What do you do when you are full of plans and must abandon them all? Coming up: Spring trec schedule of activities and a need to get Ben fit; Parelli games to revisit: I made it to a lesson from a new Parelli instructor we have here and this has put some life into my games. Since I have been teaching Ben the seven games, he has been looking at me with a lot more interest. So I squeeze the time away from my family, both my girls being sick, and make it out to a very interesting session with Ben. Then I come down with whatever bug is in our house.
Carolyn Resnick has a blog post today where she talks about a “new song without agenda with horses”. I am reminded of a former life as a speech and language therapist where I taught the Hanen programme which advised parents to abandon their agenda in interacting with children. I feed and skip out, cook dinners, light fires and try and wait it out.
I do like pinecones in a fire.
I am late this morning. The mist will not lift all day and will scupper my plans to ride out later. My ponies are patient, not pushing for their food and Ben sticks around afterwards wanting my company. He allows me adjust his rug, but doesn’t really see the point.
We will do some ground work later. He is responding really well to both Carolyn Resnick‘s Uberstreichen Exercises and the Parelli games I have played. He seems to find me very interesting right now. He needs patience and time but is very willing to learn once I can tell him clearly what I am looking for.
Spring has arrived early. Rather typically, we have also had a few storms. But today and at the weekend it was warm. Daffodil shoots are appearing, doubtless to be shocked when further frosts arrive.
I have been walking Ben in hand outside. Out to some grass and then up a very long, steep hill. Good fitness training for both of us. And good in hand training also for both of us.
Before I first walked him in hand, while he was on the lead rope, two thoroughbreds were trotted past our back gate. Ben was so excited that I had to leap out of the way before he ran over me. He has always tended to be a bit bargey when excited and is now obviously very fresh. So I decided to return to some Parelli games, which I played previously (and rather boringly I think) with Mali, my former beautiful mare. He is enjoying these. While he challenges me during the driving game, afterwards he is glued to me and when I go out to the paddock later, he comes towards me looking interested as if I may have something more for him to do.
Some of Parelli I like and I think I did not give it enough of a chance when I tried it before. I can be put off by the seemingly relentless marketing and hype but I have a lot of respect for Pat Parelli as a horseman. Somewhere they mention spending undemanding time with your horse. I wish they would stress this more. This sharing territory (as Carolyn Resnick stresses and values) has reaped huge results from me. My rather sour, switched off, inward looking boy has opened up to me during my time just hanging out with him. It is also how I won Rosie’s trust, almost a year ago. I remember sitting at night, wrapped up in a fleece rug while she came in through the open door of the stable where I was. I remember being afraid to move and sitting and waiting and Rosie sighing and lying down.
Mud has also emerged from under all the frost. Pushing a wheelbarrow along this track is heavy work. This is the part of the track that we need to scrape back to the underlying rock.