One day at our Lodge we were discussing how difficult, indeed impossible, it is to separate people into clear-cut groups – into the “good” or the “bad”! Life does not seem to work that way. There are elements of the bad in the best of us, and something of good in the worst of us. I am about to present a case for believing that the same may well apply in the animal kingdom too.
When my sister Doris and I were seven and six years old, respectively, our Dad decided we were old enough to ride horses to school. Bareback riding it would be, no saddle to give a false sense of security, no stirrups to add danger to a fall. We were to learn to move with our horses, hang on with our knees, and guide with the reins. He purchased a beautiful sorrel coloured pony for Doris. She promptly named her mount Daisy. Dad wanted a slightly smaller pony for me, and could not find one in our area. His search led him to the Indian reservation at Gleichen. There he purchased from the Indians, a cayuse. This was their name for any riding pony that was fleet of foot, trained to obey rein signals, and reliable. Well, this cayuse was pure white, slim of body and legs, and with a nicely shaped head. She was well trained to obey the neck rein signals and could run like the wind – but reliable? That could be a matter for discussion! As it turned out, she also had a will of iron. I loved her at first sight, and named her Grace. Continue reading