears of joy. A pretty sunset, a sweet gesture from a friend, the laugh of a baby, and yes, the loss of a dear one. Í caught myself taking tally this time of year also. I woke up this morning thinking, our little farm is down by two this year. A dear old yellow lab, and a sweet little calico cat. Both are missed daily, but were ready to move onto the next plane. In future comments I’ll try not to mention the tears…..but I’m pretty darn sure they will continue to come. The Happiest of New Years wishes to you and the creatures around you.

    • No worries Dianne. I’m hearing those tears differently after these comments today. Thank you so much. Happy New Year to you and yours. A kitten maybe??

      • “I’m hearing those tears differently after these comments today.” Excellent. Thank goodness. Huge sigh of relief from me. I had feared that, out of consideration for us, you might try to change something about your writing… (Don’t even think about it, please, not ever, thank you.) I do believe that, through your words, you are not only helping, even saving, horses but other animal companions as well – and even human family. I sincerely thank you for every single tear I have cried here and, if they knew, my “charges” would as well.
        Nuri, caregiver to the second family member in a row (12 + 3 yrs and counting) and, therefore, now, without an animal in my life.

  26. Only a year older? I feel as if I’ve aged at least three times that! And, by the way, this aging business sucks! But knowing there are people out there who don’t take themselves too seriously, are good humored, and actively care about the welfare of animals, well, they take a bit of the sting out of life.

    So thank you, Anna, and safe travels in the new year!

  27. Anna I so love your blogs. They always touch me in different ways emotionally. Sometimes it’s laughter and other times it’s tears.

    May your New Year ahead be filled with much love, happiness and animals. Give Preacher Man a kiss and a hug from me.

    Much love to you

  28. Dear Anna,
    I love reading your blog posts! I set aside a time in the day when I can really pay attention. No rushing allowed. Every time I read them I learn something or feel good about something and get inspired. I love your views on horses and life and would so love to meet you one day! So would my mare. 😊Keep all this up please!!!

    • Thank you, Sarah, for setting time aside. In this busy world, that is saying something. Give your mare a scratch and I’ll hope to meet both of you.

  29. A huge heartfelt thank you from me. Really. No kidding. You all have helped me re-frame the entire universe of tears and I am so grateful. It was just the reality check that I needed. If it hasn’t been obvious in the last posts, I’m in a circle of death at the moment, with a couple more coming soon. It’s on my mind and that means in my writing. I’m also having a howling good time with some other ideas, also on the way. That balance always exists and we need to feed both sides. For all of you who thank me for attitude adjustments, THANK YOU, I needed it. Happy New Year, Life-and-Death. We’re all right here with you.

    • What a beautiful circle of friends who enjoy hanging out here, with you. You truly attract some beautiful people. And I am honored to enjoy so very much hanging here too. We all give and we all take, depending upon the situation and the emotion, but we all gain so much strength and balance from each other. Thank you Anna! Tears are a beautiful thing, and personally I absolutely feel like the animals I’ve loved are so worthy of our mourning. They are so worth it! I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂 Best of wishes in this new year to you and your entire clan.

  30. Thank you Anna and glad if we helped you reframe- because its usually you doing that for us. Happy New Year to you, and look forward to 2018 and the ride that is life, and death, and all those things in between.

  31. Oh Anna, I so love your writing! Of course you make us cry, as you should. Yes, I think we all have too many unshed tears…and by and large people who love your writings are probably all people who need more self care. Ha! I work on that as much as I can, loving myself as much as I love all the animals…. Personally I love your sense of humor and self deprecation, as well as your honesty. Your writing is so unique and so needed. And of course in your writings there is pretty much the same amount of laughter as crying involved… actually more laughter I would say. I am ALWAYS touched by what I read from you. And that’s why I am here! Thank you!!

  32. Sorry, Anna. Not “leaving” any time soon. Thank you, and all of you, for helping me on my journey.

  33. Tears do make us stronger. And if we are crying, they are tears that need to be shed. This life is a journey and each day brings us closer to the end of this life on this planet right now. So yes, grieve our losses AND celebrate those who have passed AND those who are still here … ourselves included. Anna, please never apologize for your writing and how people respond to it. We each will do what we need to do with it. And if we are able to transform as a result of your words, then we can celebrate you and ourselves.
    In celebration of you and all you do, I take this moment and lift my glass of wine saying, “Amen and thank you!”

