Saturday, May 2, 2009
Dodging A Bullet
Siete is not IR, just overweight!! You can imagine how relieved I am to get the news. All week, in the back of my consciousness, I’ve had this nagging nervousness as I waited for the results of her blood test. Finally, yesterday, I couldn’t stand it and I called the vet. She was out and about and didn’t get back to me until after dinner. The results had just come in and my chunky monkey is just plain old fat. So, we’re both on diets, beginning our exercise routines. I’ll show you a “before” photo of Siete, but don’t expect to see one of me until I'm at least ten pounds lighter.
I’ve been occupying myself in my precious few free moments reading Mark Rashid’s new book. I have to say that I am going to finish it and immediately go back to page one to read it again. It’s a winner. LJB at the Horsey Therapist reminded me that we should order it directly from Mark, not from one of the big booksellers. So, here’s the link: markrashid.com.
There are two things that he mentions that really speak to me. First, don’t be afraid to make mistakes with your horse. I put so much pressure on myself not to “ruin” Siete. Since Silk was abused before I got her, I’ve tried to be so careful not to do anything that will screw up Siete and make her distrust people. Yet, despite my best efforts, both trainers that I selected after much research and consideration, did things that really caused behavioral problems that didn’t exist before they schooled my horse. So, I’ve grown overly cautious about teaching her bad habits and hesitate to really commit myself to engaging with Siete. She is the only animal that I own that doesn’t have a strong bond with me.
I am so connected to Silk, and I often sense Siete feels it so she becomes jealous. She challenges me over and over, forcing me to reach into places inside myself that are hidden pockets of self-doubt and fear. Of course, I see that this is why she is a great teacher for me, but it makes it hard to let down my guard and have fun with her. My lack of trust in her and in myself is like a high fence between us. As soon as I can get over it, I have a feeling that Siete and I will be able to bond.
The other thing that Mark Rashid said which resonated deep for me is this:
“There is no magic, and training tools and techniques are only as good as the person using them. For me, what it’s all about is getting involved and giving guidance….trying hard, making mistakes, getting it right…falling down, then getting back up again… and most of all becoming part of the process. In short, just learning how to get better at seeing, doing, feeling and understanding.”
I’m going to hang those words in my barn, my kitchen, my bedroom, on the bathroom mirror. What a smart guy, that Mark Rashid.