So, You Think You Love Horses? Some Reflections on the Nature of Horses and Man

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Why the handle The Accidental Horseman and just what are my qualifications?


I hate handles and I believe that people should sign their work using their real names. After all, it was good enough for John Hancock and he had a lot more to lose than me. However, in this case I have not used my name. This is partly because I do not care to debate with those who might disagree with something I say and who might be the kind of person who enjoys arguing with others. I do not enjoy arguing with others since it wastes more time than just about any other human activity I can think of. I would rather be riding a horse, and I think you would too. I am happy to stipulate that I have no real qualifications and concede that others know much more than I do. In my defense I will say that at this point in life I have logged more hours in the saddle than most commercial pilots have logged in flight, but if I truly knew anything you would find me hawking instructional videos at horse expositions. I also find in easier to relate some of the more embarrassing or funny things that have happened and also to be frank and open about issues people may feel strongly about if I preserve a degree of anonymity. However, I realize that more than a few viewers know exactly who I am and I really am not trying to deceive anyone. I stand behind the opinions I express and those are are mine and mine alone. I have also written a page titled "Brief Introductory Comments and Acknowledgments" in which I outline my purpose in writing these pages and revisit the question of writing using a pseudonym.

I call myself an accidental horseman because I am a horseman in the same way that the character, Macon Leary, in Anne Tyler's novel The Accident Tourist finds himself a tourist. I never thought of myself as a deliberate or intentional rider, the way my wife is certainly a very deliberate and intentional horsewoman. The truth is that I am still a little astounded to find myself on horseback. There I am mounted on a galloping animal, its hooves pounding on the turf, the sound of its rhythmic breathing in my ears and the ground flying past my field of vision. It's moments like that when I really ask myself, "What am I doing here?" Perhaps what I am writing is my own search for the answer to that most basic of questions. I know that I became a horseman purely by the accident of who I married. Was that fate or a roll of the dice? You can decide. In my own mind I am only the accidental horseman. However, maybe in being only an accidental horseman, I am able to gain certain perspectives that the more deliberate riders fail to achieve. We will see....

The Accidental Horseman

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