I learned to ride jumping horses as a teenager from an old cavalry trooper. Sadly, my English riding and jumping style reflects that early instruction where function was valued over form. It wouldn’t be an issue, except here in America, only the affluent and those who want to appear affluent compose the majority of those who ride jumpers and they have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars to fine tune the image of how they appear or the image they want to project while riding: European riders have disdain for the American rider who seldom ventures beyond the arena; in Europe, they spend their time and money on being able to negotiate difficult courses on horses that aren’t trained to the Nth degree, while being able to train recalcitrant horses to perform at the highest international levels. Americans would rather spend hundreds of thousands or even millions on the easy to ride or push button horse that will win a rosette and a ribbon.
Needless to say, I never competed in this craziness and silliness; although, two of my kids payed the game for a while, but they made their own horses and competed at the lower levels for a few years on horses that rarely cost over a thousand dollars: I took the more Conservative approach and bought horses that scared the Liberal rider and thus had almost no value in North America. Yes, the high dollar horse world, with all its pretensions is 99% Liberal. Now that my kids are grown, they admit that their biggest problems were with the attitudes of the people, the horses were fairly easy. They much preferred riding the European circuits against the European riders.
While learning my humble English skills, I rode horses for a former cavalry trooper that bought reject horses to sell as jumpers. They were almost all former race horses, back in the days before we imported the European Warm Bloods by the tens of thousands; unfortunately, the race horses often suffered from varying degrees of neurotic problems; although, there were a few that I would have loved to owned for twenty years, but that wasn’t the purpose of my work. My boss/instructor had been a sergeant in the cavalry before WWII; after the war started, he and the rest of the cavalry became artillery troopers.
I was apprehensive about crawling on all these horses and testing them for jumping before they had a chance to become regular horses. I remember my boss’s thoughts on the subject, “They all jump, some of them just jump better than others.” I tested that theory on a daily basis.
Occasionally, he would buy or be given the most the most outrageous outlaw or renegade horse for a hundred miles: most of these are the result of poor horsemanship or from dealing with the horse from a point of stark terror on the part of the previous owners. Fear is one of the worst things to inject into the relationship with a horse. The horse is a herd animal and for any horse to show fear is to relegate it to the position of an inferior being. It is in the horse’s personality to abuse those horses that show fear; a pecking order is established from supreme leader to the lowest most cowardly horse. The lower horses are the last to eat or drink and the last in the herd while walking or during migration, thus the most likely to be pulled down by a predator. That is their nature and there are some things we can’t change, with humans on the most basic levels, the same attitudes come forth.
When we would acquire one of these meat eaters, I became the helper rather than the jockey. My mentor would put a bridle on the horse, lead it into the arena and begin walking the horse in an extremely small circle, until the horse began to show signs of being dizzy. If Matt were on the left side of the horse he would pull on the right rein and pull the horse’s head up toward the withers and ask the horse to step forward until he stumbled. When the horse hit the ground, he would jump on the neck with the head cradled in his arms between his legs, he would then pull the horse’s head up and hold it with both hands up on his belly.
I was standing by with a tarp and tent pegs. It was my job to cover the horse with the tarp and secure the perimeter with the tent pegs. Once the horse was secured, it was impossible for him to move and we left him to think on his life and mortality here on earth. The next step was to scatter crushed grain over the tarp and let the chickens scratch and peck at the grain while the horse visualized giant eagles within a millimeter of starting to devour him. After the chickens had enjoyed their treat, we fixed a hose so that it sprayed a stream of water on the tarp and let the horse contemplate the thunder of water on a tarp for thirty minutes or so; it may have been and an early form of water boarding.
You must remember that this horse would have been shot if anyone else would have acquired him and we were pulling out all the stops to reclaim a horse that had been spoiled and ruined, with all the best intentions; meaning that someone tried to overcome their fear of the horse by treating it as if it were an ancient Greek god that needed treats and loving rather than training and discipline.
After being under the tarp for six hours, we pulled the tarp off the disoriented horse. When the horse stood up Matt was on his back, not sitting on the horse’s back, but standing up. He was a big man of 65 years of age and I was always amazed at his ability to ride these wild ones while standing on their back. In his own words, “I want the horse to think he has just emerged from Hell and I am no other than Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.” I don’t think that was blasphemy, because it was for the benefit of the horse and not for a human.
He would start riding the horse around the arena and if things went well, I’d hand him a snare drum with one drum stick. He’d then hang the drum over his neck, hold onto the reins with one hand, and play the drum with the other hand. He must have been a drummer at some point, because he could sure make that drum carry some fancy tunes. If the horse passed this phase, I took the drum and handed him a 22 pistol with bird shot. He’d fire the pistol up in the air and usually the horse stood there without moving. If the horse acted up, he went back under the tarp and the process was repeated. None of them ever required a third treatment. Once the horse had passed his exams, it was time to begin training and I was allowed to ride them.
