Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Horse People Aren't Like Other People...

This was originally posted on Horse Junkies United, but I figured I'd post it here as well.
Rearing Horse and Rider
When horse people talk with each other, we often find ourselves laughing at how we view the world versus how non-equestrians see it. For instance, other people see the spacers in sidewalks, we see them as cavaletti. Non-equestrians note the mile markers on highways, we count the number of "strides" between them.  Other people simply get on the moving sidewalks at airports.  When my son misjudged how to get on one, he turned to me and said he "chipped in." Most people politely wait for others to move out of their way.  Equestrians poke the person in the side, cluck, and say "Over!" (I'm not joking. One day while traveling for business I absent-mindedly did that to someone in the TSA line at La Guardia. The poor man I poked was so shocked he just grabbed his stuff and hurried off.)
I was reminded of this when my son was on a school trip in New York touring the Body Worlds exhibition in Discovery Times Square.  The exhibit is composed of preserved human and animal bodies and body parts that are preserved using a technique called plastination, which shows the inner structures, muscles and tendons and ligaments, as they would appear without the covering of skin. Pretty cool, seeing how everything under the skin works while performing a task, right? While other kids were noticing the various muscle groups in action, my son saw something completely different. He sent me the picture to the right in a text with the comment, "His heels aren't down."
Later in the day he sent a text from the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center: "Watching the skaters at Rockefeller Center.  They look like they're doing spiral-ins and leg yields. Excellent crossover of the hind legs."  That little observation caused me to spit my coffee all over my laptop keyboard.
A few days later we found ourselves at our favorite Christmas tree farm for our annual evergreen sacrifice to the gods of Yule (Or Amazon, depending on your viewpoint.)  Now, anyone else might look at discarded evergreen branches as garbage.  Others might look at them as greenery for wreaths or garland.  An equestrian, however, sees nothing quite so mundane.  Nope, an equestrian sees that pile of evergreen branches as a brush jump, specifically fence #1 in the Cherryville Farms 2014 Hunter Derby.

 And of course, there are the hay bales, which to most people might appear to be outlining the parking area for Christmas tree patrons, but to an equestrian is clearly fence #2.
Yep.  We're equestrians.  When your viewfinder in life is between two furry ears, you just see things differently.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Giving Back Update...

Just wanted to give a little status report on this so you all don't think I'm slacking over here.  So far I've donated every day this month.  Well, if I'm being honest, while I was traveling for business it got difficult so on several days I've had to donate a couple of times to make up.

This isn't a complete list (just what I can remember off the top of my head), but so far I've given to:

Mane Stream Therapeutic Riding
New Vocations
Second Call
CANTER MidAtlantic
Land Conservancy of NJ
St. Jude's
Make A Wish
Midwest Horse Welfare
Victory Reins
Nowzad Dogs
A Cup of Joe for a Joe
Wounded Warriors
A Horse Tale
Mylestone Equine Rescue

So there you have it.  Just wanted to let y'all know I'm keeping my promise. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Giving Back...

Luck is kindof a relative thing.  (Yes, Mom, if you're reading, I know kindof is not a real word!)  What might seem an unlucky negative at first might actually wind up being a very lucky good thing in retrospect.  The only example I can think of right now is missing your flight only to find out later that the plane crashed.  Okay, that's maybe a little extreme but that's all I can come up with and since I actually should be working right now I'm gonna run with it.

My point here is that it's all too easy to get into the mindset where you think your luck's been crap, you've been dealt a few unlucky breaks, or you're due for some good luck.  There's no judgment here, we all do it, right?  Just a fact of life.  It's often too easy to focus on the crap that's gone wrong instead of the stuff that's gone right.

I've been guilty of that.  Yeah, the second half of 2014 has not been blissful, to say the least, but you know what?  It could have been worse.  I'm reminded of that every time I read the paper, watch the news, or talk to people and find out what kind of crap they're dealing with.  So, instead of focusing on the bad luck, I'm gonna try to make some good luck.

We just had Thanksgiving, the holiday where we give thanks for what we have.  We are now heading into the season of giving, or the season of credit card debt, however you want to look at it.  With that in mind, and as a means of recognizing how truly lucky I am and honoring that, I am donating to a worthy cause every day during the month of December.  The donation may not be much, because I'm no Bill Gates (seriously, if I was, I probably wouldn't be writing this blog post, I'd be out playing with my 500 horses on my farm the size of Long Island) but every little bit helps, right? 

I'm asking for your help.  Not to give money, but to offer a suggestion if you know of a worthy cause, one where the money actually goes those who need it.  Doesn't have to be horse related.  I mean, there are a lot of well known organizations that I can think of to donate to - RED, Habitat for Humanity, Water.org,  and Heifer International come to mind ( I cannot WAIT to say I've given someone a goat!)  However, I'd like to support some of the organizations close to the hearts of the folks who have supported me (that'd include you guys, just in case you missed that).  So if you know of something, please pass it along in the COMMENT section below.  I can't guarantee I'll be donating to every organization that's suggested, but it would be good to know of as many options as possible.

Thanks in advance for your help!