Worrying about horses in bad weather

This is a really bad time for me to try to write a column. I have been watching the Dr. Phil Show.

It seems that with today's young folks, any mistake they can explain away — no matter how inane the explanation is — shouldn't count.


Since this has to do with counting it is possible that it is an offshoot of the new math.

Or maybe it is the result of children who were raised in the "I'm OK, you're OK" generation. The definition of "OK" runs the gamut from "passable" to "tolerable," which is not much of a distance. Maybe someone should have checked into that before using it as a measure of worth.


Of course, if you are not noteworthy for life mistakes, you don't get to be a bad example on Dr. Phil's Show to begin with. I admit I could turn the channel or just turn off the television entirely.

Which reminds me of a pair of little middle school girls that I heard giggling and saying "Ewww!" on my school bus one day. (Yes, I drove a school bus, but that is really another story!)

I finally asked the pair of girls what in the world was so funny and I heard that they had been alone in the house for a few hours when both sets of parents went to an afternoon affair of some sort and they had gotten into the resident parents' "adult videos" and seen some videos that they certainly shouldn't have seen.

I asked them if they were sure that they should have looked at those videos and they agreed that they shouldn't have. Then one of them piped up, "It was gross. We almost turned it off a number of times!"

That's sort of how I am with Dr. Phil's show.

Contrary to the youngsters today, my generation was burdened with personal responsibility almost to extinction. We learned early that no matter what happened that was geographically situated on this side of China, it was very probably our fault. Somehow, some way our guilt level increased exponentially if a ship sank in the Pacific or a hurricane blew down a hut in the Lesser Antilles. Worse yet, it never occurred to us to doubt it.

But that did make us a generation of people who stepped up to the plate responsibility-wise. After all, it was better to get one foot on that plate than it was to get hit in the back of the head with it when you weren't expecting it.

Some of us did indeed duck our duties. They were called bums and were held in opprobrium, which is not a good place to be unless you didn't mind it, in which case you were a bum. Life is just a circle, right?

The rest of us put our noses to the grindstone, our shoulders to the wheel and we dug in for the long haul I was one of that generation and that is why, even though I don't have any duties to horses anymore, I can't sleep if bad weather is coming in overnight. I have to be up to see just how awful it will be. Not that there is a darn thing that I can do about it exepct be prepared.

I have sat out hurricanes and three-day blizzards alone with a bunch of horses depending on me.

I haven't lost a horse yet to bad weather and, since I no longer have horses, I can probably keep that record clean. I have kept horses during month-long stretches of ice that precluded turning any horses out of the barn. Looks like I won't have to put one down from that, either.

But I still can't sleep if the weather will be bad overnight. It's in there, buried deep, if I just watch carefully enough I can protect what I have in the way of animals.


So Monday night while it blew and snowed I sat up and listened to the blue dog snore happily all night long. I am so entrenched into this mindset that I didn't even begrudge him his rest but I admit to being less than cheerful when he awoke filled with vim and vigor and demanded to go out.

However, seeing his dismay with blowing snow that was literally the level of his transmission in the back yard brightened my morning right up.

The blue dog disapproves of deep snow and since Heelers are not all that tall it doesn't take much snow to merit his sincere disapproval.

He grumps his way around the back yard while I hum a few bars of "Git along little doggie, it's your misfortune and none of my own…"

And if that makes me a bad person, OK, I can live with that.

Hope Holland is the Times' equestrian writer. Her column appears every Sunday. Reach her at 410-857-7896 or sports@carrollcountytimes.com.

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