    • Carolyn, I think the first time we met you were presenting on self-care. Or whatever it was called in the 80s. I’m glad we’re both still at it. Thank you for these kind words, and a toast back to you. Amen and Thank you!

  34. The energy in my guffaws has far outweighed that in my tears from reading your prose and poetry. Open hearted either way. Funny that especially this description touched my funny bone today: “a walking plague of tears and desolation.” Ha! So not you from my angle! Keep doin’ what yer doin’!

    • Oh, Michelle, it might be my favorite sentence of the year. I need it on a t-shirt. I cackled like an old hen when my keyboard spit it out. Thank you, and best in 2018.

  35. Thank you for your beautiful blog.

    Tears are okay, tears help clean the heart..as many others already commented.
    For me it helps keeping aware that I am often fighting the frustration of being unable to control everything..
    The abused mare doesn’t care at all that she will not get the (promised by me) careless and happy years in green meadows. Simply, because she is in a state where the best option is to letting her go. It is me who cares..who is upset, who is angry, frustrated, who wants her to be alive and at peace, munching green grass for the rest of her life.
    I have to let that go; that nasty need to keep in control (which does not work at all when communicating with horses anyway) 🙂
    I wist you all the best for 2018!

    • Oh big fat yes. I feel like it’s been the work of my life to let go of thinking I can control anything at all. You’ve described it so well! We think we are depriving them of our fantasy of their life. And it hurts. And (I say this for me; it’s a hard month here) It. Isn’t. About. Me. Thank you, Janneke. This is what I know we can control. We can love them. Hoping your New Year has some birth in it, too. Take care.

  36. Tears are also a way of connecting with ourselves. As a former nurse, current small business owner and all time animal lover, it sometimes seems expedient to stuff all those emotions. Tears are a way to let it out. Tears are good so don’t fear causing tears. Love the post.

    • Thinking about nursing, in this context, oh my. More respect than before. Thanks for commenting. I bet some of it is about being there when we need to be (true as a small business owner) and dealing with it later, not as a dysfunction but for practicality. Don’t we all try to do that? Thank you De.

  37. Thank you for this. I’ve been ‘busy’ and haven’t taken time to look at your posts, but have saved them. This is one I REALLY needed to read this year, and I plan to read the last couple of weeks as well. Reading your posts always brings me back to center and peace….and the reality of living/loving our 4 legged friends, who, to us, don’t live nearly long enough, but your message helped me to come to terms with that. I know death is part of nature, but man, it hurts so much. Happy New Year. Please remember that I want to attend your visit to the northwest, think Washington, in March? Please keep us posted about that.

  38. Judith… yes, it hurts. But there’s a remedy for the pain… I don’t expect my love for animals will ever end, I just adjust it from one to another. They are all pretty cool. I’m having elder love affairs now; so precious.

    I expect you’ll hear from Mary in Snohomish soon; she has all the details. Happy New Year.

  39. You rock, Anna. I imagine you on the farm, with all the critters, with every blog post reading. Thank you for sharing your life and allowing me to feel your experiences. Some I’ve had as well; some are different and encouraging pondering —often while mucking out. (thought you’d enjoy knowing that🤣). I’m so looking forward to future tales of Norman – I’m a big draft-cross fan, and of the wonderful, ancient, stoic donkey. Thank you, Anna.

  40. Just had to respond re your New Year’s Life, Death and Tears blog. Yes Indeed your writings have moved me to tears on occasion. But more often they have uplifted me, made me smile and feel connected to that fellowship of people fortunate enough to have respectful partnerships with horses. Like many of your readers, I am busy, often work-stressed and concerned about the state of our world (specially as I work in conservation). My horse grants me the gift of time out. Every time I ride in the wonderful Namib desert on my doorstep I learn something – about me and my riding and when I am able to listen, also about my horse. Often words you wrote open that door. So please know you how much you have enriched the riding life of this aging woman on the other side of the the world.

