You know how you get into a mindset? Stuff is done this way because, well, it’s always been done this way, so it must be the right way to do it, right?? And sometimes it’s kind of inconvenient, but hey, it must be the right way to do it, because that would be why we’re still doing it that way…
And then, you marry someone who knows NOTHING about horses, but who, bless his heart, gets involved with them, and not only that, he starts to build saddle racks and wash bays, and refurbish horse trailers, and then he starts to ride (bless you, husband, for getting involved in the other passion in my life..)
My husband is a metalwork teacher. He has spent his life designing projects for teenagers to build, and answering their dumb questions. he is a past master at starting projects with an open mind, and working out the most efficient way to achieve what needs to be achieved. THAT means you get asked a whole heap of newbie questions. Which really make you question the existing paradigm, cos when you get down to it, a lot of things that we do with horses don’t actually make sense.
Pete: Do horses have to load up a ramp?
Me: Yes… well um… maybe…They can hop up a step forwards, but they won’t come down a step if they have to step off backwards.
Pete: Well then, do they have to back off?
Me: We bought a float with a back ramp…
Pete: Yeah, but it’s dead easy to make a door at the front…
So we ended up with a float with doors at the back, and at the front. The new 4 horse shotgun load will feature drop down chest bars because then all 4 horses can walk into their bays from the back, and offload at the front. Which then means we can have doors, not ramps. So much easier…
We have had similar conversations about:
WHY can’t you ride in training shoes? Because your feet could slip through the stirrups… but that’s silly, why don’t they have a system to stop your feet slipping through instead… so now he rides in trainers. In caged stirrups.
WHY do horses have to have special brushes for different parts of them? He has discovered that you can get the job done in half the time with a yard broom, removed from it’s handle. The horses seem to quite like it.
WHY do you have to put the bridle on that way?? His horse’s bridle is of the combination halter/bridle type, so to him it makes perfect sense to unclip one side of the bit hangers, put the halter bit on, get it all sorted out and then put the bit in from one side and do it up. Um… OK. Works for you. Horse seems to like it.
WHY do you have to do everything up on the left? or get on from the left? Because.. well… umm… I think it has something to do with swords. You know what, now I come to think of it, there IS no good reason. Go on and get on from the right side, cos that’s the way round your ever obliging horse has ended up, and you know what? I reckon he just wants you to GET ON already.
WHY do I have to go round to the other side to pick up the other foot? can’t I just reach underneath and pick it up? Because he won’t – oh wait, apparently he will.
And so on and so forth. Of course, it helps that he has an endlessly patient, obliging horse to deal with, but he makes me look at SO MUCH with new eyes. And change things around.
Maybe it’s just as well I do endurance, cos I don’t think I’d fit in in the dressage world anymore..
Pete, first ride ever, (he insisted I take off the lead rope) and the endlessly obliging Prycie.