The Tale of Two LaddiesWritten by Robert J. McLardie
The Tale of Two Laddies by: Robert J. McLardie Bob McLardie has worked for over thirty years with countless horses and their owners to repair relationships, calm fears, nurture and protect and above all else bring owners to a new understanding of their horses. He brings to you "The Cornerstone Approach – A Revolution in Horsemanship". The Tale of Two Laddies is a story about challenges and obstacles that every human being and creature face throughout life and living. The two laddies in my life brought me to a greater understanding and depth of words "never give up". As a horse trainer, coach and farrier, I have had opportunity to meet many great people and horses. I first met Laddie while I was working on a little Arab at a 450 acre ranch in Northern B.C. There was another horse on ranch named Laddie. He was a 10 year old appaloosa gelding and he had been running wild for 8 years on ranch. Apparently as a 2 year old Laddie had been tied to what someone had thought was a secure object but Laddie had managed to pull and drag that object. The result was a broken halter and Laddie running off. For next 8 years Laddie had no human contact, therefore no halter on, hooves not trimmed, unlimited feeding with cattle and unlimited pasture which led to him being severely foundered. I learned later that Laddie had been put into a log corral and in trying to catch him that Laddie had reared up and dropped his body on top log and it broke. Laddie was then able to scramble over logs and was free again. I asked owner if I could take on challenge of repairing Laddie's foundered feet as well as training him to be ridden with objective of saving his life and finding him a new home. Laddie was so sore that at times he would lie down and eat by pulling himself in a circle to eat grass where he was laying. I was surprised that he had not been attacked and killed by large pack of wolves that were known to travel and take calves from this ranch. An agreement was made between owner and I for me to pick up Laddie on a Sunday afternoon. I thought owner would have him in a corral or fenced area waiting for us. When my son and I arrived he was welding some farm equipment and I asked him where Laddie was, he pointed to large whit butt that could be seen over rise on distant hillside. Although disappointed, I thought that catching Laddie would not pose a great challenge I told my son it wouldn't take long! After all Laddie had sore feet. We set off with a lead rope and halter in hand. Unknown to me was Laddie's in-depth knowledge of this 450 acres and his great desire not to be caught! Laddie knew every nook and cranny, every cow trail into bush and pasture, and all ways to evade capture. He would hide behind groups of cows and calves and as we got close he would scatter cows. He would hide in small groves of trees, deadfall, brush and brambles. Laddie seemed just like a moose, he was that comfortable in wilderness. It was hard to imagine that with his feet in such bad condition that he could continue to walk. After 2 ½ hours we were close to house and close to giving up so I went in to talk to owner. We needed to get Laddie into a smaller area. The cows were used to coming for grain so we got grain and cows, 2000 lb. Bull named Harcourt, 2 huge sows, and 2 goats heading for corral. Cam and I were part of herd as well, corral was full. The owner controlled gate as last of animals went in. We poured grain on ground to get animals settled and we started process of cutting out cows and calves. It was easier to walk up and pat 2000 lb. Bull, Harcourt on head than it was to get close to Laddie. Laddie was extremely anxious and agitated and had fear written all over his face. Our idea was to cut out cows, calves, pigs and goats, keep things calm and capture Laddie. We got majority of cows and calves out, then Harcourt, pigs and goats. There were a few Herefords left and Laddie. In trying to approach Laddie he again reared up trying to clear log corral, but with fatigue and soreness it prevented his attempt to flee. This was our opportunity! With a bucket of grain my son approached Laddie's head. This gave me a chance to move towards Laddie's shoulder so I could stroke his withers and neck and put a halter on. Cam and I breathed a sigh of relief, this was first time in 8 years he had had a halter on! With lead shank and halter on I moved him around in corral for a few minutes. What were amazing were that after all those hours of following behind him, Laddie now just accepted halter and lead shank and followed me willingly. It was now a mile and a half walk to get Laddie to my training facility. On my way home I have to go by farm of an old local cowboy, John. He used to break horses in style of his father. He was sitting on his front porch and could see me walking down road towards him. He was an old friend of Laddie's owner and had been in corral on first occasion when Laddie had broken free. John couldn't help himself, he came down driveway to meet me. He asked me in amazement if that was old Laddie and how on earth die I catch him. Without going into great detail I said it took hours of walking. John looked at Laddie's feet and recognizing how badly foundered he was told me that I would never be able to repair them and what was I going to do with horse anyway? I told him that I was pretty confident that I could fix his feet and that I was going to train him and ride him. John looked at me and said, "You'll never do it. Laddie's too old, you can't teach an old dog new tricks! You're crazy!" I said, "Just hive me a couple of months and you can come over with owner and have coffee while I ride Laddie." When I got Laddie home I bathed him with garden hose and cleaned dirt and sweat from his body. He seemed to really enjoy bath and drank water directly from end of hose. We measured and photographed his feet at this time. His feet were over 6 ½" (they should be about 3 ¼") and size of dinner plates. They were flared and very misshapen. It was quite remarkable that his legs and tendons had been able to take all abuse with all years of not being trimmed. He is a remarkable example of will to survive!
