We lost a horse a few days ago. She was a mare that we had raised and spent some good times with so, it was hard. Her death got me to thinking about this crazy life we lead and love and just how things fit together. One of my thoughts was that our life in agriculture is made up of good years with bad days that cause us to reflect and be grateful for the good ones.
A calendar year is made up of 365 days. We would have to have more than 183 bad days in a year for it to be a bad year. While I know there are people who have had years like that, fortunately, we have not. We’ve lived through years where things just didn’t go our way. We’d get hurt more than normal or have more sickness in ourselves or our livestock or not have the business run as smoothly or profitably as we’d like. But, in the final accounting of that year, we still had each other and we still had the ability to move forward and do our best to make the next year better.
Amy’s Dad would say that with horses, dogs, cats, and cattle, “If you’re going to have them, you’re going to lose them”. He was good at taking a bad situation and putting it in perspective! He chose to focus on the good days he had on the ranch and took the bad days in stride.
As we work with people and their horses we see that the people who choose to see the good things in their horse and pay less attention to the bad things, tend to get along better with their horse. The folks that think about their horse by remembering the time, five years ago, when a duck flew out of the ditch, spooked the horse, and he dumped them; have more trouble focusing on the good in their horse and he feels it.
We have the power to make things better. That’s one of the really miraculous traits we humans have. We’ve worked with many horses over the years that, for one reason or the other, just weren’t getting along with the humans in their world. By focusing on what good there was in that horse, believing that he could find the good in humans, and taking the time to let things come together, we were able to make positive changes in that horse and that horse inevitably would make positive changes in us.
It’s our choice! We can choose to let the troubles that this world will always throw at us define our years or we can choose to focus on the love and laughter that is always around us if we look for it. Hard days and hard times will find all of us. If we choose to call those days “bad days” and begin to look for the next “good day”, I believe we will have more good days that will make good years.
The next time you spend time with your horse, look for the good within him. I think that the more I look for the good in my horses, the more my horses look for the good in me. They probably have a harder time finding it in me than I do in them. Nevertheless, by searching for the good, we are likely to make more good days and many good years together!