Memory is a funny thing. Funny, that is, until it rarely exists in your life. We all come to a point when we inventory the important things we want to file away in our mind and “File 13” the rest. Occasionally, I file wrong.

My family has had horses forever. As a child, I would go riding with my older brother Bruce every chance I had. As an adult, I still like to keep those hay-burners around. One thing I’ve learned from horses over the years is that they tend to hang on tightly to bad memories and forget the good times.

Meg riding Zippo Benetta Star

Not sure why horses love to hang on to the negative, but they are experts at it. Unfortunately some people are to. Several years ago when our daughter Meg began showing her horses in 4-H, she had a seasoned 17-year-old quarter horse named Dolly. Dolly wasn’t the prettiest horse in the world but she was dead broke…perfect for a little girl to learn on. Dolly had been travelling to horse shows for over a decade. One Saturday morning, with our grooming routine complete and tack loaded, we walked Dolly to the trailer like the hundreds of times before. Right as she took her first step into the trailer a horse fly bit her and she reared up hitting her head on the top of the trailer. I backed her away from the trailer to see if she had been hurt and found a teeny tiny scratch on the top of her head, the bite couldn’t even be found. I walked her back over to the trailer to load and she was terrified….of the trailer! In her mind, the bad that happened was caused by the trailer. Not by the horse fly. Not by her reaction. But by the trailer. Seventeen years of easy loading completely forgotten and replaced with this split second circumstance. We fought to load every time after that until Meg got her new pleasure horses.

At one of the first shows we ever went to an experienced horsewoman told us that a horse's mind is like a bucket. Each good moment adds one white marble to the bucket. Each bad moment dumps all the white marbles accumulated and replaces them with a black marble. Horses hold on to the black marbles and easily discard the white. Talk about a “bucket list”!

One of the best ways of learning is through observation. I’ve learned from the way horses evaluate and react to things and the grudges they hold. I’ve also seen friends, family and strangers behave like horses in this respect.

Oh, I forget many things like getting milk at the store or turning off my curling iron. But my memory of the good things in my life is excellent. Sure, I remember the tragic and trying times too, but I don’t let them overwhelm me. Those black marbles collected through the years will never replace the abundance of white marbles I’ve been blessed with.

Make your marbles any colors you like but try to stockpile more of your favorites.

Until next time, find YOUR Wisdom.... Accidentally.