Roger Thompson: Horsin’ Around
Fort Collins, Colo.
Boy, I’ve really been sick and I apologize to everyone, but most of all to my Fence Post editor for my lack of getting my article out on time. It started before Christmas with a head cold and then got worse. It never did go down into my lungs, which would have gone into pneumonia but thankfully stayed in my sinuses, giving me a cough that I just couldn’t get rid of.
Finally I went to the doctor and got the medication that was needed. Even then it took a long time to take effect. Finally it kicked in with relief of coughing that kept me from getting any sleep or any thing else. The biggest problem was not having any energy to get things done around the place. Which means that I have a gate that is off it’s hinges, a new light for that outside of the house and on and on.
The inside of the house is a mess also as I haven’t had the energy to clean or do anything else in the way of house keeping. I know what those of you who know me are thinking. “Well why didn’t your daughter get busy and clean house?” That is a good question, the problem is that she was as sick as I was and I just couldn’t ask her do what I couldn’t. As she got better she did go to work at the college she attends but I don’t know how she did it.
This got me to thinking about my horses, poor things; they suffer when I am sick because I don’t get out there and feed them on time, nor spend as much time with them as I should. But what about them when they get sick. Do we as humans understand what they feel like when they are not feeling good.
We tend to think they never get to feeling bad as we do. The more I study horses and the older I get the more I understand how they feel and rather than just saddle up and ride hard, I try to look at them and see how they are feeling. I don’t like to give my horses a lot of medicine but I do like to try to understand them.
For instance I have had a few older horses and the older I get the more I consider their feelings when they get old. For instance, my old horse I had since he was born in my arms came up to me one day and just put his head in my chest and held it there. He couldn’t talk to me the way we do, but I think he was saying; “Dad do something. I am tired and my front feet are killing me.” And I have an older horse now that I have won money and buckles on and is getting to that point. I keep him around because he has been with me so long that I just can’t seem to let him go. So I keep feeding him special feed and letting him lounge around the place. Call me a softie but I have come to love my horses as much as I do my family. I don’t think I am the only one who feels that way.
They will tell you how they are feeling if you look at them. Study how they handle themselves in the corral or out eating hay, they will tell you.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.