There's an old proverb: "You can lead a horse to water, but you
can't make it drink." But around this ranch, I keep getting told it's my
fault when the horse won't drink. "Make the water bluer," someone says.
"Make it colder. Try adding sugar to sweeten it a bit. Make it
shallower-maybe the horse is afraid of deep water. Put the water in
smaller containers so the horse isn't so overwhelmed by so much water.'
I get told maybe I should consider the poor horse's background.
Maybe it wasn't taught to drink properly and needs a course in remedial
drinking. Some idiot says I don't recognize a horse when I see one.
'Says I really have a camel and shouldn't expect it to drink like the
The boss says I'm not providing enough motivation to make the
horse drink. He says I should give the horse an enthusiastic pat and
keep telling it what a good horse it is.I should reward it with sugar
when it drinks or build a waterfall and decorate it with rocks so it
looks fun to drink at this spot. When all else fails, I should hold the
horse's head under water until it is forced to swallow some.
And I faithfully try all these ideas. And the horse still won't
drink. So I have another solution. I think it's time to give water only
to the horses that want to drink. Any horse that doesn't want water
should be worked harder. Make it work up a sweat so it gets thirsty.
Make it haul a load or run faster until it appreciates a drink of water.
Put the pressure back on the horse instead of on me-because I'm getting
mighty tired of trying to drown horses.