Common Sense Caution and other Fables
Can we all agree to use common sense caution?
I am not your trainer, and don’t know you, your horse, your barn, your physical capabilities, your tack, or myriad other things that could affect your ability to use my suggestions. I always recommend safety first, so if you don’t feel comfortable, DON’T DO IT. This is why you (should) have a trainer. They should be able to assess your situation and help guide you and your horse safely along in your journey.
I am also not a vet. Will never be a vet. Am more than happy to call said vet with questions. If I happen to make a suggestion with regards to something I have learned from a vet, please get a second opinion. You wouldn’t want Doogie Howser, MD to perform surgery on your kid, no matter how cool Neil Patrick Harris is. Your horse is bleeding? CALL A VET. Have a swollen eye? CALL THE VET. Your horse looks at you wrong and you don’t like it? CALL THE VET. Can I make myself any clearer than that?
Alternately, I am not a farrier. I have never played one on TV. Can I just quote the old adage “No hoof, no horse” and make it clear that you should worship your farrier? Make him (or her) brownies. Remember birthdays. Ask about kids. Bring in your horses from the field ahead of time and try to dry them off a bit. Keep your comments about what your friends on Facebook have said about how they learned how to trim their horses in a weekend to a minimum. This means that should your horse throw a show, get an abcess, or need an emergency trim your farrier may be more likely to do it for you.
I called this blog Reasonable Riding because I think, deep down (sometimes waaaayyyy down) that we can all be reasonable riders. Most of us are amateur riders on horses we love, flaws and all. I might not go shopping for an 18 hand, large boned, needs to be pushed, horse. I am 5’4″, short legged, and lazy. I would look like a flea on a Bernese Mountain Dog. (Although I might be in better shape.) That said, there are people who love that kind of horse, and more power to them. One size does not fit all, and “always” and “never” can be very dangerous words, so let us all try to be reasonable, and have fun. **
In the event that there is any confusion about this, I did some homework for you, thanks to the Oxford University Press.
The definition of reasonable:
“reasonable”. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/reasonable (accessed April 04, 2014).
- 1(Of a person) having sound judgment; fair and sensible: no reasonable person could have objected
- 1.1Based on good sense: it seems a reasonable enough request the guilt of a person on trial must be proved beyond reasonable doubt
1.2 • archaic (Of a person or animal) able to think, understand, or form judgments by a logical process: man is by nature reasonable
- 2As much as is appropriate or fair; moderate: a police officer may use reasonable force to gain entry
- 2.1Fairly good; average: the carpet is in reasonable condition
- 2.2(Of a price or product) not too expensive: a restaurant serving excellent food at reasonable prices they are lovely shoes and very reasonable
Middle English: from Old French raisonable, suggested by Latin rationabilis ‘rational’, from ratio
** I reserve the right to be unreasonable about safety. (Here is where you can feel free to roll your eyes, mutter under your breath, and brace yourself.) I ALWAYS advocate wearing a helmet. I have had too many falls myself and known too many people who are still around BECAUSE they wore a helmet. Don’t try to talk me out of it, it will make me very testy. Yes they are hot. Yes they give you helmet hair. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. Just wear it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.