Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Be like Mike......

,One of the perks of my job is getting to meet all manner of horse people. Ones who have been astride a horse since their exit from the womb and those who one day, right smack dab in the throws of middle age, up and decide to get a horse and get to riding. I enjoy all manner of horse person, especially when they fall into that category I can only label as "characters" Don't read me wrong here, a character is a term of positive distinction in my book. I usually learn my best lessons from a "character". Lessons I use to help the next person who calls with a horse dilemma. One of my favorite "characters" is a man we'll call Mike. His take on some of his horses behaviours was not quite what most horse folks would have agreed with. That being said, after further consideration, I began to wonder if Mike was onto something and the rest of us where off base.

Mike took his two horses everywhere to ride, an unusual thing for a relatively new horse owner to do. His attitude about it was one of hoping his horses, like his family dogs, would enjoy the new scenery and appreciate the outing. And by golly I think they did. Not because his horses where so different from all of our horses but because of Mikes attitude. When we would meet for our weekly lesson he would tell me of his various adventures that week, and while I shook my head in amazement at some of the "fun" they had had, I noticed that the language mike used in retelling the strories was so positive from beginning to end. I couldn't help but believe a grand time was had by all. For instance, as many of us have experienced when taking stable buddies on rides away from home. Theres a good amount of "talking" that goes on between them when one gets just a bit to far out of range of the other. Most of us would say "He was yelling his head off for his friend." Or "The screaming back and forth was getting on my nerves." Not Mike! He described it as "they CHEERED for each other!" I have never heard horses calling for each other referred to as "cheering". But because he believed this to be the case, He was not distracted or disturbed by it and had a pleasant ride. His horses picking up on his vibe, settled down and enjoyed it too. Another Mike original is describing his horses prancing after a particularly challenging obstacle as the horse having pride in his success of tackling that obstacle. Well why not? Haven't we heard it said time and time again that attitude is everything? I think Mike has proven it is.

Monday, November 9, 2009

odds and ends

proof boo is worth $10!

I was out today making an addition to my horses confidence course. It consisted of two truck tires filled in with DG. I figured it was would be good for all kinds of fun things, like pony pedestals, weave patterns and a nice place for me to sit or stand out of the fire ants and occasional muck. It was shoulder breaking work! No less than 6 wheel barrows full each. Ugh, when did I become too old for this? In any case, once I was done, I gladly took a seat on the front one and had some major horse company. Cuervo, sweet boy, just has to see it all (and taste it all) , all the time! We played lip games, had lots of muzzle smooches, ear rubs, one pretty prolonged head nuggy from him to me before it was nap time and he curled up right by my feet. This was first! It was still a bit nippy , so I scooched off my muck boots and rubbed my socked feet on his warm fur. He and I where all kinds of bonding when Boo came over for her share and broke up the party. After she clumped right over where I was sitting( no tire trepidation from her), roused the dozing Cuervo, determined there was no snacks involved in all the canoodling. She then ambled off to suck up the last of the hay. I was thrilled by this little exchange between the boy and I. I realized we had never had an opportunity to hang out like that as I haven't made it a priority to hang out with my horses in their fields for years. Sounds funny doesn't it? I LOVE my horses! I LOVE watching horses! Heck, I make a living with horses and yet I have forgotten how to engage this very gratifying skill. When I was a kid, I could sit for hours on a paddock fence or a jump standard just being with a herd of horses, whether they where mine or not. In Md. after the horses had eaten a nice little spot in the center of a round bale, I'd wander out there on clear, cold fall nights in my jacket and jammies and climb up in the center of the bale in my pasture with horses eating all around me and listen to horses breathe and chew...It was sooooo therapeutic! Boo chewing in a darkened stable got me through my divorce, I swear! Any way, I have been on cloud nine all day long. I know in our busy lives, we get carried away with stuff. I've been carried away for years! Today though, Ive made a commitment to nurturing this need. I will be out there hanging with the ponies as much as I can, just being, not grooming , not training, not talking on the phone or reading a book. I'll be 100 percent there, hanging out and being horse like for a time. It may sound very "horse whispery" of me, maybe even a little "gawani-like" but I don't mind, I'm not out there to work or teach or pick. Im there for the therapeutic effect that taking a little time to just be with our favorite creatures on earth affords. Try it, you'll remember too!