Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's not about

At the barn yesterday Mary had a new horse that was dropped off as a possible candidate for a school horse. When I got there she yelled to me, “You are better at talking than I am....” I’m thinking huh? Now I think I’ve mentioned that Mary is incredibly intuitive with the horses. She likes to check what she is getting with what I do. She goes on that the new horse hates his name. Is that right? Yup! This is a very pretty paint black and white who has been a school horse forever. Kids come and go, trainers come and go and I get the feeling he has moved around a lot. No one person to love him.

Its interesting isn’t it? They want that “one person”. Herd animals, need a single connection. I get that over and over and over. Horses who’s person isn’t around much get in trouble. Horses that don’t have a person either explode or go inside themselves.

Mary asks me to help evaluate him. He had just come. I put a rope halter on him and took him to the outside ring to play with. First of all he is totally confused – where's the saddle? Where’s the bridle? Aren’t you going to just jump on me? Boy you are strange! You do funny things. (I can’t tell you how often I hear this when I play with a horse for the first time).

Aside from what I learned about him, I learned a very interesting thing about me. That seems to be my theme since I got Cici. I think its about her and found out its about me! Its not about the horse! As I am driving home I realize, one of those duh hit yourself up the side of the head moments that Mary values my expertise. Horse expertise. And asks for my help.

I think back to when I started out as an adult rider. Notice the word rider. I’m skipping over the adult. I “didn’t know much” and I completely depended on Cindy (trainer who became friend). I remember thinking lots of times how would I ever be able to take care of Jeepers without her. Then I broke out from under her to find myself in another situation where Pam made it clear she knew I didn’t know anything. Sigh. More years there. But obviously I’ve watched, absorbed, read, grown, explored and found my own way.

Mary does not view me as inept or unknowing. She asks my opinion and melds it with hers. I’m not saying I know everything and am treated like a guru. Just like a valued part of a team. Blows my mind!

So back to this horse. He does not like his name. Of course he was never asked. Think this is his form of rebellion. I hate it I hate it and you are not doing anything about it! So we blew his mind by not using it, doing quiet ground work and I asked him what he would like to be called. He said Black Beauty. He is black from behind his shoulders forward – all black face. And white and some more black. But he was not sure. Interestingly thinks of himself as black. I said we would see if we could not come up with some other names to offer him.

He is very nice, quiet, very curious which is a good thing – likes to check things out with his nose. Had no issues with friendly all over, string flipping over and around him, big yoga ball, walked right across tarp before I had it completely flat, ground poles, ropes. Hmm how interesting.

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