Counting Down or Maybe Counting Forward
Now feeling jazzed that all of this feels moments away from becoming my bigger reality. I got up, made coffee, designed and printed one gift certificate for my favorite client. Jumped in the shower, dressed, hair done, make-up on, as I hear the dogs barking, my automatic alarm for vehicles on the premises. Hurry out to say my hello’s and love the expression on her face over the unexpected gift. Amused as the two boys hurry to see who gets to go first, the younger quickly and aptly brushes, blankets and saddles his, with a quick smirk to the older, as we begin.
He has one side of his horse so completely tuned into his every question, but, the other side is this, hmpth, maybe, I don’t have to, stand offishness, with me coaching from the outside of the pen. After about 5 minutes of using all the tools that had worked on the other side, he stops, looks at me and ask for assistant. I go in, show him how to change his body position in reference to the horse’s, how to really make sure the horse’s ear and eye on the side facing him is actually pointed in his direction, before and during asking for advance or retreat. We go through the steps of having the horse turn away from him, or toward him, finally getting the expected response from the horse and a grin on the young man as he feels the dance.
So he mounts up, and as we put the big horse through his paces, the rider now feels the definite difference from getting the horse fully focused on the ground. We then proceed to hone, little movements of his arms, elbows, and hips, slowing them down, up, more or less till he is grinning as the big horse starts almost matching him as fast as he changes his thought. We come down to the small circle, finger up, or down, calf pushing or releasing, forward, sideways, and finally backwards. The big horse stops, is completely without any pressure on the bit, and his head drops lower the moment he is asked to stop. I give the thumbs up, he dismounts and heads back to the trailer. As horse and owner number two begin their groundwork.
Funny with the two young men being brothers, their personalities so extremely different, so well matched to horses the same size with exactly the same two different personalities. Working on many of the same exact movements, yet using entirely different tools and forms of thoughts to obtain these two boys grinning, sitting straighter, more confident, and more assured and comfortably managing animals that “use” to give them the runaround. As rider number two finishes and heads back to the trailer, the mom marvels at how much they always learn when they come here. How much they enjoy it, and how she can hardly wait till her horse finishes his month of tune up, for her to partake in lessons with a horse that better understands what is being asked, for her to then learn with and continue the fun that all of this has become.
We say our goodbyes, and as they are leaving I begin my horse rotations for the rest of the day. My big horse is puffed up, still sending out energy to the new horse that he is herd boss, and watch him perform, he so knows his stuff. Horse number two is just into playing, listening, partaking, but with the attitude of power, speed, let’s get it done and over with. Then to the little mare, in a snit because I am turning horses out as soon as I am done, and she does not think she should work first. So begrudgingly at first, she tries to just do enough to get by, till sensing I have all day, when she suddenly becomes all business like, turning and moving like the class act she can be when the mood fits her. We go through each ask, respond, stop, turn spin, head down, lick and chew, I grin as I am grooming her back off at how funny and like us they can be. Grab up the last of mine, he sighs, tries to run through it all so he can go out and play, till he realizes he will do it over and over till its right. Another sigh, he slows down, really starts attempting to listen better, small steps right, pivot, small steps left, pivot, step back, drop his head, release, take a deep breath and my personal horses are done.
With only the new horse left, and having such a great morning, I am in high hopes that the long session yesterday might have really ended in a really good place. Hopefully the asking for the left front hoof will be better. I am so pleased, when each thing I taught, showed or suggested he try to do yesterday, suddenly today, I have this great big huge cooperating animal, actually trying, working with me, showing me how smart he truly is, and how what I have shared with him about the way I will work with him, if he will let me. Truly does work for him. We have such an awesome session, I impress myself with his responsiveness and memory for all he was shown the day before. We finish with his head lower, a huge sigh, a perfect follow the leader game of stop, start, back-up as we head back to unsaddle. I brush him down, take him out to the big sandy pen, to turn him out to role and run till later. I am so in love with this path I have finally found such great footing on as I keep moving toward my dream!