In the final analysis, the horses that are the most difficult to train, often make the best horses. Some of them are born with a contrary attitude and tend to be a natural bully. That type of personality is not uncommon among horses, but it is probably the worst type of horse personality to spoil and treat as if he is an awesome animal and that humans are only here to serve as lesser beings or handmaidens in a similar manner to that of slave and ancient Roman aristocrat.
In essence this becomes capitulation, the human is seen as willing to serve as long as the horse won’t take out his aggression on the human servant. Horses like children can recognize the fear and spineless behavior of the adult who approaches the horse with treats and the tentative touch of supplication in an effort to win the horse’s goodwill. Horses are quick to exploit this behavior; to them it is only a sign of weakness common to inferior animals.
The human has in fact told them a lie or propaganda, for not all humans live in a world based in fear and quiet desperation, a situation that transforms into the false feeling by the horse that normal behavior or acceptable behavior doesn’t apply to them. Thus a horse believes the propaganda that it has been fed for months or years and metastasizes into a renegade outlaw; unfortunately, the horse will terrorize the owners until they have no other option but to get rid of the horse and begin all over with a new horse to ruin. The horse that they ruined will be acquired by someone who will juge whether the horse has the talent to justify the work needed to retrain the horse or if the horse is in fact not worth the effort. If that is the case they will just put a bullet through the horse’s brain to bring a close to his existence here on earth. It is a sad testament to modern life that there just aren’t many horsemen like my old mentor who will give a horse another chance at redemption to become a useful citizen rather than to die believing the propaganda he has been fed throughout his life n the road to perdition.
In today’s world, our younger generations have been been receiving generous doses of propaganda through pubic education and the pop culture. The majority of young people are firmly convinced that Socialism is the way of the future; of course, if they place faith and trust with the state run media their preconceived convictions are reinforced on a daily basis.
You can understand the children being drawn into the matrix of Marxism after being subjected to the theory and having the foundation of education based on Marxism, but the most puzzling aspect of propaganda is when the purveyors of propaganda believe their own lies and hype.
In Egypt a CBS News crew for 60 Minutes was working the mob on February 11 in Tahrir Square, looking for footage and interviews that would support the Democrat Party Line of Demonstrators seeking “Democratic” reforms and fair elections; President Hosni Mubarak had just stepped down and handed control over to the military. Rather than viewing the crowd as a dangerous criminal mob, CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan walked into the crowd as if she were walking among American college students from suburbia. She made the mistake of believing the Leftist hype and propaganda; she and her crew were overwhelmed by the vicious mob and Lara was gang raped and sexually assaulted for a period of time until she was rescued by a group of women and soldiers.
She flew out of Egypt the next morning and is home recovering from her attack. President Obama called her at home to express his concern. Whether he is concerned over her welfare or the difficulty in promoting his message and the party line is a question we are left to ponder.
Police, military men, and people with a measure of common sense develop a sensitivity for situations that can get out of control and they avoid the confrontation until they can be reasonably sure of a favorable outcome. The propagandists who become deluded by their own propaganda are in such a state of naivete that they can inadvertently put themselves in danger.
For Logan and her crew, the crowd was the equivalent of a spoiled horse that had become an outlaw or renegade; she assumed that because she went up to the horse with love and understanding that the horse would respond with respect and love. Unfortunately the horse without respect or manners is completely uncivilized and can be extremely dangerous. Logan is lucky to have escaped with her life. Sadly enough, she and her compatriots share in the guilt of spoiling the mob or the figurative horse, by identifying the crowd as lovers of Democracy and freedom who were merely seeking to overthrow the repressive regime of Mubarak; inadvertently, they gave propaganda fuel to the fire of the mob and nurtured the collective psychosis of the mob. They reinforced the mob’s feeling of invincibility and purpose; unfortunately, the crowd seems to have been propelled by far more sinister forces, thus she visualized walking into a wading pool of guppies and ended up in a sea of sharks. A direct result of believing her own lies and propaganda; still today, the propaganda mill is working the lies continue to be dispensed.
“I think the Muslim Brotherhood is not anything to be afraid of in the upcoming (Egyptian) political situation and the evolution I see as most likely,” Carter said. “They will be subsumed in the overwhelming demonstration of desire for freedom and true democracy.”
Who will be the next fool to believe their own propaganda and lies and let their gullibility over rule common sense so they become the victim of their own delusions.