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How to Think Like A Horse: The Essential Handbook for Understanding Why Horses Do What They Do

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Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage: Designing and Managing Your Equine Facilities

Pride Goes Before A Fall

It was a karate tournament like any other ' all around me shouts rang across the gymnasium and weapons were flying through the air as students practiced their katas (patterns of moves) for the upcoming competition. A group of martial arts students from my dojo (karate school) were milling around at the base of the wooden bleachers filled with spectators and piled high with gym bags. My enthusiasm for performing was apparent as I anticipated showing off my talents as a black belt in front of the judges. However, the old adage 'Pride goes before a fall' was about to manifest itself quite literally in my situation.

My sensei (teacher), Richard Gilliland, asked to see the weapons kata I was going to perform. My gym bag was stationed about three-quarters of the way up the stands and the stairs were rather crowded, so I used the empty bleacher seats as steps to quickly make my way to the top. Extracting the red and black fans from my bag, I turned to make my way back down among my friends and peers. Because I was in such a hurry, though, I failed to notice the strap of someone's bag lying across one of the seats where I was stepping. My foot got caught on that strap, and because I was going too quickly to be able to stop and pull my foot free, I paid the consequences by tumbling forward and proceeding down the steps in a very awkward manner ' on my face!

When I reached the floor I untangled myself and with a very red face turned to my laughing friends. I played the incident for what I could and jumped up with my arms spread over my head like I meant to fall, and in the spirit of humility and graciousness that is promoted through the competitive martial arts community I found myself laughing along with the others.

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