Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Fifty seven years ago I began riding. Forty eight years ago I began playing music. Forty four years ago I began helping little ones perform on stage. Twenty years ago I began taming wild horses. About 15 years ago I began teaching riding and natural horsemanship. About twelve years ago we began our efforts to conserve and preserve the Corolla Spanish mustangs. A little over ten years ago I began writing this blog.
The blog has served its purpose and there are now over a decade of posts on a wide range of subjects that will remain around for anyone to search who might have an interest in doing so. The blog is ending because I have taken on a new, more important writing task-- I am a book with my youngest daughter Ashley Edwards that will focus on child abuse and sexual assault. (If you don't know about my daughter, please go to our website www.millswampindianhorses.com and look under the "news" tab for some great tv news stories and newspaper articles about her).
I am surprised at how little my basic views on preservation of the colonial spanish horse, the importance of using natural horsemanship to produce better people, the need for horses to be raised with natural horse care, the importance of understanding prey animals if one is to deal with severe trauma, that the highest and best use of a horse is to prevent suicide, that the future of our horses depends on our ability to attract novices to them and that efforts to impress the established horse world with the quality of our horses are doomed to fail, that perfectionism, ignorance, and anxiety are the three factors that hold people back from developing a close relationship with horses, that teaching kids to ride is of much less importance than inspiring kids to ride, that in every form of equine competition the real loser is the horse, that conserving soil and water is a sacred act, that being a riding instructor should be a calling , not a job and that, most importantly, whether dealing with people or horses the very first step in seeking to live an ethical life is to utterly ignore self interest.
The extraordinary consistency of those beliefs makes the continued wring of this blog a bit less important. One can look to posts a decade ago and see how I feel now--and how I will feel ten years from now.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Everything living must trace its existence to the soil. Everything dead returns to that soil. Conserving soil is a moral imperative and the creation of soil is a spiritual endeavor.
Modern farming practices destroy soil. About the only thing more damaging to the soil than modern farming is suburban lawn care.
We are going through one of the wettest years at the horse lot that I have seen in my lifetime. The weather has created a great deal of inconvenience to program participants. A few paddocks have succumbed to the mud. No one likes going into a muddy pen to catch horses. Some people do not understand why we do not move more horses into empty, drier pastures.
I understand the confusion, but the fact that the question exists at all shows that I have been an ineffective teacher. I have too many participants that do not understand that the land must heal. Under these weather conditions moving into a drier pen that has been without horses for months will simply create another muddy pen and erase the healing that is happening in those pens.
It takes a while for program participants to understand the importance of rolling round bales out in the pastures. To an uninformed mind the practice looks wasteful and messy. It took me quite a while to understand that rolling round bales was the best thing that we could do to increase the health and productivity of our pastures.
I suspect that for most humans happiness is dependent on creation--most particularly the creation of art. The art that I create is soft, nearly fluffy, black soil loaded with earthworms, beetles, and millions of microscopic farm hands working to not merely conserve the soil--but to create it.