He wouldn’t herd a fly…

Because I’m now living on a horse ranch I have a lot to learn.

Here’s what I learned today.

The horses being raised here are Lusitanos. A horse that was bred in Portugal for warfare. Before the advent of full heavy armor a  knights horse had to be able to maneuver in any direction during battle. The bigger slower breeds were developed and replaced the specialty horse like a Lusitano. They are very smart and intuitive and like people and are very inquisitive.

On this ranch there are pastures and paddocks that have horses at different life stages.

In one field there are two old stallions. They get along. One of them has only one eye, he lost it in a fight with another stallion; the other stallion was killed in that fight.

All the fences have electric wires on them. Some of the wires are attached to the boards of the fence if it is wooden, as they are in the paddocks; or they are plastic woven cloth with the wires embedded in them. When a horse touches the wire it really hurts them. They know after about an hour if the electricity is turned off and they begin to be rambunctious around the fencing. They don’t like being held captive.

This ranch is small and set in a valley full of smallish ranches and farms, people have to constantly be in the give and take mode. You may not like some of your neighbors all of the time, but if they need your help, you help them. They’ll act the same way towards you.

Helping, assistance, and looking out for the common good trumps religion, politics and all sorts of  behaviors and life styles. The folks here are more egalitarian than all of my friends in the liberal enclaves of the Bay area. Here, you can’t choose your neighbors or community, they are the same and you have to accommodate each other and act respectful; mostly. Life’s just easier that way, it turns out.

Where there are horses there are flies. Although the cabin I’m in is very well build and has great windows with good screens, there are always flies about. They are good to train with in terms of learning acceptance. Herding flies out the front door and moving screens so they can escape probably takes up more than an hour of my day. I understand why they are called house-flies.

They are like cats, they want to go out desperately, yet often fly right back in.

I chuckled to myself this afternoon when I realized I could be a character in a movie of whom its said, “He wouldn’t hurt a fly”. I want to, but I don’t.

It’s in the little things that the Big Teachings are practiced.

Maybe I can claim to be a fly rancher. If I’m on an airplane and someone asks conversationally what I do, I’ll say I have a small ranch in Oregon and run a herd of couple of hundred head of stock.

I don’t have to say my ranch is a small cabin and I herd flies.

Head em up! Move ’em out!













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