    • Maggie, I confess, I googled Namib. It’s where I thought it was. Working in conservation in this era must be a challenge; I’m so very concerned about our environment. Thank you so much for the kind words, I’m always happy to hear when people find a better path with their horse. They offer us so much when we listen. Thanks for letting me know that this beautiful world is small and connected, thanks for the work you do, as well. Wishing you the best in 2018, Maggie. (Desert riding. Wow!)

  41. Oh I do hope so Anna! I work for an equine vet. Some days just plain suck. I happen to have a very compassionate heart when it comes to animals. I’ve always placed value on them at least as much as us humans, maybe more sometimes. They love truly, wholly and without guile or self-serving. They love us like we deserve it, and we do. We all do. My boss says that tears and even anger are ways of expressing something he calls, “righteous indignation”. You know, where injustices to others’ occur and many times we’re unaware until after the deed is done. Then we step in and try to supply a little compassion, some kindness that wasn’t offered before. We offer love. And that’s where the tears come in. Because some days it hurts so damn much to care. But I would never want to change. I can’t imagine living a life where I don’t cry over the injustices in the world. Some days I have to turn the tv off, not look at social media and just hide under the covers to try and prevent my heart from breaking. But I also learn. And I become stronger and better armed to go out into the world and help somehow. Even if I just let someone talk and cry our their emotions to someone who knows how they feel. Sometimes it’s taking in an animal who needs some help, and some days all I can do is help teach that person that there’s a better way. Education about things I think are common sense and everybody ought to know. But sometimes people aren’t being mean, they just don’t seem to know any better. If I can get one person to listen, learn and do better; then it’s a step in the right direction. Keep on keeping on.

    • Lorie, I love this comment. It hurts, but rather than getting stuck in the sadness and pain, you have a way to work your way back. I’m surprised sometimes at what folks don’t know, but where would they learn it? We don’t teach animal care in school. Thanks for the comment, and thanks, Lorie, for the work that you do.

      • Animal care in school? Sounds like a great idea to me. So many children have no actual hands on experience with animals. To start some kind of education of little kids and allow them to really feel for animals would be a good step. I’m sure many early classes might have a guinea pig or small creature for kids to see & care for. But it needs to be more than that – small humans should be learning & experiencing the true care of “other nations” as much as they do spelling & math, etc. It might possibly change how they deal with other humans as much as reduce the abuse of animals. (just a thought)

  42. I just saw this happen at our barn. This couple bought a 13 year old QH gelding. The sweetest face, best demeanor…..until the guy got on him and decided he was going to show this horse what’s up. He started pushing him around, got off, got on, said this horse is being stubborn….I looked at the horse and his nostrils were flared, his eyes were huge, so, like, what do you want me to do? what have I done wrong for you to already be so tense around me? It broke my heart to see this poor gelding trying to figure out what hit him. The end of the tale is that they decided not to keep him and I am SO glad, because it made me sick to my tummy to see this….again, ‘what’s wrong with this horse? Why is he misbehaving? Have you thought that he’s only been here a week? Have you thought that maybe your saddle, which you wore on a narrow QH/TB horse and he is super broad? Have you thought about what he is trying to tell you? I’m glad he’s going away. Because I don’t have to see this, and because this wonderful horse didn’t do anything to deserve this treatment. Come from kindness, come from patience. I just saw something on PBS about a woman who is living with chimps. Her whole thing was, for so long we have been trying to make animals learn our language. Maybe it’s time we tried to learn theirs….a long scratch on their side means, please come and let’s groom each other. A mother chimp walking with her baby raises her hind foot and holds it there and it means, ‘hop on’ to the baby. Why couldn’t this man try to look at the world from the horse’s point of view. Oh well, it’s a good thing for the horse that it didn’t work out. Every horse this guy rides he says is acting up and is ‘too hot’ while he’s yanking on the reins, etc.

    >

    • It doesn’t surprise me to hear about this dinosaur, or his cruelty. I understand how hard it is to watch. Here’s hoping for a better hobby for the man where his insecurties don’t hurt others. Thanks, Judith, for the heartfelt comment.

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