Tag Archives: passion

Passion For Horses Is Not A Learned Behavior – We Are Born With It! –

Passion For Horses Is Not A Learned Behavior – We Are Born With It! –
— Read on horses-world.com/2018/09/01/passion-for-horses-is-not-a-learned-behavior-we-are-born-with-it/

You’re Always with Me

Tonight I lost my best friend, Chance. The one who whinnied the moment my car pulled up, would run away and wait for me to catch him only to turn around and run away again. He made me laugh, knew all my secrets and nuzzled me when I was sad. He taught me about unconditional love and having a positive attitude despite circumstances. He nodded when I asked if he loved me and gave kisses to get treats. He’s the 17.1 hand horse who would stand behind me and fall asleep as I did my school work and would get upset if any horse got near me but would never hurt a fly. He let children hug him and dogs run into his stall and let me dress him up with flowers. He loved rolling in the snow, laying in the sunshine, and would light up the moment he saw me. I’ll miss playing in the barn on cold nights and curling up reading in his stall when he wasn’t feeling well. I’m thankful that he waited for me to get there tonight to say goodbye so I could hold his head in my lap and talk to him while he passed. There will never be a sweeter horse with a more gentle and pure soul. Thank you, Bubba, for being with me through it all- high school, college, the break ups, the losses, the good and bad days. You gave one hell of a fight for 30+ years. Lucky and I will miss you- there will never be another you❤️ #myfavoriteredhead #chancewetake #20yearstogether #thebesthorseintheworld #myheart

Study Finds ‘Horse Bug’ in People is Caused by Actual Virus

Being obsessed with horses isn’t ‘a passion’ reveal researchers.

It’s a disease.

©Umberto Salvagnin/Flickr CC

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore have found that a heightened interest in horses and the compulsion to be around them at all times, is linked to the virus Ecus solidamentum.

“We’ve nicknamed the disease the ‘horse bug’,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Ivan Toride. “But all joking aside, it seems to be a serious affliction that has real repercussions for sufferers.”

The study reports that people infected with Ecus solidamentum lose all rational thought processes when exposed to equines. Sufferers will ignore physical injuries, strained personal relationships and financial troubles just to spend more time with horses. Dr. Toride admits it’s a startling discovery to find a physical cause behind what was once thought to be only a mental affliction.

People generally become infected through mosquito bites, which is why those who already spend time in barns and outdoors with horses seem to be more susceptible. Interestingly, the researchers found infection rates are higher among middle-age women and that they are the most symptomatic when infected. Teenage girls also have a high susceptibility to the virus, but the disease seems to resolve itself in many by the time the girls reach their 20s.

“It’s a multi-faceted disease that will require much more investigation,” says Dr. Toride. “We still don’t understand the exact viral mechanism that affects the brain’s functioning, or why women in particular seem to be more susceptible.”

Anita Notherpony, who was infected with Ecus solidamentum last year, participated in Dr. Toride’s study. In the last 12 months, her behaviour around horses has become more erratic as the virus has spread through her body. “I lost my job because I couldn’t stay away from the barn. When I did go to work, all I did was read articles about horses or look at horses for sale,” she says.

“It started slowly, I thought it was just a new interest at first. But when I spent my entire pay check at the tack store, I began to suspect there was something deeper was at play.”

When Notherpony read about Dr. Toride’s research in an article in a horse magazine, a lightbulb went off. “I just said, ‘this is me.’”

Notherpony immediately contacted the research team for help. “Dr. Toride diagnosed me. At least I now have an explanation for what is happening. I know this disease is ruining my life, but it’s a compulsion I can’t control. I just hope they find a cure.”

Recently, Notherpony secretly sold her husband’s car for a third horse. At the time of this writing, it was unclear if her husband would be able to continue his employment without a way to get to work, leaving them both in a precarious financial situation.

Betraying the seriousness of her disease, a rapidly deteriorating Notherpony didn’t seem to be able to grasp the severity of the situation during an interview with Horse Network. “He’ll just have to find some other way to get to work. I need to buy another saddle next week,” she said.

It’s situations like these that are pushing Dr. Toride and his team to work overtime to find a cure for Ecus solidamentum. “It’s frightening to see how this disease can affect a mind. We can only hope we stumble across a cure soon,” he says.



A while ago, one of my good girlfriends, sent me an article about perseverance; why some are able to withstand tremendous adversity while others can’t? The article referred to this concept of an individual’s strength to endure life’s obstacles, to succeed in the face of adversity, to remain positive and continue to move forward despite what is thrown ones way, as Grit. Those who are able to endure the obstacles-have it- and those who are unable to endure- don’t.

“In a recent article published by People in Aid, Scott Breslin argues that grit, and not just resilience, is a key component for aid workers. Grit is defined ‘as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress’ (Duckworth, et al. 2007: 1087-1088). Resilience instead is the human capacity to bounce back from difficult experiences.” (See more at: http://mindfulnext.org/aid-work-is-not-a-survival-contest/#sthash.OsqxZNnG.dpuf)

I can’t help but wonder if the concept of Grit may also apply to our four-legged friends? Because I am pretty sure that Chance has it. What makes living things able to remain positive and enthusiastic and continue to persevere despite being in tremendous pain?

I am truly humbled every time I look at Chance and I see a 25+ year old horse who has lived for years with painful flare-ups without a known cause…yet even at his absolute worse, he was still engaged in life…eating, whinnying, trying to run and play, giving kisses for treats…and now, after a year of ups and downs, triumphs and tribulations, stumbles and falls, medications and supplements, pokings and probings, needles and adjustments, samples and tests, and changes in just about every aspect of his life, he is finally in a healthy place!  (He is no longer on pain medications daily.  He maybe gets a dose a month or so. And does not have bouts of lameness or swelling).

What enables him to remain his calm and happy self despite all of the above?  How was he not biting and kicking with every prick of a needle?  How is his soul still gentle? How was he determined to walk up a small hill a year ago and now is able to run up that very same hill?  He loves every second of his life.  This may sound odd, but my old guy revels in every single second of his day.

He whinnies the moment I pull up into the driveway and greets me.  He devours every ounce of grass he can.  He often follows his friend and co-caretaker, John, to feed the chickens in the morning. He yells for his buddy, Lucky, when he can’t find him.  He runs every where he is able to including back and forth from the house to the barn- racing with Lucky.  He rolls around in the grass, the snow, or mud.  He will lay in the green grass basking in the sunshine.  He investigates everything around him.  And each and every time he stumbles, or even falls, he gets right back up and tries again.

To me, that is the essence of Grit…to keep on trucking through life with a soft heart and grateful and determined soul.

Duckworth, A. Peterson, C. Matthews, M., Kelly, D. (2007) “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 92(6), 1087-1101.

The Here and Now

“Enjoy The Little Things In Life-

For One Day You Will See They Were In Fact The Big Things.”

This weekend I had the opportunity to admire the night sky full of stars while being able to spend time with my two favorite guys.  I did not have anywhere else to be, or anything else to do…I could fully enjoy the “here and now” as Yalom so eloquently coined.

I was able to experience the warm breeze and truly appreciate it.  To watch my two guys slowly grazing and hear them taking deep and relaxed breathes, with the moonlight reflecting against their backs.  I could smell the scent of hay and fresh grass. I felt my shoulders drop from their semi-permanent place next to my ears and my mind quieted.  I was able to sit back in the grass, look at the millions of stars, and 100% appreciate my surroundings- how lucky I am to not only have a place like this to visit, but also have the two beautiful souls (Luck and Chance) in my life.

Below is the sunrise the next morning….

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The guys waiting to come in for their breakfast