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15.1.2022 How To… Care For The Older Horse… In 10 Easy Steps: Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Time

‘The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.’ Madeleine L’Engle

We’re in such a rush, so much of the time. One of my favourite songs is ‘Quarter To Forever’ by Tina Dico. For most of us, there’s a fine line between between spending time with our horses, and working to earn the money to be able to spend time with our horses.

You may have come across this story about an old fisherman. There are several versions, but the one I’m sharing here is from


As he sat, he saw a fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught many, many fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman said, “Not Long.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer and catch even more?” The businessman asked.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman replied.

The businessman continued, “What do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman said, “I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to catch some fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and when evening comes, I join my friends in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”


“I am a Ph.D. in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time fishing and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish.

Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to the big city, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

The older horse has served his time. He’s done his work. He’s ready to be loved, appreciated, and cared for. Can you make the time to simply be with him, amongst the madness of twenty first century living?

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

January 15, 2022
Sue Palmer