Lessons from Horses
By Harry Walker
Given in Handwritten form to
Peter, William and Sarah O’Neill
on August 29, 2006
When I was going to High School, I lived on a farm about four miles from the school which was located in the town of Stayner, ON.
Our farm was on a back road; and, in winter, such roads were not ploughed out – only the main roads were ploughed at that time (around 1940). The area where we lived was also considered to be somewhat of a snow belt.
However, about two miles away, was a railway line that ran into town that was always ploughed out. So, a neighbour boy, Leighton Grainger, and I, often rode horse back as far as this line, and then walked the rest of the way. At the tracks, we simply turned our horses loose.
These were farm work horses and of course, we had no saddles. We just rode bare back (such horseback riding is not really very comfortable, but it is better than tramping through deep snow.)
When we let our horses go, they always went back home. I have thought about this since then and now realize that these horses were choosing security and comfort ahead of freedom. Most tame or domestic animals will do the same thing.
Most people are also inclined to choose comfort and security ahead of freedom. I know that during my life, I have often made this choice myself.
But it is when we choose the other option that we make the most progress, and gain the most in understanding.
It is always easier to stay in familiar territory. It takes courage to try something new. We must take risks if we are to realize life’s potential; its possibilities.