PATRICIA SMITH: Relationships, Both Horse And Human
Tomorrow (July 27) is my 36th wedding anniversary. I've been mulling over what it is exactly that has contributed to keeping my husband and me together for 36 years (plus three years of on and off dating).
No answers here, folks, this is the Hoofbeats page not Dear Abby. Then I got to thinking about my horse relationships and realized there are some parallels as far as my end of the deal is concerned.
So I'm wondering if there are parallels in other horse people's behavior between their horse and their human relationships.
Do people who constantly trade horses because the horse doesn't meet their expectations do the same with spouses or significant others? Take my case. I've stuck with my Thoroughbred Huey for 25 years. If I weren't a tenacious terrier when it comes to a commitment I probably would have sold him 22 years ago when it was obvious that Huey wasn't going to fill the bill as a show hunter. I never considered selling him. He's part of the family. If you go into relationships thinking you'll end them if they don't work out, does that influence your willingness to stick out the difficult times?
Do people who don't respect their horses have the same lack of respect for their spouses?
You've seen the riders who constantly lose their tempers with their horses for one reason or another. They take out their frustrations on the horse. Do they do the same with people? My horse Kismet is an Alpha mare and I respect that about her. I know if she digs her heels in and says no that no amount of coercion is going to change her mind. Working on that level of respect in a marriage has not been easy for me. But after 36 years, I'm starting to get the idea.
I think that history is more important to some people than others. I like knowing the history of my horses. I know everything about Kismet and lack only two years of history on Huey.
I have numerous stories to share about days when we were all a lot younger. I share the same history with my spouse. We've grown up together. Our stories are links in the chain of life. I wonder if people who don't have long histories together find it easier to leave a relationship.
Someone once told me that marriage is a roller-coaster ride. When you think about it, so is training a young horse that you want to keep into his or her old age. There are a lot of ups and downs along the way. What makes you stick to the process?
Patricia Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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