Sunday, October 31, 2010
Day two - First Day in the Saddle part 2
On my way back to practice I thought about what Mark said about working with young horses, or more specifically, babies.
Here's an embarrassing confession. It hadn't really clicked in my head that Smokey was a baby - I thought of the whole "baby" thing as a term of endearment. Not a literal description of what he is.
Over and over people would tell me how cute my "colt" was.
Colt? I didn't have a colt. This is a colt:
Smokey, to me, was not a colt. He was a horse.
But of course, he is really a baby. Mark explained that for the first three + years of a horse's life he can do whatever the heck he wants. Eat when he wants. Run when he wants. Pester when he wants. Then, at 3 or so the other members of the herd put their hooves down and the baby has to toe the line.
Smokey, like all babies, needed to grow up and realize that he had a job. That there were expectations that had to be met.
And it was my job to do that.
I need to keep my signals simple and clear.
The next time I came up we worked on stopping without the turn. That's when Smokey got his new nickname from Mark.
It took a while, but we got to a nice, clean stop without turning.
By the way my phrasing was off in my last post. The idea was to focus on a spot where I was going to stop and just keep that spot. Not compromise. We had to stop when I was facing the spot I was looking at, period.
Whew. That took a while.
Being compromising by nature was not a good thing. But we got it done.
We left the clinic to jet down to the East Mountains of Albuquerque to pick up my niece and drop off Donna who was looking forward to a quiet evening. My niece and I went to meet bloggers!
Justina and Don, from Morning Bray, Val from Fantastyk Voyage and a surprise from Lisa from Laughing Orca Ranch!
It was a bit of a wait for dinner, but the food was great and the company even better. We laughed, shared stories, learned top secret answers to questions we always wondered about (See? this is why you have to go to dinner with bloggers. Ply them with food till they talk!).
And we celebrated Don's and my birthday! Yep, we're just a day apart.
Here's my rather cloudy cell phone picture. But the memories are as clear as a bell.