There is a story about six blind men who each touched only one part of an elephant and then tried to explain to each other what the elephant was like. The one who touched his side thought that the elephant was surely like a wall. The one who touched the elephant’s trunk was sure he was touching a snake; the one who touched only the tail thought that the elephant was like a rope. Likewise the one who touched only the ear of the elephant thought that the elephant was like a fan. And the one who touched only the leg of the elephant was sure that the elephant was like a tree. Each one was right and each one was wrong; because half truths, although they are not entirely wrong neither are they altogether true.
There are a lot of half truths in the horse world. And if you have been around horses for any amount of time you have probably heard them all; half truths that have to do with when you should bit a horse. What bit is the ONLY bit that anyone should ever put in a horse’s mouth. And then there’s the bit that no one should EVER put in a horse’s mouth. Half truths; everything from the only breed of horse worth keeping alive on the planet to the proper length of a lunge line according to whatever the latest horse guru of the day is selling.
From professional horse trainers to back yard horse trainers from riding instructors to farriers to the guy at the feed store, to your neighbor whose uncle had a horse that they rode to school a way back when. We are all in a way like the six blind men who touched only a small part of the elephant and went on to try to describe the whole animal. Only instead of the elephant we are touching the horse. And only knowing the part of the horse that we have touched.
While it is true that we are limited by our experiences we are not limited by what we are capable of learning and by what we are yet to experience if we are not too set in our ways to learn. We are all blessed to be a part of an exciting community of people who all though they might not share our exact philosophy concerning all that is the horse; they do share our passion and our love of the horse; and that in and of its self is worthy of respect.
Remember- “Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.”