Getting back into the swing of blogging regularly…hopefully!

all
This past summer I had a lot of fun, as well as learned so much. Because my daughter, Lexie, was off of school, she came to the barn with me just about every day, and we really had a lot of fun together. She was enjoying the cats and kittens, and she bonded with her pony, Midnight. One of the fun things (for her) she discovered, was that she could run when she led Midnight, and he would trot. It still brings me a big smile when I picture her dragging him everywhere with her. That pony does put his halo on at just the right moments! I appreciate you so much, Pony Boy!!

With the busyness of the summer’s events, I decided I would allow myself the summer off from writing. I thought that was a realistic approach, in spite of all the numerous times I have heard that I should be blogging consistently. Fighting the “shoulds” I decided to put the guilt aside and bask in the richness of summer fun. Some good in that, however……it’s now past mid October, and I still seem to be on summer vacation. Inertia seems to have kicked in big time. (An object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest, well, that would be me)

As I was sitting myself down and turning my computer on, I came across this quote: “Amateurs sit and wait clinicfor inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ― Stephen King. So, here I am, setting things in motion.

There have been some very exciting happenings at Hidden Promise. Our Great Camp Out was incredible! I got to meet some amazing new people, and am looking forward to getting together with them again. And, we’ve already started talking about next year’s camp out.


Little Horse and I have had some great experiences. Some of them were just great in general, including the milestone of officially being started. This mostly means that he had a positive introduction to being ridden in a saddle. Some of our experiences taught me a lot, even if I wasn’t over thrilled at the moment that I was getting such lessons. I am getting a deeper sense every day with him that it is the journey that builds our partnership, not reaching those destinations or milestones. They are tremendous fun, but not the stuff that our bond is built on. In the future I will expand on some of our adventures, but I am appreciating more and more the value of taking small steps built on a foundation of trust. Of course, I will be honest, I still get wrapped up in the excitement of getting to the next big place, and I am getting better. Thanks for all the lessons, my little horse.


 

The Novi Horse Expo is November 14th through the 16th. I hope that you’ll drop by our booth and say “hi”. It’s always great to catch up and hear what’s going on with all of you. We’re also developing new workshops and programs. It would be great to hear what you’re working on and hoping to accomplish in your big plan. As always, if we at Hidden Promise can help, please let us know!

 

 

allowing myself the luxury of awkwardness is paying off

September 28, 2013
Another practice with loose lungeing today. I closed off the gates with only Little Horse inside this time. Before, there had been other horses in with him while we were practicing.
The bubble is getting better. Still working toward 4 ft consistently, but I can see more respect for my personal space from him. I asked him to walk so that our circle would be to the left. He started, and then turned off to the right. I went around and herded him back to the left. He took a couple steps and then stopped and turned toward me. I think I am needing to let the more traditional lungeing positioning of my body go. I might need to start from a new place, both literally and figuratively.
Going to the right was so much better. Little Horse actually circled around me, and I kept him going two times around before I asked him to turn. And, he took one step and halted when I asked him too. I gave him many scratches. Then, I asked him to move his hindquarters to the left, doing a turn on the forehand. He did it with ease!
Next, I went over to his left side, and asked him to move his hindquarters to the right. Little Horse kept walking forward. I took the rope and put it over his neck so I could restrain the front end. It was like a switch flipped. He started walking away, pulling rope. Not feeling like I was in a safe position, I let the rope go to the end, and waited for him to stop walking. When he did, we paused for a moment. I needed to figure a plan where I could lead with calm, and make this go well,
I decided to have him walk forward with me with the lead rope looped over his neck. At first he was stuck in park. I combed my fingers down the rope, and with a couple passes down the rope, he was moving forward toward me, so I took a few steps. Then, as we were moving, I directed my energy toward his hind end, and got him to take a step and cross under with his left hind. I stopped there and gave him many scratches. Think I learned a lot today.

September 29, 2013
I got to feel and experience an awesome connection with Little Horse. The essence of how I want to interact with my horses was visible and palpable today! And, I am sure that it is only the tip of the iceberg of what is possible on this journey.
Today’s learnings started at Kathy’s farm. I got to sit bareback on one of her horses, a big, beautiful and sensitive mare named Liera. I was introduced to a perfectly obvious, but clearly new to me idea of “one step at a time”. As in, how does a horse move? One step, or one leg at a time. So, that is how you start them off from a halt. In order to do this, I took the rein of the direction I wanted to go off to the side. The same manner as if I was leading the horse from the ground. Release here, too! I really need to get better with my releases-complete ones. Along with bringing the rein out, I brought my life up. Then, to stop, I would bring my life back down, having the courage to wait for a response. A very different approach that I really love.
Then, we went over to work with Little Horse. All of the experimenting and awkwardness of new learning is beginning to a bit. It is so worth it.
It was raining and Little Horse was in the shelter, along with Smokey and Promise. I haltered Little Horse and let him out in the new manner I am learning, and there was a new softness to his responses to my initial requests today. How exciting! As I let him through and closed the gate of the area where we would be working, Kathy’s encouragement and praise completely validated what I had experienced. Fun!
Next, Kathy helped me with positioning my body in such a way as to have Little Horse flex his head toward me and disengage his hindquarters as he would turn to face me. Although he moved his front feet instead of his hind feet, Little Horse and I were definitely more in sync and connected today. I began to move from just being hopeful that one day I would understand all of this new stuff to believing that it truly would happen. I caught a glimpse and it was awesome.
We had some more teachable moments as I worked my way through unhaltering and letting Little Horse go. Although it’s challenging, I love the level of consciousness I need to work with horses in this connected way. The old manner of taking the halter off and leaving the area and my horse without much planning or though is now pretty much obsolete for me. Awareness is such a critical component to the journey and end result I am seeking.
I took Little Horse’s halter off and still had the lead rope over his neck. At this point we had some discussion which ended up with e dropping the rope as I was ending up in an unsafe position as Little Horse was expressing his opinion and heading away from me. I learned: not to let the lead rope get down by his withers, to keep it up by his throat latch; to make a different choice when Little Horse lets me know he’s on the edge-I can choreograph a different dance to better our chances of staying in harmony; that even with my blunders and fumbling, Little Horse was looking to continue the connection we had originated. This last point is by far the best of all. I love my Little Horse and am growing so much on our journey together.