As we begin a new year with a fresh clean slate in front of us, a great question to ask ourselves is “What do I do just because I love it?”. Team Redmond member Brandon Foote poses this very question in this wonderful post about his horse Mayfield.
Horses are bigger, faster and stronger than us, their human comrades. We compete with them, relax with them and work them into a sweat. They can unload us at any moment of their choosing. But most of the time, they cooperatively do the great and often very difficult things we ask of them. Why do they do it?
I remember riding Mayfield, our high spirited Bay in the Utah mountains gathering cattle in the early fall. The terrain was rough, steep, rocky and at 9000 feet the oxygen, thin. The cobweb of aspen deadfalls made any opportunity for direct, leisurely travel, impossible. Mayfield was working hard to get us not only uphill, but over the deadfalls we couldn’t get around. The ambitious cattle always found their way into these areas – especially in the fall when the easy picking grass had been mostly taken, but grows abundantly in the shadows of the deadfalls. It was our job to go there and bring them home.
Mayfield was the high strung type that never ran out of energy and again had worked himself into a lather. While pausing on our ascent to let him catch his wind, I couldn’t help wonder to myself: “Why does a horse let me work him like this? Why doesn’t he throw me off or lay down in rebellion? What motivates him to continue on at my nudging?”
I can’t help but to believe that they do it just for the love of it.