I've never liked gossip. I can recall my mother and her friends talking on the phone, going on and on about other women. I didn't get it then, and I don't get it now. I don't find people so fascinating that I want to think or talk about them for hours. I suppose that if one would examine motives, it's all about tearing down others. And that has to have something to do with ego.
I understand why gossip is considered one of the obstacles to success in recovery in Al-Anon. Here is what we read at meetings about it: We meet to help ourselves and others learn and use the Al‑Anon philosophy. In such groups, gossip can have no part. We do not discuss members or others, and particularly not the alcoholic. Our dedication to anonymity gives people confidence in Al‑Anon. Careless repeating of matters heard at meetings can defeat the very purposes for which we are joined together.
Not gossiping means to me that there is a safe place in the rooms of recovery where I can share without fear of having it repeated. I have become more cautious though at meetings because I realize that not everyone recognizes how destructive gossip can be. Breaking a person's anonymity through gossip can have severe consequences for their business, family, and general well being. And it can damage the harmony of a group.
As far as being at the barn, I know that the less I say, the better off I am. I go about my business of riding; however, it is a little more difficult now when I realize that the shortcomings of a few people have tarnished the experience a bit. I keep in mind the words of a fellow I know in recovery: "Never miss an opportunity to keep my mouth shut" seems particularly apropos in so many situations.
My horse has had an abscess in his hoof. I have been treating it with soaks in Epsom salts and slathering some nasty drawing salve called Ichthymol ointment on the bottom of his hoof. Fortunately, it is getting much better and should be healed up in time for his showing debut at the end of the month. The abscess seems to have come from bacteria entering the hoof as a result of so much rain and the pastures draining poorly.
Here is the boy keeping an eye on me. We keep an eye on each other, but he is constantly looking for an apple or carrots!