I usually write about something related to writing but today I’m going for something completely different.
I believe we should never stop learning and should take every opportunity to try new things. Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a week at the Tracy James Natural Horse Center, learning about natural horsemanship with Tracy James Ford and Mary Walker. Basically, learning how to make my communication with my horse clearer while developing a unique understanding of the horse’s language… Horses are prey animals. Humans are predators. We have to understand and work within those parameters.
These are the sort of questions we were asked during the course: Are you as effective working on distance as you are on the end of a rope?? Does your horse look to you for support, guidance and leadership…when he has a choice?
We did a lot of work in the round pen with the horses at liberty, learning how to send them away (Tracy and Mary teach that if you have the right energy and understand a little of how horses react then you can move a horse with nothing more than your breath—and it works. I saw it in action) and also to draw them to you. It’s an amazing feeling when a horse is free to go anywhere and chooses to approach you (and absolutely no bribes were involved.)
One of the main things I learned was that I have a huge amount of things to unlearn. I’ve been sitting all wrong. And I’ve been letting my mare, Gencianna, into my space and allowing her to move me around as though I’m the lowliest member of the herd.
That has to change, but the change has to come from me rather than her. I had this pivotal moment half way through the week, when I realized that it’s not about me training my horse to do anything, but rather training myself to listen to what she’s saying to me and communicate what I’d like from her in a clear and horsey way. Neigh!
Back home now, I’m trying to share what I’ve learned with Gencianna. I’m not entirely sure she’s convinced but we will persevere. Robin my husband seems equally skeptical when I tried it on him.
If you’d like to learn more about Tracy’s work visit her site at: http://www.naturalhorseridinginspain.com/
What new things would you like to learn?