• Horses
  • Properties
  • Trailers
  • Saddles
  • Tack
  • Cattle
  • Equestrian Jobs
  • Horses for Lease
  • Stallions at Stud

Generosity Should Be Appreciated - Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth

“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
 
The old familiar saying has come to mind several times over the decades.
 
Sometimes it does relate to horses and as often to life and people in general.
 
First off perhaps important to clarify exactly what the statement means and where it really originated.
 
A horse’s teeth become more protruded appearing longer with maturity. Thus comes the term “long in tooth” meaning an older horse. Those with much experience can open a horse’s mouth and determine almost exactly the age of a horse.
 
So, checking a horse's mouth would be a sign of mistrust towards the gift giver and bad manners.
 
The polite thing to do is simply to say "thank you" and accept the gift horse graciously.
 
Actually, the comment relates to anything given without obligation or expecting something in return.
 
The annual foal crop has been offered to others no charge for several years. That seems poor business investing so much and then giving it away.
 
However, experience has proven this is sure easier and probably more profitable in the long run all things considered. Those getting the colts generally appreciate them.
 
Still, everyone can’t have first choice of the foals. Fortunately, preferences vary and what one might select could be completely different than that of another. “Best” selection based on gender, genes, color, or other reasons might be someone else’s least desirable.
 
Typically without much ado those wanting the young horses have evaluated, visited and congenially agreed who would get which. Perhaps not always loading their initial pick the new owners are still thankful for the gift horse.
 
As with anything, there can be exceptions and that’s happened too. Only when those wanting a foal were not present when distribution was made did conflict arise. They got what others had not selected. Yet, one really should never complain about anything that’s free.
 
Tis the season of giving and receiving when the old proverb has a special meaning too.
 
Gift buying is difficult, more so for some than others, and not everyone is going to like what they get.
 
There’s no need to complain. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth; it’s the thought that counts not the gift itself that is important.
 
Reminded of Second Corinthians 9:15: “Always be thankful for the wonderful gift.”
 
Frank J. Buchman
Published on 2019-11-12