January 27, 2012

Good ol' Xenephon

            With the onslaught of modern technology, our homeschool principal (a.k.a. Dad) decided to buy the class an e-book to keep up with the times.
                So far we’ve been generously taking turns with it and since it was my turn today, I chose to spend my afternoon reading “On Horsemanship” by Xenephon.
Here is one excerpt which I find to be a very true statement: 

                “That a horse takes pleasure in swift movement, may be shown conclusively. As soon as he has got his liberty, he sets off at a trot or gallop, never at a walking pace; so natural and instinctive a pleasure does this action afford him, if he is not forced to perform it to excess; since it is true of horse and man alike that nothing is pleasant if carried to excess.”
                And here’s another selection which is excellent advice for horse owners.
                “It is desirable that the groom should be ordered to carry out the dung and litter of the horse to some one place each day. By so doing, he will discharge the duty with least trouble to himself, and at the same time be doing the horse a great kindness.”

                Unfortunately, I am not only ‘master’ but also ‘groomer’ or I would wholly agree with the idea of such promptness. As it is, I just cleaned out Tex’s stall this morning and hope I shall not have to do it for another week.
                 Don’t you just love Xenephon? I rather like his common sense and forthrightness which comes through so plainly in his writing.

                “The one best precept—the golden rule—in dealing with a horse is never to approach him angrily. Anger is so devoid of forethought that it will often drive a man to do things which in a calmer mood he will regret.”

                “Supposing a man has shown some skill in purchasing his horses, and can rear them into strong and serviceable animals, supposing further he can handle them in the right way, not only in the training for war, but in exercises with a view to display, or lastly, in the stress of actual battle, what is there to prevent such a man from making every horse he owns of farm more value in the end than when he bought it, with the further outlook that, unless some power higher than human interpose, he will become the owner of a celebrated stable, and himself as celebrated for his skill in horsemanship.”

                The latter is a position I would gladly take if I were only as knowledgeable as Xenephon! But for now, I am very happy enjoying the company of Tex.
                I love horses—perhaps even a little bit too enthusiastically—(the phrase “there’s a pretty horse!” passes my lips more than often during John Wayne movies) so I hope to put this love to work one of these days.....

1 comment:

  1. Have you looked at the dressage test pattern for the Rolex yet?

    If only my arena wasn't so muddy right now.... =)