Skip To Content

Hey Chicken – Go Feed your Horse!

Carole Herder Cavallo Hoof Boots - snow winter

Hey Chicken – Go Feed Your Horse! 🐔

The temperature has been plunging to unprecedented and inhumane levels here in British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, which is NOT anything like a sunny coast right now. I returned from our Denver trip to the surprise of falling snow and baby, it’s COLD OUTSIDE. I start the grumbling even before I summon the nerve to go out there. Jeez! Where are those warm mitts? Surely the water pipes are frozen, and the metal doors on my barn won’t even budge. Why do I live out here anyway? And these horses! They are way too much work. Really! What’s wrong with a condo in the city?

Cowboy Up?

Do you ever feel this way? I am genuinely hoping I am not alone in my desire to cuddle up on the couch in front of the fire rather than braving my horses’ habitat on this night. Horses have hides and thick coats, and they are used to this weather. They ‘re outside creatures. So here, in my particularly negative state, I’m telling myself a story. Avoiding what I have decided is hugely unpleasant, while searching haphazardly for my gloves. Sometimes delaying can seem like a good tactic. Then it changes, and I think of you though, my fellow horse folks,and I become embarrassed. You would have gone out to feed an hour ago. That’s right – YOU, who never let the weather stand in your way and do what must be done. Who knows ‘cowboy up.’ This thought gives me strength, and I get my delicate – gutless self out there.

A Frozen Response

Yep – the doors, auto-waters, and poops are frozen solid. I stomp around, still grumbling, and one of my guys starts to stomp as well and paw the ground. “Oh, quit it!” I growl at him. Moving around, schlepping water buckets and boiling water is warming me up. I have a moment where I look at him and think, “Wow! I know what’s happening here. You are mirroring my bad attitude back at me”. Honestly, what am I grumbling about? I have horses! I have beautiful horses. I look into the depth of those infinite big brown-pooled eyes, and I remember who I am and who I have the opportunity to care for. I remember why. I remember all the glorious times we’ve had together. I realize that the story I was telling myself was weak and thoughtless. My horse looks at me, and I imagine he winks and says something like, “Oh, hello, you’re back. Thanks for coming. And isn’t this a gorgeous evening for a snowfall?”.

What Are you Bringing?

Ah-Ha Moment! The feelings of gratitude, connection, and joy sweep over me. I think of the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, who said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” We have horses in our lives because they bring us joy. Of course, it is a gorgeous evening for a snowfall. It’s that simple.
There’s a Ted Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist, who documented her own stroke. Through this other-worldly ordeal, she discovered that the way we are is our own, personal responsibility, our best or worst selves, and that we have a choice.
“Take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.”
– Jill Bolte Taylor

Taking Control of Self

I brought my poor attitude into his space, and my horse Slash gave it right back. He doesn’t care that I’m the President of Cavallo, that I am feeling cold or tired from travel and a little stressed out. Slash doesn’t know anything other than what he senses of my energy, and it wasn’t pretty. I really have no idea what might pop out of the cauldron of possibilities on any given day. Indeed, this snowstorm is not something I could control. What I can control is my thought process and behavior. This is my choice. Without real intention, I chose to enter my horse’s space with a poor attitude. What a brat! I am supposed to know better. I am supposed to live with intention. Sometimes we all need an arrogance adjustment.
The words of Philosopher Lao Tzu remind me always to strive to be my best self. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” You can read more about him HERE. 
Oh – and if Winter is getting you down, too, nothing feels better than getting out for a brisk ride.  And Cavallo Hoof Boot studs make it possible.  Enjoy!
Wishing you happy trails and warm nights by the fire,
Carole Herder's book - There are no Horseshoes in Heaven
Previous Hope for Life After Laminitis on Horsemanship Radio Next Connie Challice – A Barefoot Trimmer and a Winner!