I guess I touched on it a bit with the wordless wedsday but this week has been filled in so many ways with humbling moments for me, moments where time slowed and peace filled me, times where I learned and relearned that while you can learn lots on your own from books, and from doing.. there are times where being able to learn from others is of great value.
I have had looks now and again over the years when Dh and I talk about going off to attend this seminar or that training session and what we attend and for how long changes with the ebb and flow of what is needed.
Being on the farm and even before that, I firmly believe that we should have X amount of funds set aside each year for continuing education. Sometimes you need to pay to get that info..
As an example of that , Dh is off this weekend for a full two days of a writers conference, I am so pleased that he is taking advantage of this chance to attend a dozen to two dozen different hour long talks/workshops, and I hope he has some fun while he is out, I hope that he makes contacts, and gets to visit with fellow members of his own writers group, that he had a total blast, and brings back some great stories and fresh ideas.
Having said that I have flown to attend events, I have driven to different provinces and planned weekend events, or taken once a week events for X number of weeks to improve and learn..
Coming up in the first part of Oct, I have been lucky enough to find a great weekend horse clinic, I am planning on attending some of the event, and I am greatly looking forward to watching and learning..
I was lucky enough this past week to get to spend some time around a older gentleman who is one of those natural horseman and came away with a number of amazing idea’s and things to do at home..
I have a huge number of books, and I tend to read and devour alot of information, the amount of info crammed into my head at times is overwhelming to me, i can know something but it will often take me longer to figure where I got that info from, but If there is one thing I hae figured out over the years, is book knowledge is great but it won’t settle in unless you can use it and see how it works in real life and it won’t become natural unti you do it so many times..
Its been raining off and on all day so far, and during one of the light rains I snuck out and put in an hour of ground work on Brandy girl.. and I repeated a trip that I had done with her two plus weeks ago.. the goal, take her off the farm, walk down the road and work her on the running road (or so its called locally, its really a nice farmers lane for access to different local feilds), last time it was a fight, we did circle down and back the whole way while she fought to get to the horses across the way, and on the running road, she was bossy, we learned things alright, like the fact that she can push me around if she wants, that she crowds me when she is nervous, that she perferred to rear then to kick out, and O boy, its a hoot! (not) trying to figure out things to do to with a horse that is “reacting” instead of “thinking”
This time however, I had alot more knowledge, I have gotten a number of books to read (there has been both some good and to my mind some silly advances in the horse world), I have spent 20 plus hours working with her on ground work on the farm doing different things..
So this time, I put her in harness, because she has a different head space when she is in gear then she does when she does in halter and lead, second I took my carrot stick with me, and this allowed me to push her over two feet side ways with a gentle one or one-two tap, when she would try and push forward, a way/jiggle in front with a back would have her backing on command, there for stopping the overrun and also collecting her and changing the power of her direction from forward to backward, effectively giving me a stopping switch..
We got to the running road and she was allowed to have some off time and just graze, walk etc, and then I started some basic training exercises, and in a way I had to laugh, as all the different “bad” girl behaviours that we had worked though in our training sessions came out again, but a few different things happened, a) I had read up how to deal with the one thing that I had never had experance in back in the day, so I had a plan! b) we have a much better understanding of our working relationship and when she acted out, a firm loud NO, with a lead pop, was enough to make her come down, turn and face me, give me eyes and do a heavy duty lip chewing think session before we moved on again.
But the big thing was, she threw all five of her ” can I get my own way” behaviours, and in each case , I had a rock solid response and within 15, 30 seconds or a minute, she gave up and we had correct behaviour that could be rewarded and enforced.
I stayed calm and center because I had the knowledge and the in real life skills to deal with each of these blips and we came home this time with calm horse, calm person, and we ended our session with a nice grooming session/oats.
So here is my weekend challange, what is something in your life right now that you are reading about, or you have taken a class, or a clinic or a seminar or a conference that you are putting into real life action in your world? Tell me about it? and how its going?