I was viewing a Jess Lee photo on Facebook the other day, and boy did it bring back memories.
In my days of owning horses, the second location where I kept those horses, was about 15 miles north of Denver along the Platte River. It was a rural area and my wife and my horses, along with about 50 other horses lived in a sort of paradise. No barns, stalls and indoor riding arenas, but horses got to be horses. There were several hundred acres which included a lot of grass, the river and an enormous open woodland. That woodland provided shade on those hot summer days in Colorado. It also provided some shelter from the rain, and a break from the wind on a cold winter’s day. Now those horses were mixed together in one large herd. A lot of geldings and a fair number of mares, but of course there was no equal opportunity housing for stallions. That brings me to Jess Lee’s photo, Bringing in The Horses.
The horse property was so vast that it would take a long walk and a good bit of time just to find your horse. They would usually be found well back near the river and then broken up into small groups. Horses are social but they are picky animals when it comes to friendships and they fight a lot. A lot. They form alliances and there are bonds that are never broken. Our horses would often come to the call of their names, but again, the distance was great. I finally figured that since I and sometimes my wife, were usually the first ones there (of course), we would carry two bridles with us and catch our horses. We would jump on them bareback and begin herding the rest of the cayuses into a group and on to the front of the property. There was a hotwire around a large front paddock and you could close it behind them. Then everybody else would have their horses up front and waiting for them. I would love to say I did this only to be nice, but truthfully, I loved every minute of being a cowboy. I came out earlier and earlier (ahead of my wife) just so I was sure I would have to Bring in The Horses.
Things of passion cultivate friendships when they are held in common with others. You have a starting point. There are no awkward moments because you always have that shared passion to talk about. Nature and photography have brought me many great friendships, but so have things like auto racing and the world of horses. Horses are a passion for many, of which most are female. So much the better for me. There is nothing like saddling up a couple of horses and sharing a ride in the country to grow a friendship. I will forever appreciate those country rides with people who shared their passion of horses with me.
Friendships are like anything else in life, you get exactly what you give. All too often I gave only as much as I got. It’s not a contest.
Self-respect. We all seek admiration and respect from others. More important than that, is self-respect. The reason we clean up, and dress appropriately for others, try to show our best side, wash our cars and speak with intelligence, is not so much for the respect of others, but so we can stand tall with self-respect. Self-respect while self-motivated, is what separates us from other species.
If you’ve ever watched the TV series Cops you have looked into the face of what a lack of self-respect looks like at its extreme. Those questioned and arrested by the police in the show have the option of not signing a release for broadcast, signing a release for broadcast with their faces blurred, or allowing broadcast as it was shot. They are of course compensated and the show has no trouble finding people to share with the world their lives. There is a difference between being the sort who worries too much about what everyone thinks of them, and lacking self-respect. Of course this show also illustrates just how much addictions can have to do with a lack of self-respect.
May your trails be free and clear, and the wind be at your back, Wayne