Angel and I went on a trail ride last weekend. Angel was a champ, till we got to a scary spot on the trail. The trail curved under some trees and there was a log down next to the trail and Angel thought that was just the worst thing ever. Hey, maybe he smelled a critter hiding in the log, who knows? In any case, he was having none of it. I walked him through the area back and forth, and Rod will work with him a bit on that spot as well.
Horses do this. They spook at the seemingly simplest things, things that they think are dangerous but that we know are not. A bucket that wasn’t there yesterday, something flapping in the breeze, the cat jumping through the shadows around the arena in the evening. That’s why we de-sensitize them; we get them used to such things so it becomes no big deal. Oh, a deer on the trail. So what? They will still startle, but not spook.
I am not qualified to comment much on the Mehserle trial and verdict. I have great respect for the work that police officers do. However… it seems to me that police officers need to be de-sensitized just like a police horse needs to be de-sensitized. A well-trained police horse on that BART platform that New Year’s Eve would have panicked less than the police officers did. Tipsy, rowdy New Year’s Eve revelers may be obnoxious, but not something to panic over. Our “peace officers” need to learn this.
Then, of course, I have to apply this to myself. Sometimes, if your horse trusts you, they’ll suck it up and do something they are really afraid to do or don’t want to do simply because you’ve asked them to. I wonder, how many things do I do because I think God wants me to, so I just suck it up and do it, without really being comfortable about it? And how many times do I simply spook and run? I don’t know, but I’m sure there are quite a few. I strive to find that place where I am comfortable, at peace and consistent with the way I live and the things I believe and do. Maybe I would have less cause to bolt.