Monday, October 26, 2015

opportunities -- and how I feel about them

I've had a couple of opportunities come up in the past couple of weeks, and the truth is, nothing makes me feel more insecure.  What if I fail?  But that quickly morphs in to,"What is failure?"  And then the definition of what I DO want to do.  I don't want to have the opportunity to ride this horse because I want to compare myself to someone else, but for what I can (in a small way) offer this horse and this horse's person.  I don't want to help this person become more comfortable on her horse in order to prove myself to anyone at all but for what I can (in a small way) offer this person and her horse.

And usually I don't really know what that is.

And then the insecurity again.

And how do you teach lightness? I'm just starting to figure it out myself, maybe, and there are layers upon layers.

I think I'm not ambitious.  I don't have an ambition to "make" a bridle horse, just a decent snaffle horse.  A light snaffle horse.  A bold snaffle horse.  A willing snaffle horse.  A horse I could open a gate with, cross a stream with, push a cow with, gallop a cross country jump with.  All with grace.

I just like playing with horses.  I just like that moment.

I dislike proving, testing in that way where "failure" is not interesting information but basis for judgment.

I'm beginning to learn to not look at how someone doesn't do something, but at how they do do it.

I used the affirmation for a long time, "I have something to offer."  I'm just not sure what that is. 

Except me.

Friday, October 9, 2015


In this whole horsemanship thing I've struggled to define what "relationship" really is. People can make a horse be obedient and not have a real relationship with that horse. When you ask a horse to do something and the horse does it not only because it is obedient but because it was you who asked, that's relationship. And when you ask your horse to do something and he does not do it and you don't assume he is only being disobedient but has a reason and if you don't know what it is, you look for it, that's relationship. It is a two way street. That might not be all relationship in horsemanship is, but it is part of it and it was part of what I was thinking about today.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

a better human being

The thing about humans that often makes their work with horses ineffective is that humans are always living in the next moment; at least in the next moment, if not one five years out. Get the bridle on in order to ride, turn the horse out in order to get home

Horses are all here and now, although they will remember if you've been an ass (or nice). They think how you put the bridle on is just as important as what you are going to do later with them in it. If they disregard you at the gate and tear away from you before you even get the halter off, they disregarded you long before that and they will continue to the next time they see you too.

The thing about horses and humans is that sometimes, rarely, a human may help a horse heal, but the horse pretty much always heals the human, and I believe that is the result of the horse requiring the human to be fully present in the here and now to be at all effective with that horse. Also, to be effective with horses you can never lose your temper, you have to take what you get today, you cannot take it or mean it personally, and you cannot be impatient. All make for a better human being.