Category Archives: Competition
When you think you know what it is you do and suddenly find yourself fully engulfed having fun changing lives in ways you never quite imagined or have ever explained to another…
In the last few weeks of my working with horses and their owners I was suddenly, almost magically transported to a keen insight into what it is I am actually doing in my “supposed” line of work as a horse trainer/coach. I am a transformer.
I have owners bring me their problems… horses, fears, ideals and dreams. Their horses that have stopped working, are barely moving, running away and are in conflict with what is being expected, or are totally refusing to “behave”.
I evaluate the communication between horse and rider, finding the clues to the mistakes. Many times because the horse’s body is out of alignment. The owner’s timing is off. The horse has never been asked or taught how to move in ways that are comfortable much less correct, and with no idea of how to ask with the rider’s body for the expected results with their horse.
I assist people in learning to connect in the horse’s body language of communication, how much difference it makes to a horse to move in a way that the horse can flow in any direction that is desired when the person asking is in the right place. Even more so to be able to bring to the owner’s awareness that many of the horses brought to me have been started or handled by well-meaning individuals who are not aware of what incredible mimics’ horses are. That every minute you are handling a horse you are teaching it something! What you do want or what you don’t want. For horses focus and live in the now, they are not thinking of ten minutes ago, are where they will be tomorrow.
Their focus on present is so keen, that if they are asked to move in any way that causes the one moving them to stop moving. They accept the non-movement as this last movement they have done was the right answer.
I have had three horses in the last four days that are older horses, who have no idea how to lope confidently on the ground with a lead attached, much less under saddle. These horses all show the signs of being ridden by people that had no idea that everything they asked a horse to do, even if it put the horse’s body out of balance. It had to be the right answer because one of several things would happen. The horse would stop moving, slow down to a more in control speed, the rider would stop pulling, yanking, kicking, lose the rider, or would quit and put the horse away. Many times selling the horse because they didn’t know how to fix the problem they had created.
I assist owners in becoming aware of how everything going on with their horses is a reflection of something in the owner’s confidence in communication. Horses and their owners’ bodies are evaluated, for chiropractic, feet, emotional and communication abilities. Many times as in the present horses… I go all the way back to simple, basic baby steps. In assisting the horse to find trust in my ability to ask with the right feel and timing for the best answer for the horse, then by showing and teaching this to the rider to start a whole new form of communication. Teaching and coaching both with their ability to understand and work with each other to change the habits that have brought them to me.
Always I watch with fascination and joy as a horse learns to lose the brace from frustrated, fearful handling because of all the misunderstanding in trying to figure out what is desired of them, and that it is possible to do these movements in a much more comfortable and easy way. I show both how to communicate comfortably, safely, and effectively in a way that they both understand and can feel that they must move as a team, each one’s job is to be in a position to assist the other the best placement of their bodies, so they can now find a new way to react that feels and works better for the both of them.
Many times taking former “washed up, bad, blown up” horses, and frustrated, fearful riders. Back to performing winners, comfortable, and confident companions, by getting all to slow down, communicate, trust and “ask” each other to be the incredible partner they had both been seeking and believing possible when they first came to me. I love my job, the people and the horses that grace my life.
I retire to be able to drive, but he did walk in to find instructions about being ready, on his own, when I leave at 5:20. I woke up, got ready, tried to walk through the house to just start my truck, and then go get my coffee. Leave him to figure things out, but the guilty mom snuck up, grabbed me, forced me to walk to his room door and state I was leaving. Where the struggle began, him begging me to wait, help him find all his stuff. I started to and then argh… made my coffee, told him to call me when he got to the bus yard. I was now late, I was leaving! I got to the yard, aggravated with myself, started my bus, asked to be notified when he showed up. It was 32 degrees and the bus mechanic, said I was mean. I stated my son is now 14, he is 6 foot tall, plays football and it is only 2 miles from the house to the bus yard. I drive worrying, annoyed, and hoping/sort of knowing I did the right thing.
At 6:05 I get a call on the radio my son has arrived. I breathe. At 7:05 they call again to say he has left the barn to walk the 4 blocks to school. I will get through this.
Go buy feed, come unload feed, feed all the animals and get out my equipment to ride. Still reminding myself I can do this. Spy my contracts sitting on desk that need to be updated… the next thing I know I have completely re-done them, and started a redraw on my logo. Feeling really good with all of this organizing and creativity, check my email and read the post from others at the Challenge. Cool one about my last name Friske and nickname Cat. A couple of suggestions about my logo, now feeling much better I go to ride, five horses, and all of them struggling a little (I keep breathing and they get better) till we find the place of openness and understanding.
The UPS guy drops off my late Christmas order, my new card arrives, a lot to play with for later this week. I go back to work, noticing all the silence as I drive with my regular phone down and the new temporary one has no music. I get my mind almost back to peaceful as my afternoon run is done. Just in the going to get my son I can feel myself preparing to defend myself before I even talk to him. Making for a spewing off of the new rules so that I have a life, he has a life, we will find a middle ground.
I meander in here to write, check off he volunteered to fix supper. I am tired, I am going to figure this out, not all at once but at least I have it identified. Am going to eat, watch a funny movie, take the shortest route to sleep and congratulate myself cause I kept to just frustration, creativity, and accomplish posting this… It will get better!