Category Archives: rhythm
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.
She straightens up, becomes the best little handler. Is allowed to mount up, and we play the game of her in front, turning, spinning, trotting, walking, over, around, and through every maze and gate on the place. Finally tired, but smiling, says it’s time to stop, dismounts, changes bridle for halter, gets the horse unsaddled, brushed off and put in her pen. To quickly ask, then sneak to the hay barn for a snack for the little mare since she forgot to bring a treat. They schedule for next week, say their goodbyes, and I do the changing out of saddles and equipment for the new horse’s second day.
I walk in, she eyes me to see what energy I bring and as I close the gate, she presents her rear turns, then walks away. The game begins, I keep wiggling the rope, and she walks faster, I start slowly swinging the lead as she ups her pace. She tries to out stride me in her 20 by 20 pen until she realizes no matter how or where she goes I am right there keeping the pressure on moving her forward. Finally she turns her head at me, I stop, turn and walk away. She turns to face me, I stop, look over my shoulder, turn and step back. She comes toward me, I step back and extend my hand to wait. Within minutes of the game of she leaves, I drive, she stops and looks, I step back to draw her to me, to finally have her head down, licking and chewing to walk up to me to allow me to put the rope and halter one. We then proceed through all the checks on everything I walked her through yesterday, wonderfully the entire session goes from three hours mostly groundwork and a few minutes riding yesterday. To two hours total today, the last twenty minutes done in the saddle. The best part is the glassy eyed, oh no, only showed up twice today and only on her left side.
I take the rest of the horses turn them out, watch a movie, finally put on a side of ribs leaving some for my youngest who spent the day working for his brother to earn back the rest of the borrowed fees from yesterday. I am in charge of my life, I can feel the freedom calling me. I know there is this man who gets, appreciates and is at this same point in his life…headed here… I can see him walking in my driveway, grinning…long sigh!