Friday, July 31, 2015

It's so worth my time

I *love* going out to the fields to get horses.  Of course, sometimes I dread it -- long walk, heat, the time it takes.  And then after the ride, usually they have to be taken back out, which IS shorter because you just turn them loose at the closest gate. But still.

But still.  It is some of the best bonding and learning time there is.  Herd learning.  Here in high summer they don't generally come to me, not from very far away anyway.  I walk out and note where they are for the time of day, and who is with whom.  I have my intention clear in my own head and heart about who I am coming for, although I will pet and pay attention to others if that is what happens.

If the whole herd is totally ignoring me I have been known to sit down, or even lay flat out, and wait.  Because one of them will get curious.  And then I get to laugh as they seem to comment, "You are the weirdest human being we've ever known."

If who I intend to work with gives me eyes and ears, I stop and allow them to come if they will.  With grass they usually don't.  With less grass they usually do.  And once I'm closer they usually do.  Sometimes they will come from way away; that is always a gift.  And usually, once they come to me, we can choose to not halter at all until ready to go through the gate, we can play stick to me at different gates, and yields.  Sometimes I get to see a bit of their playfulness.  This is a quality that I'm trying to figure out how to better bring out in other work.  Play.  Desire.

And for sure, work is play for me.

*The title of this post is a quote from someone I was unfortunate enough to work with for a time.  We got paid per ride and he would say, "It's not worth my time to go get one."  Obviously, I disagree.

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