“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”Unless you have been unplugged from the internet for the past few weeks you are aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge that is going on. The basic idea (as I understand it) is that a person is dared to either donate $100 to ALS or pour a bucket of ice water over their head (in some versions you donate $10 if you pour the bucket). If you pour the bucket of water you post it on social media and dare three other people to do the same. While it may be silly, it has raised an unprecedented amount of money for ALS research and that is a very good thing.
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Which leads to what I saw on FB this morning. It was a shared youtube video of young girl sitting bareback on a horse. She then pours the bucket over her head completely startling her horse who bolts away. As she tries to get him under control, the horse dumps her in the grass. As he should. I'm not posting the video here because I don't want to promote further views of what was an incredibly stupid stunt (you can always google it, I'm sure terms like 'idiot, horse, ice bucket' should do it). Obviously the girl and her friends thought that it was funny. I believe the term they used was 'epic'.
I didn't find it funny. It actually made me angry. I actually hope that this young girl was hurt. Not seriously but enough for her to stop and think again. But I'm not angry because she could have been hurt. I'm angry because of the damage that she did to her relationship with her horse.
Riding a horse is not 'natural'. From a horse's perspective it's actually dangerous to them- that's what large predators do to bring them down. So in training we ask a horse to trust us while we do all sorts of things that should cause them to flee. I have been spending the past two years with Steele building our relationship. I can't imagine what would happen if I were to deliberately violate that.
I'm sure that the person in the video did not mean to scare her horse and I'm willing to bet she's not worried about what she's done to her relationship. But she should be. For the poor horse in the video- how can he ever trust someone on his back again? And why should he?
At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.Author Unknown