a beginner once again

September 23, 2013
Today was my first day loose lungeing on my own with Little Horse. The day started out with him watching me wherever I went while I was doing chores and walking around the fence line. (Just like Bob used to do.) Then, when I went out to the gate to start, he nickered at me. He has never done that before. I thought that was interesting…..
I am such a beginner! And, that is o.k. I am going to enjoy the newness and fun of learning different ways of looking at things and acquiring new tools with which to enhance the relationships I have with my horses. I remind myself of this as I fumble around with the lead tied to the halter I am holding as I also try to get myself in the desired position to try this intriguing thing called loose lungeing.
Today I wanted to feel what was happening with my Little Horse, as well as observe how he reacted to my body language and movement. I took things really slow, and felt very victorious when I got him to walk ¾ of a circle around me, and then drew him to me by backing up. We did this in both directions, and then I stopped. Remembering what Kathy taught me about muscle memory and mileanation (sp?) I wanted to end on this good note. Plus, I felt connected to my horse, and didn’t want to diminish that by trying for more. I also remembered to walk away from him, instead of letting him leave. I know that my body positioning and language was not spot on, and that I would fall into the more familiar patterns of lungeing with a line, but I am going to go with the fact that I accomplished what I set out to, and worry about the fine tuning later. I am sure that I will find out soon if this is not the correct approach! Excited for day two.

September 24, 2013
Another tiny nicker today! Great way to start things off. I think I am getting better at leading with calm, which is kind of remarkable since I’m not all the way sure yet if I’m leading the “right” way. Trying to stick with accomplishing a small goal in the way that feels best and connected and refining later.
Little Horse actually does better to the right. I started to the left again today, and realized that I still need more help with the concept of closing the door because Little Horse kept trying to turn to the right. I got a circle left with a couple pauses and then he turned toward me. I stopped him there and went up to him. I thought the pauses I got from Little Horse rather than the running around and chasing the other horses that he did before when Kathy was out here was a step in the right direction. At least in the direction of leading with calm. Adagio! My new favorite word.
Heading to the right, I actually got a circle and a half, and then drew Little Horse to me through backing up. I stopped him in his 4 foot bubble and told him how amazingly talented and smart he was. He agreed with me.

humbling experience

Yesterday, I had the greatest time working with my  Little Horse.  I groomed him, walked him around outside, and spent some time in the round pen.  Nothing outstanding, and a fabulous introduction after winter “retirement”.  He was very well-behaved, and it seemed that we had a better rapport than when we usually resumed our routine after some time off.  Humbling as it is to admit, I am certain that the reason things were so different has to do with me.

Actually the night before I had the opportunity to work with Little Horse is when my thinking started that led to this pretty profound shift.  What I started realizing was that I viewed working with him differently than with my other horses.  Yes, of course, I have different relationships with each of them, and consequently how we interact is unique.  However, with Little Horse, there was something different within me.  This something different would prevent me from being as present with my horse as I would like.   I think it was a jumble of high hopes, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not having enough time and just about every issue that I could have going on with me.  For another multitude of reasons, all of what was going on inside of me, caused resistance for the relationship.  I don’t think that I did any irreparable damage, but I know now that my fear that things could go wrong, as well as the other things taking me off-center didn’t allow for the level of connection that I desired.  I was the one getting in the way of things connecting really deeply, not my “mischievous” Little Horse.  Now that I know that it is more of a stretch for me to stay focused on the here and now with him, I will strive to bring more of being in the present moment into my interactions with Little Horse.

Not that I was an awful wreck every day, but I was sure getting in my way more than I knew.  Like most of the people that I know, I tend to dwell on the negative things that I’ve done more than the positive, so I will also forgive myself for this and move onward with the new insights and knowledge of myself that I have accumulated.  I am sure that both me and my Little Horse will benefit.  I will do my best to remember and stay awake, aware and alert to what I am sharing here today.  Even though it is humbling to admit to what my horses teach me at times, I will still sign up over and over again for the lessons they offer.  I will never stop wanting to grow and learn, and I don’t believe they would ever let me, anyway.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.