Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Searching for forward & finding something far greater

What an incredible week this has been! From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs and the ecstasy that lies in all of that. I have been stuck in my life and therefore in my way with my horses. When I finally got on Scout for the first time with the saddle on, no matter what I did, I could not find forward. I tried everything I could think of and then called a friend for assistance. It was suggested I was being far to soft with all my horses and creating pushy, dis-respectful animals and I needed to be more assertive. So I used my energy and body language in the round yard at liberty to get Scout moving out. She ended up doing this well and I was instructed to jump on her and immediately use force to get her to move out. I was in a frazzle by this stage and following instruction's without thought. I jumped on Scout and put my leg on her hard numerous times and then used the rope forcefully to ask for forward. Needless to say, Scout was not at all impressed with this new change in my demeanour and nor was I. She told me in no uncertain terms by bucking me off (and who could blame her!). She was communicating with me on the same level with which I was communicating with her. The session continued with me jumping back on and asking again but getting nowhere other than feelings of immense pain, displeasure and total trauma that I could fail my horse in such a major way. I walked away bleeding and bruised on many levels.

The next morning for the first time since Scout joined me, she did not whinny to me when she saw me. At lunchtime as I sat outside she looked at me sideways, again without her usual whinny, instead turning her rump on me and walking away. I was shattered!!!

Through my greatest misery came my most important insight ever. I have often wondered what happens during the journey from childhood to adulthood. How do we lose that connection to nature that seems to happen without thought. No thought was given to jumping on my horse bareback and letting him gallop wildly across the paddocks, me whooping with joy without negative thought, just enjoying the moment.

I finally got that today and realised what I have been missing all this time. Reading endless books on what is right and wrong in how I should be with the horses, taking lessons from people to try to find my way again, begging the horses to accept me in a pitiful way as I pined once again to feel that boundless uninhibated joy that I felt as a child.

There is no right and wrong!!! There is only now and the celebration that lies in the moment. I realise how much horses respond to me when I am living in the moment instead of being stuck in my mind thinking about how to do this, what could go wrong etc. In that moment, I knew what to do! I ran into the paddock and down the hill to where the horses stood under a tree. The neighbours horses saw me first and startled slightly then quickly turned tails up snorting then joining me running along the fence beside me. When I got down to my horses, Lacey was already prancing around in circles tail up snorting. Scout calmly walked straight over to me and I leapt on to her back and she immediately moved forward up the hill. No tack to inhibit her, no halter to lean against, no saddle to restrict her, just the surging energy from my body to hers. I smiled as she walked out calmly, soon stopping under a shady tree. I sat on her back and groomed her mane, neck and tail with my fingers. She craned her head forward in pleasure dropping her ears to the side and then turned her head around to my foot and stood for sometime breathing on my toes till her eyes closed as if in relief that I finally understood what she was trying to tell me all this time. She is so sensitive to the energetic connection and needs me to be present in mind and body before she will happily work with me. When riding her at complete liberty like this she is extremely soft and will follow any slight direction from my body. She will try hard to understand what it is I am communicating to her as she has nothing to brace against. Without my usual uncertainty about how to ask her or what to ask everything just flows. No tack to inhibit us, just true connection and the ease that follows that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Little Lacey

I let the horses into the house yard to have a pick of the grass. I sit out there under a tree to work on the computer sometimes. I had some music playing from my laptop and Lacey found it very fascinating, She is growing fast and is an absolute joy to be around. She still loves people and in the hope of more pats, has often chased visitors car's down the driveway as they leave. She is an incredibly agile and sure footed little filly. I was walking up the steep back paddock to check the fences and the horses all decided to follow. There are some steep parts and it is all loose rock so it gets slippery to. Lacey comes down there at a gallop effortlessly clearing fallen logs on the way down. It is a great paddock to raise foals in as it will ensure she is able to handle that sort of terrain barefoot in the future. Here is a video of her in the house yard. She is nearly 5 months old now - how time flies. Oh and as you can see her mane still has not dropped. She is doing a great impression of a przewalski horse!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Scout's First Saddle

Today on an impulse, I decided to put a saddle on Scout for the first time. She handled the whole process in her usual calm way. I would have thought she had worn a saddle 100 times. I showed her the saddle before I put it on her. She sniffed it with mild interest then stood quietly. I had her standing free and she did not move off but just stood as I did the girth up. Here is a video of how it all went when I asked her to move out with the saddle on.

I am attempting to lift my energy when I work with her now and I am seeing more enthusiasm from her since I started to do that. She is becoming much lighter to work with and is very willing to learn new things. I cannot recommend this breed highly enough. Scout shows me such incredible intellect and she has fast become a very loyal friend.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

A belated happy new year to you all. This year promises to be a good one and things are moving full steam ahead here it seems.

I took Lacey and Scout for their first walk off the property together. Lacey loved every minute of it and was prancing ahead like a little deer. She is so pretty to watch move. My friends daughter was leading her and Lacey was incredible. With no pressure on the lead rope, she walked when Lani walked, she trotted when Lani jogged and she stopped when Lani stopped. This was only the about the fourth time she has had a halter on and she acted like she had been doing it for years. We took them down to the creek and let Lacey go. She investigated alot but stayed close by. Scout walked through the fast flowing creek completely unperturbed as I expected.

This year will be another exciting one as I plan to jet off to the USA in June to find the first Spanish Mustang stallion to bring out to Australia. I have a few lovely prospects to look at but as I have experienced in the past, these horses tend to choose you so I am excited to see what will come of it. I will be visiting many states including the Cayuse Ranch in Wyoming where it all started. It will be wonderful to see all the horses and to meet the people in the lovely Spanish Mustang community who have been so welcoming to me from the start.

I hope to also start Scouts qualification for endurance this year. We will probably only get 2 x 40kms done this season and then next season we will both finish our qualification rides so we are eligible for open competition. This is all dependent on Scout and if she seems interested to go this way. She enjoys our walks out and seems to want to know what is around the next corner. I rode her again in the round yard the other day and she was very good as expected.

I hope that each and everyone of my readers has a joyous 2010 filled with love and laughter.