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Softness and play

I was inspired with the sun out the other day to go for a ride. The arena is open sided from kick wall up . We have clear span curtains that drop down and allows wonderful natural light in and with the sun it is like a green house. Cold is cold but its warming still. I Took Pop to the ring, not his favorite place to be so I wanted to make it special. We did out regular warm up. He had his roll etc and we moved at liberty . After liberty warm up we went online for a bit of lateral work , tracking up on circles etc. I had an idea of point to point that we hadnt done in a while. I had some various cookies and grain with me . I placed them in vairous places , on things etc. so go was with a purpose and it didnt take him long to figure out why he was going. It was funny to see him perk up at every thing to see if he had a treasure. Defintily peeked his curiosity. Our walk was effortless. As i ran out of treats first time round , I got off and relenished. Kind a cool. Inbetween goodie points I would add a point of rest. I would add variety to these. We would stand, or lateral flex L/R or lateral flex and then move our hind end around. I am in awe of his softeness. Litterally I go to slide to take and he is there. He is so tuned in! If I move an inch, litterally he is right there. So much more receptive. I have to Thank the real study to the Buck DVD clinic series for the added pieces to my puzzle.
Popeye is very much an introvert so short and sweet is great for him. My short and sweets are now so productive its truly amazing. I look forwrd to raising Tru in this mannor. Soft, clear and very purposeful. The slightly different style of work online seems to be a huge factor going forward for me. I appreciate the ablity to be open to diferent learning styles. I feel it is important when dealing with any thing or one. Not all beings learn alike. I like having different styles to pull from in Quiver.

Response to Literature part 2…. My opinion continues.

Part 2 of NH article response :

 

Nevertheless, NH is used to distinguish one form of horse training from more traditional styles of horsemanship. But I think this is again just a marketing strategy. It’s almost impossible to pin point anything that makes NH different from most traditional training systems.

(i) both NH and traditional use negative reinforcement principles.

 

(ii) both NH and traditional are based on (a) flooding techniques; and (b) approach and retreat techniques.

 

(iii) both NH and traditional rely on ever increasing amounts of pressure to make a horse respond.

 

There differences between most NH trainers and most traditional trainers are superficial and just around the fringes – such as the type of equipment. But even here it is hard to distinguish the two. For example, many people believe that NH does not use gadgets, but Monty Roberts is considered an NH trainer and he uses the buckstopper. Also, many people believe that NH trainers use rope halters, but Mark Rashid uses web halters and John O’Leary (who calls himself a traditional style trainer) promotes the use of rope halters in training. You could tally a list of gear that many people feel belong in one camp or the other and discover that there are trainers of either persuasion that use the same equipment.

Equipment or gadgets

Yes everyone has tools they prefer to work with. It is not a crime either if they are business savvy and market them.  I say God bless them. This is America. Lets go back to the most natural horsemen , The Native Americans.  They to had tools of choice, simple and effective but tools just the same.  Tools  are not the criminals here, it is the hands that use them that need to be held accountable.

 

(i) both NH and traditional use negative reinforcement principles.”

Hmm?? All I can say to this is a horse doesn’t stand a chance if we label ourselves as using Negative Reinforcement. I dare say some of my more Ttouch  and Clicker friends would be up in arms. 

I am really not sure what to say to this but that “Attitude is everything.”

 

(ii) both NH and traditional are based on (a) flooding techniques; and (b) approach and retreat techniques.”

Hmm? Re (a): I’m not sure of at all. My practice and learning through personal interaction and visual aids( DVD’s- books, etc), does not in any way BASE anything on Flooding. It is not a practice all horses can learn from. Some need to be taught while we watch paint dry. Others may be able to handle the faster pace of multi tasking, and more stimulus. This is my idea of flooding. But to say “Flooding” is a base of building foundation, No, sorry not on my clock, and not on the time pieces of any I have studied under in the NH world. The picture which goes with this article I guess is a form of “Flooding”. In my eyes, honestly, that is “Breaking”, breaking the spirit, there is a huge difference. Again I feel the attitude of the horse person has a lot to do with how things go forward. In my opinion, you can flood and stimulate thinking and connection, or you can flood and cause angst. All in the hands of the handler.

