It is a huge responsibility to own a horse. Many of us before buying our horses had parents or friends say things like,
‘Oh but it is so expensive’
‘You have to take care of them for 20 or even 30 years or more’
‘You know there are lots of potential hidden costs, like emergency vet bills, specialist feed, training, lodgings and equipment… can you afford that?’
‘They can be dangerous animals!’
‘Are you sure you want to commit to such a large and specialist animal?’
Before I bought Sanson I asked myself all these questions and more besides. But not only was I able to answer each or balance them, I found that the only thought that kept coming back to me was… ‘Just DO it!’
One of the best ballet mistresses I ever worked with, Kathy Bennets, the Australian come Berliner assistant to American neo-classical master William Forsythe would tell us all the time if someone expressed a long doubt…
‘Just make it WORK!’
For horse work this might be misconstrued as coercive, but there is certainly something to be said for being focused, determined and result oriented.
Fact is, none of us can say for certain where we will be in 20 years. Few can truly guarantee financial security on a long term basis. And how many of us can say that tomorrow is promised?
We get one life. This is not a rehearsal for anything. In so many ways it is now or never!
I had a bit more to consider with Sanson and becoming a horse owner. Being a dancer/employed artist is a famously poorly paid profession, which is both time consuming and unstable. I am an expat, so living on the other side of the world, as an immigrant, and I don’t have the same rights to live here as a naturalised person does. Up until 4 months ago, if I lost my job, I would have been deported back to Australia. Samson didn’t just live a couple of hours away. He lived on the other side of Europe to me. Even to the lady I bought him from it took her ages to realise I was serious when I asked to buy. She didn’t think it was sensible or achievable. But I have the ability to respond to a task. So I lined up each and every single thing that was standing in the way of that horse coming into my care, and in a calculated and methodical fashion, I steadily eliminated them, one by one.
And here Sanson is. I did it. And I am doing it.
The only thing that keeps me going is a sense of faith. You have got to believe in yourself. If you cannot believe in yourself, believe in your horse and how much you love them. The strength of this love will be what protects you, like body armour, as your go through this world. It will protect you but also guide you towards prosperity. And through this focus you will find a way. What you focus on grows. If you focus only on the things that could go wrong, guaranteed they will go wrong. Cosmic ordering, I believe there was a little book phenomenon called The Secret, that made millions speaking about this concept. But for me it is just common sense. If I believe I can, I will. No matter what, I will find a way.
People can get scared of adult life tasks. Even a positive opprtunity can seem like a burden if someone lives with fear and doubt. Even experienced trainers, people who have been around horses for 20 years or more, and have successful training businesses, for some reason still don’t own their own horses! This is rather befuddling to me. And then there are those who do have their own, but the moment they set up the business they stop riding and working and being with them. This I can understand and empathise with a bit more. I think the former boils down to choosing fear, and the latter boils down to exhaustion.
I am determined to not let this happen with Sanson and the horses I will become the owner of. There have been days when even though I had a pile of work to do, I put it down, and went to the stable. I was not there for others, to sit and talk for hours and drink coffee, or do a fitting, or run a training. I was there for my horse and for me. It is a habit I have made for myself, to schedule time for it, to protect and nurture my passion and abilities.
Responsibility. The Ability to Respond.
A wise old African saying goes
“Never Accept a shirt from a naked man’.
Another of a similar vein goes
‘I fill my own cup first. My cup runneth over. What is in my cup is for me. What overflows is for you all.’
If you trust yourself, that you have the ability to respond to anything that comes your way, it’s amazing how many heavy burden you may carry with lightness.