Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The trail of Learning
I feel like I have been following a trail of breadcrumbs left by those who have traveled this trail before me, searching for the secrets of the most magnificent animal of all. Piece by piece, [What I mean to say.. Is in the midst of the forest of life, having children, getting married, getting divorced, going through difficult relationships in between, then finally getting married again, only to discover the challenges of a mixed family, in the meantime trying to learn the language of an entirely different species as my means of gaining self fulfillment.] I am collecting crumbs of knowledge, from horses and horse people alike.
I would find these crumbs, sometimes, in the most unexpected places. If I set out to find a specific crumb, I would often find several completely different crumbs along the way. This could be both exciting and frustrating. On the one hand I would have gained more knowledge that would help me with other training issues, on the other hand I would be no closer to finding what I was initially looking for. It is important, however, to be open to these other trinkets of information. You never know when you are going to need them. For instance, I had been working on getting my mare Foxy, to bend first laterally, then vertically. We were trotting in a circle as I was pressing my heel into her barrel while lightly tipping her nose inside the circle and massaging the rein until she softened and gave the bend I was looking for. While doing this, I noticed when she softened she would become more collected, and as I allowed her to straighten and move forward not only did she keep her collected frame, she continued at a slower pace. This was important at the time, because she was the type of horse to get over exited and somewhat out of control in new places. Now I have that little bit of knowledge, to help her to calm down and become collected in new environments.
This has made a huge difference in her performance and our relationship. Had I not noticed this product of the flexing lesson, I would have kept on thinking her being “high” was merely a nervous issue, instead of a softness issue. Wow! What a revelation! I feel kind of fatuous now when I think of all the horses I could have helped with this little crumb. It’s like a big puzzle. When we are looking for a specific piece, sometimes we find another, but know exactly where it fits into the picture. [Life can be just this way.. Or .. We have to wait a long time before we figure out where the puzzle piece fits!]
Always In Search of Horsemanship