This is a post that has to do with toasters, not horses. Several years ago, we got struck by lightening, and it fried many of the appliances in our house. One of the dearly departed was a reliable old toaster oven that I’d owned for about 20 years. When I went to Target to purchase another one, a shiny red Oster model captured my fancy. It was kind of retro-styled and quite elegant, with a convection oven as well as a regular toaster oven.
I think it was only a couple of slices of bread later that the trouble began. My husband turned on the timer and when it went off, the pieces weren’t toasted yet. So, he twisted the knob and tried to give it a few more minutes. He made the mistake of walking away. When the bell dinged, he came back to his charred bread and began to howl. I should have just returned it then and there. But life was busy, the receipt got misplaced, the toaster looked so good in our kitchen, etc., etc. Now, over four years later, we’re still wrestling with this stupid appliance.
It has a will of its own. I can put in a piece of bread and stand watching it for ten minutes. Yes, it takes FOREVER to toast. Then, the phone rings, my daughter wants me to help her with her hair, I have some momentary distraction. As soon as I turn my back, this toaster seizes the opportunity and blackens the toast. It happens almost every third time, since it takes me about two painfully long sessions of watching bread brown to make me forget and walk away long enough to burn something again.
Now that I describe it, maybe there is a connection here to horses. How many of us have experienced annoying behavior from our horses and just learned to ignore it, get around it or put up with it? I’ve tried over the years not to fall into this trap of not wanting an argument or not admitting there’s a problem. In the beginning, with Silk, I made excuses for her and for myself. It was only when I accepted what was wrong and worked it out with my horse that I was able to lose that nagging feeling of dread and anxiety. The only time I feel that way now is when I’m about to brown a piece of bread.
So, maybe my horses do have something to teach me about dealing with toasters.