What can we do about Horsemen’s Myopia?

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Wildly smiling little girl in sunglasses and riding helmet
Who doesn't remember THIS feeling? 🙂 Photo by archives of iStockPhoto

I’m a horse blogger, but I don’t know everything about horses. Shocking, huh?

Even worse, I don’t think anyone can know everything there is to know about horses.

Not even That Guy (or Gal) Who’s Forgotten More About Horses Than You (or I) Will Ever Know. I bet you know who I’m talking about.

The thing is, the world of horses is just so vast. From horse care and training to equestrian culture to all the breeds and disciplines plus all the people who, to paraphrase the old real estate slogan that used to hang on the wall at Bluegrass Airport, honor the land and revere the horse.

I like to, as Ferris Bueller advises, take a look around.

Even then, I still have a case of Horseman’s Myopia myself.

What the heck is that anyway? And, if we find out we have it, what can we do about it?

Horseman’s Myopia?

Well, let’s start with how it develops. We know what we’re exposed to. More often, we really don’t have time to seek anything else much out.

Life has its demands, obligations and necessities. If we’re lucky, those things bring us joy more often than they give us agita. (Italian for heartburn.)

Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a horse or lease a horse, that horse – or those horses – will take up much of your “free” time and money. Maybe “take up” is imprecise? You happily devote your time. And, yeah, sometimes agita shadows the bliss.

After all, if for no other reason than to improve and be proficient at something , you have to spend a lot of time doing it. If you want to be an expert, expect to spend about 10,000 hours.

When you do socialize, you gravitate toward other horse people who do what you do. You know trail riders or saddlebred people or hunter folk. You may not know any racetrack people, Arabian breeders or vaulters.

Unless, of course, you live in Kentucky or Ocala, one of the several “horse country” regions, where the same stretch of road can include, say, a thoroughbred farm, a saddlebred farm and a Tennessee Walking Horse farm, among others. (I’m thinking Paris Pike, aka US-27, in Lexington, KY, specifically for my example.)

But what usually happens is that each breed or equestrian discipline usually keeps to their own.

Frankly, this applies to pretty much any interest, from golf to scrapbooking, to sports team fandom to choir.

That’s the root of what I call “horseman’s myopia.” You know a lot about what you know, but have a hazy notion about other things. Or you used to be involved in Some Other Thing to do with horses, but that was a long time ago and you’ve lost touch, but your memories remain encased and protected by the shadow box of Time.

Even though I grew up in Kentucky exposed to several equestrian disciplines, I’m subject to “horsemen’s myopia” too. But this blog, which just passed its third birthday, gives me an excuse to “look around.”

I’ve stomped divots at polo and filled in as a veterinarian’s clerk at an endurance ride. I’ve been to an Arabian horse breeder’s show (Haven’t I written about that yet???) and watched Olympic-quality vaulting.  I’ve stuck my hands in goop destined for Tennessee Walking Horse legs and ended up buying a jar for myself to ease my chapped hands. (I should write about that, too, even though that adventure happened a couple of years before this blog.) And I’ve sipped morning tea while watching live show streams from all over the world thanks to the Internet.

Plus, my work with Glenfiddich Explorers opens my mind to a world of horses. If nothing else, watching the Breeders Cup races this year will be even more fun.

Will jockey Frankie Dettori do another flying dismount in the winner’s circle?

Will Goldikova make it a four-peat with the BC Mile?

Will Richard Hughes show up and tower over the rest of the jock’s room?

Will Frankel come across the pond to face Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty in the Breeder’s Cup Classic?

More cures for Horseman’s Myopia

In the right hand column of this website is the Blogroll. You’ll find all sorts of links to to other bloggers who show us the world of horses. Some of them are more personal, and some are more general and “take a look around:”

Fran Jurga’s two blogs, her hoof and her horse health blogs which aren’t just about trims and treatments and don’t only appeal to horse owners.

Check out and covet the that latest in equestrian style for home and wardrobe with Dappled Grey .

Wanna check out the most famous trail rides all over the world? Or even hit the trails yourself? Darley Newman of the TV show Equitrekking has the info on her website which includes her blog.

Susie Blackmon takes Twitter through its paces and turned me onto Frankel.

These are just a few of the horse bloggers I’ve found. If you think the horse world is “vast,” wait till you dive into the World Wide Web.

See? Now we can all “take a look around” – thanks to the magic of the Internet.

Take it away, Ferris.


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