Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Amish Life 101

I passed an Amish farm on my way to work one morning and got this photo of their barns.

Amish life 101, begins with horses

Working with horses is second nature to an Amish child.  Hardly a day goes by that they don't need to handle a horse.  They can't get frustrated and give up if they have troubles, they have to find a way to work through horse problems and come out the other side, somehow.  Most modern Americans have little experience with horses and try to handle them like a dog, and they fail.  When things don't go well they say things like, "I don't like horses." or "Stupid horse."  The reality is that if you depended on horses for transportation you would find a way.  You would soon figure out that horses function as predictably as mathematics; if you have trouble balancing your checkbook, it's your mistake, not math's.  (disclaimer: Some horses have already been ruined by previous poor handling. In those situations, if you have problems, it's not your mistake.)

Some math is complicated and takes some figuring to come to a solution to solve problems.  Same thing is true of horses.  But in the end, I'm convinced that it is true that horses are very predictable to those that use them regularly, thus the success Amish have with horses.

This is one of my favorite pictures I've taken so far.

I'm always impressed by what all these girls can get done while barefoot! 

How many teenage girls, these days, have to hitch up a horse if they want to go somewhere.  If they did, I doubt they would head out barefoot to get that job done.  I have been stepped on my own horses and was glad that I had some shoe leather between me and that big foot.

My wife and I were guests in an Amish home one evening.  Another Amish couple were also invited for supper but arrived quite a bit later than expected.  When they got there, the wife said, "Henry was milking and I was going to get the horse and buggy ready, but I couldn't catch our horse."  She seemed worn out and exasperated and made a statement, "I bet those fancy ladies in town wouldn't make as many shopping trips, if they had to catch a horse before they went!"

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