Nothing is more sacred as the bond between horse and rider . . . no other creature can ever become so emotionally close to a human as a horse. When a horse dies, the memory lives on because an enormous part of his owner’s heart, soul, very existence dies also . . . but that can never be laid to rest, it is not meant to be . . .
Stephanie M. Thorn
In the wild, when startled or alarmed, animals survive through the flight-or-fight response. This is the same response that kicks in when someone jumps out from the dark and scares you: do you throw up your hands to fight, or do you engage your feet and take flight? Humans, who have been called the ultimate predators, often fight. Horses, who are in almost all situations prey (except for fights between horses), take flight.
By natural selection, horses who could sleep standing up, wake up, and run away from predators faster were the ones more likely to survive and pass on their genes. Put another way: when you’re a large herbivore and a carnivore with a rumbling stomach looks your way, you’re better off if you can move at a moment’s notice.
So that’s why horses sleep standing up, but how do they do it? The answer is called a “stay apparatus”, which is a unique adaptation of the musculoskeletal system of the horse that allows the animal to lock limbs in position so that very little muscle function is required to remain standing.
Some competitors buy very advanced horses, then drop them down into Training Level, which is obvious to any experienced observer. I consider this practice to be unfair to the other competitors, and one that should not rate very high with judges . . . but after a while, even these horses regress to the level of their riders. No horse stays better than the rider on his back for very long.
Everyone who wants justly to call himself, or herself, a rider would ponder the following statement very seriously: 99 percent of all horses have quite a number of bad habits which are commonly put down to disobedience. And 99 percent of all riders do not understand how to break their horses of such habits.
Wilhelm Musler, Riding Logic
Some people FEEL the rain . . . others just get wet!!!
Don’t let life’s little distractions keep you from enjoying this great big earth. This life is short so LIVE IT!!!