THE STORY OF THE HAM (and Jen's absolute favorite!)
Early one Christmas morning, a husband walked into the kitchen to find his wife preparing the ham for their Christmas dinner. He watched as she deftly cut off one end, flipped the ham around and quickly cut off the opposite end before placing it in the pan. "You know," he said, "I've always meant to ask you why you do that." She shrugged and replied, "I guess it's because that's the way my Mom always did it."
After a long pause she said, "You know, I never really thought about it. Let me call Mom and ask her." The wife picked up the phone and called her mother. After wishing her a merry Christmas, she asked her mother about cutting the ends off the ham before baking. "I'm not sure", her mother replied. "I suppose I do it because that's the way my mother always fixed it. You'll have to ask her."
Hanging up, the wife quickly dialed her grandmother's number and asked her the same question. "Well dear", her grandmother answered, "for a long time after grandpa and I got married we had very, very little money. I only had one small pan to use for the oven and cutting off the ends of the ham was the only way I could make it fit inside the pan. I guess it became second nature and I just kept doing it even after I had the money for a bigger pan."
The moral? Just because something has been done the same way for years and years doesn't mean it has to be. Sometimes the reason no longer exists (and sometimes it wasn't such a great idea in the first place ;o)
☆ Only seeing your horse when you want them to do something? Think about it this way...remember your childhood attitude towards chores? (Actually, I think I kept that one :o) You know how your mom or dad usually had this certain expression when they were coming to ask to do something; or maybe get you to finish a job you didn't? Exactly how thrilled were you to see them heading your way? For grownups who enjoy chores (ha, yeah right), try that special someone that is always borrowing money, asking you to help them with a project, watch their kids, etc. - and they never pay you back or return the favor....
☆ Ever have one of those weird sudden itches? You know, the kind that turns you into an instant contortionist trying to reach it RIGHT NOW - ARRGH! (or do a bear impersonation where you slam your back against a door frame - or anything else that's handy - and scratch vigorously until it's gone). How about a drip running down your back at the beauty salon? Don't you just HAVE to grab the towel and catch it? So why do we act like it's completely reasonable to expect a horse to stand perfectly still (ignoring any and all random itches, flies, and trickling sprays) while we groom them? Oh, wait....it's not. *laugh*
☆Have you ever watched a toddler become frustrated trying to communicate with an adult? I have; they speak a different language, right? (I think it's called gibberish :o) Well just as any good parent understands the gist of what their toddler is trying to tell them (most of the time; nobody's perfect), any good horse owner should have the same ability to communicate with their horse. It is actually every bit as doable as learning to understand "baby talk", but it does take some serious effort on our part. A lack of communication between horse and rider is also known as the ultimate stumbling block.
☆ Do you work with your horse next to a pasture? In the pasture? While other horses are being turned out? Running around? Resting? Having problems with his behavior? Okay, imagine yourself (as a kid) in the principal's office at an elementary school next to an open window on a beautiful sunny day. Now throw in a couple hundred sentences that you have to write while all of your friends are outside said window (at recess) playing and having the time of their lives and you're stuck working. How interested and/or focused do you really think you'd be, eh?