Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Recently I’ve been wondering if it’s possible for our horses to mirror their human counterparts’ personalities, traits and even their physical situations.  Is it possible for animals to become like their humans, do we choose our animal friends because we see something in them that is familiar to us, or are we just good at projecting human traits and aspects of ourselves onto our animals?  

I think it’s possible that perhaps our horses pick up on our traits and emulate us to some degree.  Then again, most horses come to us with their personalities already formed, so this might be a stretch of imagination.  My daughter and I tend to be calm and quiet around our animals and I think this definitely influences their behavior.  We seem to have a quiet, calm and happy herd.

In my mirror, mirror on the wall experiment, I’m going to use Dusty as an example of why I think some of our horses can be a kind of mirror image of us.  Dusty and I share July as a birthday month and if one is to believe in astronomical charts, we have similar personality traits because the stars aligned to make us who we are.  For good or ill here’s the list of similar personality traits:

·      Neither one of us likes to be told what to do. 
·      We’re lacking in patience and aren’t able to stand/sit around doing nothing for long periods of time; in other words, we tend to keep moving to work the energy off.
·      Problem solving and being what I like to refer to as “freethinkers” is another similarity.  You won’t find us following the crowd.
·      Learning new things is a must to keep life interesting.
·      Neither one of us can tolerate stupidity from others--she from the herd, me from people.  
·      One of my most unfortunate personality flaws might be that I tend to require respect and agreement from everyone around me, and like to think that my way is the better way.  In other words (my husband’s) I’m always right. Dusty has the same flaw, except to hers we could add a need for adulation from the masses as well.  I’d like to say that we’re working on this but in reality we’re both probably too old to change.
·      We’re both calm and pretty unflappable no matter if the sky is falling around us.
·      We both have a good work ethic and don’t mind working hard if there’s a good reason for it.

The reason these thoughts occurred… one day as I was standing in front of Dusty it seemed we were a mirror image of one another.  Not only are our personalities similar but also on the medical front I realized (lightning bolt to the brain) that we have many of the same health issues.  She was diagnosed with a slow thyroid; I’ve had the same diagnosis since I was a thirty-something.  I have TMJ in my left jaw, she in her right jaw.  My right knee/leg is not the best considering arthritis and a knee replacement, her left leg/hoof is coming back from an injury to her coffin bone and she has a touch of arthritis too.  I’ve had cataract surgery in both eyes and she has developed a very tiny cataract that isn’t a problem for her yet. 

That’s what got me thinking there are many similarities between us that can’t be ignored.  With the way we mirror each other and sort of balance one another’s issues, I wonder if in some way my medical conditions were transmitted to her, or if it’s all just a strange coincidence?  If so I apologize to her, but it seems unrealistic once you actually put it down on paper. Still, I find it odd that we would have all the same ailments going on, especially since she had none when I started riding her two years ago.  As for her personality, I think she just came that way and I picked her because I like her attitude and style.  We may have our differences of opinion because of our similar quirks, but I think it also makes it easier for us to relate to and respect one another, and at the end of the day, that’s what makes a great team, right?

Until next time
Quote for Today
Closness, friendship, affection: keeping your own horse means all these things.
    - Bertrand Leclair

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