On Grammer (And Yes, I Know I Spelled Grammar Wrong)Written by Joseph Devon
There has been a growing trend, in academic circles and in my own life, to place grammar and its larger rules upon an impeachable pedestal. A growing number of people who seem to cling to rules of grammar as if its only through memorization of these rules and strict adherence to them that proper communication can be achieved. To these people I have but one word: Hogwash. The application of grammatical rules is not holy grail of writing world. If anything exact opposite is true and it is nothing but silly to pretend otherwise. There have been far too many different great works in far too many different phases of these rules to believe that standards we have now are entirely correct and always will be. Joyce never used quotation marks, Melville loved run-on sentences, and Kerouac barely even seems to be speaking English at times. Should we assume that these authors and their works are no longer worth reading because they do not adhere to strict grammatical rules in use today? Or, even worse, should we retroactively edit their words, changing their concept of what they wrote so that every quotation mark follows a comma and semicolons are used correctly? Of course not. These works should no more be touched than arms should be affixed to Venice De Milo. They were created when different rules applied, and this should be respected. But this does not mean that those different rules are antiquated versions of written word when compared to what we have now and that today’s standard is correct one. Today’s standard is simply phase we are slipping through at moment, and it is bound to change as well. The rules of grammar should be like rules of law, stable but never standing still. To create a system of rules for writing and yoke written word to these rules is going about things backwards. Writing comes first and then rules, not other way around. Those rules are in place to aid writing, not to stifle it, and they should bow out gracefully once world has moved on without them. They work for us, as I’ve said, not other way around. This notion of rules stepping aside for writers is not a request, I should point out; it is an out and out threat. Experimentation with literature and unavoidable influence of spoken word on writing insures that language will continue to shift and change, and if these rules and people who cling to them will not yield, then they must be broken. The stricter set of rules is, smaller your reachable audience becomes, either in time, or in space, or in both. Let’s say that a unique thought about life occurs to you in abstract, and that you then put voice to this thought. And let us say that you construct most perfect sentence in impeccable Queen’s English to express this thought. You have now encapsulated it for transmission to other people and you will be understood completely over three continents. The only problem is you have alienated rest of world. Nobody who speaks Chinese, or Greek, or Russian or Spanish will understand you. Likewise, a century from now your words will seem somewhat quaint. Two hundred years from now they’ll be downright archaic. The use of language for self-expression is an act that began back during our days of living in caves. It was, and is, a much needed way of communicating thoughts and ideas to those around us by creating an agreed upon methodology for this communication. But, again, it is used to communicate with those around us, those with same agreed upon terms, and those terms are radically different as world, and shared experiences of those in world, begin to vary with space and time. It’s only natural. Language changes over space, and lingo changes over time. The more you specify your rules for communicating, smaller your audience becomes and any attempt to actually lock those rules down into an unchanging law will only result in suffocation of communication, not perfection of it. Or we can go back and look towards my previous comparison of rules of grammar to rules of law. They are not very different, after all. The law has a strict set of definitions and rules for words so that minimal subjective interpretation is allowed. People go to school for years to, in part, learn this strict language, and that is my point entirely. The stricter rules, more learning is required to apply them, and more expertise is then required to interpret them, and thus, audience becomes smaller as less and less people have acquired skill needed to communicate…and that is not self-expression. Self-expression needs to breath. And, in some strange way, self-expression needs ability to be misunderstood.