two, but most of the time I pay dumb. I figure if they want and value my input, I’ll provide it.
This is why it’s been so nice having Nancy here. I have been able to bounce ideas off of her and then have her advance my ideas. For example, she’s been taking an online driving/webinar course called Coachman’s Delight. The attendees meet online every few weeks and attend a lecture that’s being given by the course clinician. Discussions follow. They later receive the lesson video and notes.
Nancy showed me a lesson on how to teach a horse to stand still. I’d been working with my horses on standing, by having them stand in what I call a “stand box,” a square made out of sawhorses and boards. I knew that I was missing a piece of the big picture. Turned out that this was something that I called “positionality.”
I learned that what I need to do is have the horse stand in one place, and move to the left and then to the right. In each instance, I can move forwards or backwards when the horse stands still. In time I should be able to move further back, and even away from the horse. The goal is to have the horse stand still. This is simple in theory; in fact, it’s so simple that I would not have considered it otherwise.
While here, I’ve had Nancy ride Raudi several times, once in a lesson. Raudi has been repeatedly testing Nancy, and in the process pulling out all the stops. This has affirmed what I sort of knew, that I own a very willful horse. However, Nancy’s done well with her. For instance, I watched as Nancy, on Raudi, attempted to get her to stand still. She used pressure to stop her when she moved, then rewarded her by releasing the reins. I advanced this idea, by determining that I will use the clicker and treats when she holds still, thus reinforcing her good behavior.
Last night, Nancy and I spent a few hours looking through the books in my horse resource center. She’s the first person to do this. I was glad I’d taken the time beforehand, to put the materials in order.
I am going to be sorry to see Nancy go. I wish she lived closer. Maine is a long ways from here. Maybe we should move to Idaho. This way, we could continue to work together.
Next: 134. 5/15/14: Terry the Photographer