Perspective: Noun.

a. The relationship of aspects of a subject to each other and to a whole: a perspective of history; a need to view the problem in the proper perspective.

b. Subjective evaluation of relative significance;a point of view.

c. The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.

Sometimes, when we are faced with a relationship that is not as harmonious as we would like, it helps to try to "see the guy’s side." Let’s suppose, just for the moment, that we reverse the situation and put you in the horse’s place to help gain HIS perspective.

In the first scenario, a masked stranger with a grotesque, freakish body breaks into your house late one evening, silently enters your bedroom, violently jerks you out of bed from a sound sleep, ties your hands behind your back and drags you to a cage you have never seen before in your life. You have no idea where your family is, the stranger’s motivation for doing this or his intentions. Judging from his menacing demeanor and actions to this point, you have a very dismal, uncertain view of your immediate welfare. The fear of the unknown, ominous and menacing, with no hope of escape or rescue is overwhelming. He returns shortly with a whip and hits you with it, forcing you to run around the cage. He speaks a foreign language so you have no idea what he wants you to do. Occasionally, the bite of the whip when you misinterpret what he wants you to do turns your fear and apprehension into utter frustration and terror. This goes on for days. Eventually, you understand his commands and learn to respond without getting hit by the whip. The apprehension and fear you felt when you first came slowly evolves into a dread of going to the "sessions." Your fear of the stranger also evolves into a loathing tolerance of his illogical mannerisms. One day, he puts a piece of metal in your mouth with short ropes attached and has a midget climb up and sit on your shoulders. You are unaccustomed to the additional weight and feel very clumsy and vulnerable. The midget speaks the same foreign language your kidnapper did that you STILL do not fully understand but through the jerking bite of the sharp metal in your mouth and being hit with the whip, he "teaches you" to carry him while doing very strange little dances.

In the second scenario, a stranger knocks on your door during "normal" hours, hesitantly explains (he does not speak English very well) that he is new in the neighborhood and invites you over for supper. He IS a stranger, and, as such, your mistrust of ALL strangers (especially those that smell of meat and aggression) makes you feel a little apprehensive. But you ARE hungry and the sample he has brought with him convinces you to accept his invitation. When you arrive where the meal is being served, you are very politely (almost apologetically) asked to wash your hands and face before sitting down at the table to eat. As the meal progresses, you are almost casually informed that it is considered proper at the stranger’s house, to sit up straight when eating and never talk with your mouth full of food. The requests, though very sincere and firm, are made in such an extremely gracious manner that it seems a very small price to pay for such an enjoyable "feast." As the weeks and months go by, the visits and the "feasts" become an everyday part of your life that you look forward to with great anticipation. The "stranger" becomes a true friend to be valued and trusted. He is actually fun to be around and you enjoy his company very much. You also find that you and he have developed a third "go-between" or "bridge" language that enables both of you to converse with each other quite easily and comfortably. One day, at supper, he mentions that he has to carry a midget to a friend’s house and asks if you would help him. You have never done anything like this before but because of the trust you have in your friend, and his assurance that you can do it easily, you willingly agree to help. At first, the unaccustomed weight makes you feel uncertain as to whether you can carry the midget or not, but with the reassurance from your friend, your apprehensions soon disappear. In time, your balance and confidence carrying the midget on your back grows and it becomes a normal, accepted part of your life. While carrying him, the midget asks you to do some of the little "dances" that you have learned the words to previously at mealtime and even some new ones. The "bridge" language you developed with your friend also proves to be quite an advantage when learning to do the little "dances" and makes it much easier to learn the new ones. In fact, because the midget and your friend are so ecstatic and shower you with so much praise when you do them correctly, you soon share a sense of accomplishment and thoroughly enjoy becoming extremely proficient at doing them.

Eventually, you and your "rider" go to different places. Sometimes, you just explore new places you have never been before together as an adventure. Other times, you go to contests and challenge others with "riders" on their back. You notice that the others seem to dislike the riders on their back and hate the contests, and you wonder why…

"Life is a matter of choices."

The choice is yours to develop whatever level and type of relationship you desire with your horse, and reap the rewards and consequences of your choice.