Robert Frost, the poet, wrote about coming across two roads in the woods. One shows a lot of activity while the other is pristine and unused. Which way do you choose? Suppose you know the active path, and it feels comfortable. There are known obstacles along this path, but they are trusted because they are known, and many others have taken it before you. So you move forward down the used way and accept the results.
What if you chose “the road less traveled?” There could be far more dangerous obstacles or worse; you never arrive at your destination. You are scared because the road the others have not taken may have a good reason for avoidance. On the other hand, taking this unworn path may have the thrill of exploration. What if the road less traveled brings you to a better destination? What if the obstacles are less of a problem and you arrive in better shape?
Luckily, you find a guide for this untraveled road. You start with confidence, but soon you toss aside this booklet because you think you can travel the road without help. You get started, and the rest should be easy – until you get lost, never reaching your destination. Panicked, you run back to the fork in the road and take the well-worn path, willing to have the problems you know will arise.
Feeding our horses as they have for the past 30 years is the “well-worn path.” Insulin resistance, Cushing’s Disease, suspensory ligament disease, decaying teeth, dropped fetlocks, early retirement, obesity, and more are the “known obstacles,” but we know them and therefore are comfortable with them. But feeding horses as they were for millions of years before 1990 is the “road less traveled.”
Or is it?
Two images from my recent travel through the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City: