Cornbread Thinks: Why Do You Do That?

If you sent invites to people to get up at 3 a.m. to meet you at a trainer’s barn an hour away when the temperature was either below freezing or close to 100 so y’all could spend two hours waiting to ride five minutes, all in the hopes of getting a little praise from that trainer, my suspicion is very few would accept. The kindest of your friends would suggest you seek counseling, assuming you still have some friends in the real world who haven’t already written you off as bat guano crazy. Most regular people’s goals involve having enough success in life that they don’t have to get up at 3 when it is so cold Huskies won’t go outside. Not us. Our goals are to earn this privilege; we can hardly wait.

Have you ever really asked yourself why you do this? Have you ever really parked yourself somewhere and asked yourself why you do anything? From a lifetime of retail experience, my opinion is most everybody doesn’t have the first clue as to why they do anything. In my case, I have had some intense professional training in how to decipher out why I do as I do, and why I like some things passionately and others not at all. The most revealing and powerful of this training was at no charge with my membership in the Al-Anon family and its 12 steps. It is an intense and often brutal process to explore yourself.

I will give you a short example. What is your favorite color? And why? “I just like it,” is not an answer. Every time you form an answer, ask yourself why again. Keep this up for a long time. You will not get a complete answer. There is some science to it. Human eyes have different types of light receptors with a wide variance in distribution. Generally, men’s eyes are weighted to detecting movement, which requires lots of “gray-scaling,” while women’s eyes are better at detecting color variance. The scientific theory is that back in the day, when men were the hunters and protectors, detecting movement was crucial and explains why colorblindness is predominately a male thing. Women were gatherers of edible plants, and detecting a color variance helped spot those things just hanging there. This explains why women can never have enough shoes.

The color of “comfort food” is comforting to many people. I’m wandering a little, so here is the deal. Things like this meant life or death to ancient people. It became part of the programming of the brain, a chemical process. The thing that does this programming is known as DNA. It’s the staple of Maury Povich and the reason behind our breeding programs. It’s the explanation of why we love cutting.

Cutting is very much a mental thing. Knowing why and how your thinking works will improve your cutting. Do you know which learning method works best for you? I have to touch things to really comprehend. Others can just look. Some can be told. Some must read. Some just have to grab the hot stove. People who have the God-given talent of getting lessons across are called teachers. They sense what works with an individual. Not all great trainers are good teachers. Not all good teachers can cut. Some can’t show a videotape, much less a horse.

Your showing and your life will improve if you understand why you like what you like or more importantly, why you don’t like what you don’t. When you can apply what you know about yourself, you will understand others. This is equally true with our horses. The more I learn about my mule Bekki, the more I learn about horses.

We all have a good life in our cutting world. “The herd belongs to everyone” is the framework of our association, our rules and our lives. These things are hard-written on our hard drives. It is a comfort. It isn’t just the two and one-half minutes. It is everything. In my case, there are people and things that, when I just see them, reassure me all is right with the world. The feel of a good barn. The feel of a show. A parking lot full of rigs. A busy practice pen. A Stubby’s sweet roll. Lopers loping. Cow trucks. Sean or Lloyd Dennis settling. Casey in the corner. Tom announcing. The most comfortable place I ever am is on a horse. These things comfort me.

Cornbread asks: Why do you do that?