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Monday, November 19, 2012


I've now been thoroughly labeled.

Generalized anxiety disorder (or "why Melinda has to have a plan for everything)

ADHD (known in my household as shiny object disease, or why Melinda must always have a goal)

Wood (known to my household as why melinda is grumpy and irritable)

Istj (or why Melinda is bossy and stubborn)

Seasonal affective disorder (or why Melinda is the grinch)

I feel like a library book that they can't quite figure out whether it belongs in the fantasy or the mystery fiction so they stuff it in young adult.

Makes me wonder how I ever got to vet school

Makes me grateful that I didn't get these labels until after vet school.

Heaven knows that I already was made aware of how hard and challenging vet school would be and I really didn't need yet more reasons for people to tell me how hard it would be and how I would struggle and sacrifice.

Because guess what, this has something to do with endurance and horses. Thinking about this made me wonder how often we put labels to horses, or allow others to do so, without realizing that every horse has a gift to offer us, even if it's on its way to send it along to a more suitable home.

The most common label that I see people applying to horses as either a source of pride or as an excuse is "rescue".

Often this is the first thing I learn about the horse. That it is a rescue. Or bought from an auction.

It's like everything is secondary to these labels, as if the owner is afraid that no other accomplishment will seen significant without being examined in this light of the horse being once a rescue.

Are you letting a label on your horse define your relationship? Or your expectations?

Can you accept what your horse has to give you, keep your mind open and look past the labels to see what that horse has to offer the sport?

Lables exist only to help us, and if you decide that the label isn't helping and is instead an excuse that is keeping you from doing Tevis or some other dream, than work on the problem, don't proclaim the label even louder. (Goes for your labels AND your horse's labels).

Btw I am feeling better - that cold knocked me out for a week. Missed most of school last week and gradually returning to normal activities. Farley probably thinks that that she's been a retired again (NOT!). I'm taking it easy for the holiday - have very little reserves and a lot of catching up to do for my finals the Monday etc after thanksgiving. Bummer. Definitely no desert gold ride for me! The fates were against me this year, so glad I did camp far west! Loving my current block (repro)!


  1. Hear, hear. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine that people permanently label their pets as "rescues." Sure, for the first year or so, you can blame X behavior on the previous owner, but after a while you have to own your own handling of the animal. I've been really careful for the last few years to downplay Dixie's origin story - sure, she was started terribly, and her feet will always be messed up from the shoes and pads as a yearling, but just about everything about her personality comes from MY interactions with her for the last five years. Her training, or lack thereof, is all me. Animals don't need decades of therapy to work through their past trauma.

    Glad you're on the mend. Your nasty virus migrated west; G got sick and as he started to recover I got sick and spent a horribly fevered weekend on the couch. I'm also bummed about missing Desert Gold, but cest la vie, right?

  2. Oh, and just like "oh she's a rescue," you can come to terms with your own dx's and they'll be less important over time. I was diagnosed with GAD in law school, but I hardly ever think of it anymore. It's just how I am. The only thing it means is that you're not alone in your weirdness; there's enough other people who have the same sometimes-overwhelming fears for there to be a term for it. You are exactly the same person as you were before you took the M-B test, went to a psych, etc. The best thing it can do is give you some tools to be happier, more productive, etc.

  3. When I was active in dog rescue, we told adopters that the dog they had after a year was the dog they deserved, i.e. people will train out the stuff they cannot abide as a top priority and anything left after a year ISN'T a top priority. With horses, I think the timeline is more like 2 or 3 years, but it doesn't go on forever.

    Labels: There's a reason we changed the Dragon's name from "The Hellbitch." >g< She was making steps away from being a hellbitch, but the title was dragging her back towards it, because people heard it and expected the worst. With "Dragon", the implication of horribleness is still there (appropriately), but also an implication of power and wisdom, which are also appropriate!

    Zsa Zsa Gabor said, "I don't mind if people call me a dumb blonde. Because I know I'm not dumb. And I also know that I'm not blonde."

    1. It took more than 2 years for Dixie to settle down, but I assumed that was my fault, not hers. ;) I totally agree re: names. Once I finally broke myself of calling her "crazy Dixie," I stopped treating her like she was crazy and she ~magically~ became sensible.

  4. "Lables exist only to help us, and if you decide that the label isn't helping and is instead an excuse that is keeping you from doing Tevis or some other dream, than work on the problem, don't proclaim the label even louder. (Goes for your labels AND your horse's labels)."


    I read some of these posts and run to check the birth certificate (or just ask Ma) to make sure that you are truly ours. But, the conditions with labels now are fairly new. Most of us are damaged. The reality is that this generation is label happy. (No, I am NOT slamming young people.)

    Labels are useful. "Know thyself" goes back a long way, but it is what you do with the label/condition that is more important. Being ISTJ has caused a lot of stress in my life, but also has contributed to a lot of my success. Depression has both hampered me and made me stronger. Dick Edminston (you may remember him as the guy at Gramdma's with one hand) only used the "handicapped" label when it suited him. Otherwise it was just part of life.

    Like success being defined as what you do with failure, success is also what you do in spite of what burdens you bear.

    Dang! Got excited and fell off. Got to get a bigger soapbox next time!


  5. Love your post, and totally agree.


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