The horse's pasture to the East...

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Accountability 101

noun U ]
the fact of being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it, or the degree to which this happens
There were furious demands for greater police accountability.
Accountability is important these days, and managers aren't always willing to adopt risky strategies

The above definition is from the Oxford English Dictionary, of the word ; accountability.

In a group that I joined this Spring, to continue with the learning curve in my horsemanship, the term “ Accountability Thread “ was added part way through. There are certain words that are triggers for me, especially in a time of heavy social pressure and criticism from peer groups. If you read the definition of the word, you can see that the person/people running the online course are probably trying to get students involved in the process of leaving stories or videos of what is going on with their horses, so they can give the student feedback. I understand that and am usually amenable to the suggestions from the instructors. 

But this year I am not interested in being accountable to anyone about my actions, as a student or otherwise. Look at the way the word is being used in example sentences (see above). Who has to be satisfied? I do, not the instructor. Who do I have to be accountable to? My horse. They are going to give me the best feedback on my actions and overall demeanor, where I am emotionally and whether I communicated clearly enough with them. Did I leave their dignity intact while learning to relate to them, to interact with them as a partner? 

As for the last sentence in the definition, I adhere to no command structure under any circumstances. I am not in the military nor am I an employee. I am a student using online courses to teach myself. Would I like feedback from the instructor? Yes, if that is included in the course description. Will I join any “Accountability Thread” ? Aside from the fact that I am now not on social media and this group is set up only for students on FB, no. I will not be dictated to by anyone much less by someone that I paid for instruction. When I paid them I became their employer and not the other way around. In fact, they are accountable to me and any other student who paid them for their services.

You can see why I am uninterested in doing anymore than simply watching the videos and finishing that part of the course. I’m not going to name the people running the course. One is German and the other Swiss. The use of the word could simply be a language issue, a misunderstanding. I’m not interested in hurting any small business owner, especially during the present circumstances. I will almost certainly not be continuing any other courses with them though. Part of running any course is making sure you communicate clearly with your students. I will not get my full money’s worth from this course. That’s part of my learning curve. If the term “accountability thread” had been used from the beginning, I would have chosen not be a part of the class. 

Some words are triggers. For an American, “ACCOUNTABILITY” goes in one direction only. Leaders are elected and employed by me and my fellow citizens, not the other way around. That also includes local governments such as mayors, sheriffs, governors and legislatures as well as at the Federal level. And for me it includes who I pay for services rendered, in this case instruction in communication with horses. 

I will be more careful, in the future, when paying for any learning. I will sample first and, if the course does not match my expectations, I will ask for a refund. I am considering the money paid a donation to a worthy cause. I am learning the hard way this time. 

I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling at the way things go... I will be more clear in the future both with myself and the instructor about what I am looking for in a teacher. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


I’m tired. The world seems to be upside down, like we’ve slipped in to Alice’s rabbit hole and fallen in to some subterranean surrealist landscape peopled with mad hatters and crazy queens who want to lop off your head if you don’t follow the current ‘rules’. And I have never followed anyone’s idea of a status quo without questioning everything. I’m an American. Last time I heard, we’re allowed to make our own way as long as we don’t steal from, injure or kill anyone. 

I have guaranteed Constitutional freedoms, by law, giving me the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms in defense of my home or country, and the right to make my own decisions about my health, my method for making a living (as long as no human or animal is abused, injured or killed). But now I am being told what to wear (masks), when I can go to church and how, if at all (I belong to no particular religion but I will always defend the right for anyone to believe what they will). Schools are closed and may not open this year. Businesses, small and large, are closing and declaring bankruptcy. Families are loosing their homes and apartments and non stop riots seem to be going on in certain cities because of a movement that has been co-opted by political factions and being used to affect an upcoming election. 

A couple of weeks ago I removed my presence from all social media platforms. Because I am an artist by trade, people expected me to be part of the ultra liberal groups. Again, I make my own choices politically as well as religiously and otherwise. I belong to no group except by my own choosing and will change my mind at any given time. Because I’ve been questioning what I read in the so called news ( most of which is lies and deeply edited to slant to the left ), refusing to wear a mask and simply going about my days in exactly the same way that I always have, I began to receive threats. 

For the most part they do not bare repeating here. But the threats were very specific and violent. When our mail box was bashed, something that happens ever so often when poorly raised and unsupervised kids take it in to their heads to play “mailbox baseball”, and then we were sent messages saying it would be worse than a bashed mailbox next time, I decided that social media was poison. It adds to the gossip mills and encourages vile behaviors. I felt like I was back in junior high with lunch table ‘rules’ and all of the childish name calling that happens when groups of befuddled hormone laden pre-teens are trying to establish social dominance. Continuing with participation in those venues was enabling the worst behaviors in people. 

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” 
― Albert Einstein

Somewhere along the line people lost their way, became so full of fear and an inability to question what they see in the media, they began to revert to attack mode. The need to belong to the herd, to follow the crowd, overwhelmed their ability to reason or question . I became a, and I quote directly from one of the people who wrote to me, “ heretic “. How interesting. And I was told that I and my family and anyone I came in to contact with was going to die within three weeks. Of course that happened three months ago and I’m still here with no health issues. The little town I live in has no cases of COVID. The local farmers and ranchers continued to do their jobs of raising their crops and animals WITHOUT MASKS. And now rural communities are being threatened by ANTIFA as well as other factions because they are living their lives and doing their jobs of raising food to feed the world. Sounds like insanity to me. Without food and the people who grow it, the population starves. ( I was even told that the animals I care for were going to be infected and die because I will not spend my days wearing a mask. )

I refuse to spend my days down Alice’s Rabbit Hole having tea with a Mad Hatter. I am still exactly who I have always been, an independent adult who follows my inner voice. I support the Constitution, live by ideals that I’ve learned along the way.

The Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, use resources wisely, make the world a better place.

The Four Agreements

Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally. 
Don’t make assumptions. 
Always do your best.

  • Honour thy father and thy mother.
  • Thou shalt not kill.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  • Thou shalt not steal.

And above all I promise to be myself. I am not a clone or follower of the herd. I am an independent woman, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, artist , horse woman and small business owner. I will stand my ground and defend my right as well as my family’s right to be exactly who they are. I will love all of them as the people they are and will be. I am proud of their abilities to make their own choices and stand their ground balanced and calm, kind and willing. 

I am, ever yours and MINE, Nancy, smiling at the way things go. My Grandmother used to say, “ This too shall pass.” She was right. All of this will pass....