In regards to ( b), approach and retreat... you bet. Release teaches! The key is the release whether  it be physical contact or energetic intent, when a response is seen, the slightest glimmer , the release must happen.

Before I go on, I will say these are my opinions.  I am really just enjoying the opportunity the article has given me to really dissect my own thoughts and beliefs . This is very stimulating, heady stuff. 

 

(iii) both NH and traditional rely on ever increasing amounts of pressure to make a horse respond.”

Yes, to a certain extent. Better to apply pressure in increasing amounts until a response is seen, than kick to go, pull to stop. The key is the release. No news flash here right?

“….make a horse respond.” The word “Make” bothers me.  Anyone can make or try to make a horse comply, but where is any horsemanship in that?

I’m not sure how much traditional , old school English, practiced this. I was raised traditional English Equitation and do not recall any variation in pressure being taught. This was quite a few yrs ago!( 70′s)  Things were very mechanical. As I got older and developed my own style, and began to do more X/C work , fox hunting, hunter paces , eventing , etc I was taught some finer things. Innately as a child I was not comfortable with the whole picture of  Equitation, so as soon as I had the opportunity, I left that and learned to ride with my horse, Blue Chip Lancer, The best first horse a girl could have! Anyway,  bottom line is, it all is in relation to pressure, just given and taken away to achieve the appropriate response.

What is Pressure? Just sitting on a horse is pressure. Saddling is pressure, trailer loading is pressure. Its part of the world we live in.

For an example, If we do not add pressure behind the drive line to move forward, either on the ground or in saddle, how else do we begin the conversation to go forward in motion and in partnership. Some one has to take the lead and give direction .

Pressure is unfortunately a thing horses in the domestic world have to deal with to fit into our lives/world. Pressure however is not non existent in the wild. It is portrayed in games played from foal-hood on up. Pressure is understood by horses.  It is a herd dynamic which I value. It is their unspoken language we can only hope to tap into and use as effectively. It is not always physical contact pressure but energetic/ with intention. Going back to our prior mention of Pat Parelli, his foundation protocol, follows as closely as possible the interactions between horses, using physical and energetic intention.

I think the use of pressure is a given. It is the method and intention in with which it is used and applied that should be discussed. If the  technique  is respectful and allows for 2 way communication, and is not about the goal, but the horse, I’ll look at it.

Any tool is only as effective as the hands that hold it. As horses handlers we take a huge responsibility on to not screw up. I use many different tools in my facility because I find , as I said before, no horse is alike and some respond better to Ttouch  work , others to Parelli style, and then there is the wonderful world of in-between.  Ultimately I feel we must remain flexible in our handling styles in order to not use or  apply pressure to maintain “Control” of our direct line intention/plan for the day.   Whatever the day calls for we have to be ready to work with them not against them. Sometimes the day will totally take on a theme of its own. Use what they give you and make lemonade. I know that sounds really cliche, but it usually works out well and keeps the relationship solid. It keeps  your horse from looking at you as if to say, “So  you are a typical human.” To work in the more alternative world of NH is to not be typical or Traditional. It is to think out of the box.

In conclusion think of this:

What a great day it will be when NH is considered the “Norm”, The Traditional! The Go To way to train a race horse, or other sport horse, and start a colt.

Also A word….. Accountability.

Stay tuned for part 3~

 

A picture speaks a thousand words! And teaching moments!

a split second in time but shows a lot.

Jennifer Kirkman with her wonderful partner Orion.  Jennifer has done a great job with her boy. He  had a few  fear issue , so we chose to play at GMHA casually to explore  what he was about. Water was one thing she said needed work, and  he walked through it , trotted through it, and as you can see in the picture, jumped into it. His willingness was wonderful. What I did note durring the course of our play was  his sensativity and introvertedness. Though big and  ploddy he is very aware of her energy and it doenst take much to get hi to respond. A huge respsosibility  going foreward to not blow him out of the water. Sorry no pun intended. LOL

He gets it just needs more time to process. Dont rush him and  he will be wonderful .

Jen mentioned he is good with things like water when she leads him but going on his own , if she is riding is a different story.

Great teaching point!!!

I see this a lot the confidence is on the ground but not when human is mounted. One way to  develop this from the ground to the saddle  is to begin to have them meet things first and  put yourself in followers position rather than the leaders. This is  including leaving the barn area. Another topic all together!

Lets break the horse into sections  A nose and forward, B neck/ shoulders, C mid section ( saddle area), D hind end, and E everything tail backwards.

What we want to do is begin to guide our horse from section A, normal area, to E.  It is not needed by all to do this especially  from the  rear sections but  if you so desire it to be, then  it is a progression. Nothing wrong with confidence  in all sections.  Driving horses  do this  as thier job. Some horses, non driving , need it to be addressed others  are very tollerant and its never an issue. All depend on  personality and  how they have or have not  been developed.

For Orion and his water:

For Jen to be able to x water aboard him she will need to begin to ask him to step up his part of the bargain and grow in his confidence  step by step.  The water  at GMHA was a  great intro. We crossed   large  streams and stood to play and drink. He ended up taking the lead and  looking for  Jen to come along. This is super.  In the end we  came to the water obstacle seen in photo.

In the picture we can see a split second in time.  Some mixed messages it looks like but being there I can say it was a split second in time. Still a teaching moment taken, Thank you Jen!  To allow  Orion to  do his thing  the  guiding hand( with line) must say and denote the freedom to go.  We see a bit of  a holding  tension in photo. “The door is open this is your route forward” is  a way to think of it.  I beleive the  taughtness was a bit of  negotiating  direction on Jen’s part but still  it is his jump and we need to allow him to make the manuver on his own.  We can move our feet if need be, or let slack out in rope.  we must be flexible when  teaching. Every horse is differnet and  needs  different support styles. Micromanaging will only  get in the way of progress in anything especially  his confidence. Orion, made a wonderful jump down into the water. He  sized it up  all on his own, and when he found his sweet spot  he went. The secret is to give him, them , the time they need  to  think it through and  do it on  thier time.  Rest the encouraging arm and allow with the guiding  one.

Big day for Orion and Jen.  Well Done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YL Essential Oils: Every Day Oils continued….Thieves!

Hi everyone,  welcome to  the continuing ed portion of the news lettter. If you are here you are on the right track. Congrats!

Let me give you a better idea of how useful and practical these oils are.

We discussed Peppermint in the newsletter , now lets go to  Thieves.

This oil is a power house got to have oil.

*Thieves is a blend of oils: Clove,Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary

Thieves is a main stay for boositng the Immune system.

So how do I use it? Let me count the ways!

1)A few drops on my tooth brush after I brush with Theives tooth paste( # 3744). This is my way of countering any  gum desease or tooth decay between  dental visits. Not to mention its very exhilerating. Thieves packs a punch!

2) up to 5 drops depending on if im fighting something or  not,  in a shot of  Nig Xia Red drink(# 4700) it was a big part of my pre and post surgury  self treatment for Melanoma in Nov ’11

My hubby uses it daily with a shot of Nig Xia Red as an immune boost. My kids use the spray and hand sanitizer  in school and at home.

3) a drop  or 2 on a sponge to clean counters is awsome!

3) a drop or two on a tissue and put into a vacuum bag prior to cleaning  is a great way to freshen the air.

4)I use its extended family of products in the house to clean and wash with.

5) In the barn it is a go to for abcesses. It will draw out anything. Back in  winter ’11-’12 i had a horse show up lame.  Very lame, very odd. No swelling in leg so I  deduced it was a hoof. As he was with out shoes I thought  maybe a bruise  from ice etc.www.youngliving.org/sableview for more details.

I began applying Thieves to the white line ,massaged in and in a few days he was  sound ,  when farreir came next time to trim , he found an area that showed abcess grown out. Too Cool!

 

*Reference Guide for Essential Oils, Higley, 12th edition

 

The first impressions of a colt…. “And you are??? Dump the ego!”

“True” will do it for you! True is a horse in small form. Okay technically a large pony by breed but  who measuring!  Honestly I think horse do all the time.

They measure your intention, emotions and demeanor all the time, from birth~

Rescently True had some visitors who ASSUMED way to much. I was suprised at the lack of insight myself. Before I Knew it Sarah’s stall was filled ( door open to paddock TG!) with 2 humans and she and True. By nature Sarah is very curiuos but also very energetically charged. All horses are  very perceptive, some take offence  to in your face human interaction more so than others. Sarah is one of those and  Bubba the same. You need to earn your place next to him. As it should be ! Immediatley I saw the MAKE we humans take on with animals, horses to stay on topic. And when we have a smaller animal we feel  even more able to dominate and or push around and handle. No real regard given to the natural emotion of the horse in question.

This was an amazing event to witness. Very purpose driven . I was  in the isle and  then went to stall side. I wish I  had a video to show. I was so taken off guard, with in a minute the whole thing was over, not tramatic visually but to the sensative nature of this mom and foal it was not a good first impression of these humans. The  message was given to leave stall, as the littlest one  was not going to be “Handled”.

So very cool to see the world through this little ones eyes.  More stories to come.

 

 

What fear taught me.

The motto is: We are never given more than we can handle.

OK Iv’e had my fill for the yr and into next thank you!

Taking daughter to college in DC, and having Irene show up and keep me from getting back. Once home, standing with our community as we  pulled together. Recovering was and still is a daily challenge. Fear of how and when we all would recover. What we would do next? It was quite easily, if allowed to be, overwhelming.

Then, once things calmed down from Irene and  I had time to think and make a Drs apt for ME. Long story short I had a mole looked at and  as a result was diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer. Yeah, talk about FEAR!.

I think that has to be one of the worst feelings. My mind automatically went to the end. Im a pretty “in -touch” person so I allowed myself to do the normal thing, grieve, cry and then got pissed all in about 1/2 hr! Probably could have benefited from more time but I wasnt willing to give this any more energy than it would take normally.

_____________________________

12/7 I’m adding this is as a side note to the whole story as it was so clarifying to my point.

Today I requested a call to review a teaching situation I was encountering. I needed to review my thought process and request any input for continued progress forward. The student  had a lot of fear issues, and still does but the level of confidence both she and her horse are shoing now is improved 10 fold.

In the discussion Irrational Fear and Rational Fear were brought up. Perfect! This is how I can relate my internal feeling to public…. Exactly what I needed to hear.

_______________________

I have had this rolling around in my head for a few weeks now but didnt really know how to relay it.

Did I really need to ???  Maybe not, but it was worth it to me to get it on paper, so to speak, because I knew it would be relatable at some point in my career.

We all encounter fear at some point during our lives. For example, we have bad experiences that  left unexplained , form a wall in our psychi that grows if not tended to . Fostered self confidence, support systems , and open communication of feelings are all things that foster better ” Mental Fitness!”

In my own journey I have had to “Re-write” if you will, what went on in my head and what was real.

During the time from diagnosis to end of  the protocol surgery on initial site, (again), and nodes, I had plenty of time to feel and think fear.

My mind would go off on tangents, “What if’s”, etc would enter the scene.  I would have to reel it in,  again not wanting to waste any more energy on this than need be. Mental attitude and fitness is so crucial in so many aspects of life.

It was after my surgery and all the drama pre and post that I had time to think and realize I was given a great opportunity to understand the difference between  “Real Fear” and “Prefabricated Fear”.

In other words “Rational and Irrational”.

It is now just under a month since surgery, and one of my biggest lessons I will take forward is to ask myself “What am I really Affraid of ?”

I am not saying I will not heed or appreciate the feelings of fear, (self preservation) or apprehension, (butterflies/ tightening in chest etc),  some of us feel at certain times.

What I am saying is……

Im not a reckless person by nature, but I feel my enlightenment may  see me to be a bit more of a

“Risk Taker”.  Maybe putting myself out there a bit more often and not being affraid of life!

The thought of loosing it, life that is, now that’s “Real, Rational Fear!”

Food for thought…Some of those times we hold back, we might miss a chance to feel a true rush, pure joy , true happiness, and dare I say, the satisfaction of a real accomplishment/progress!

Why miss that because your mind is messing with you!

Don’t hold back!