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January 15, 2015: The Day in the Life of a Happy Idiot

No one, including me, can get it all done in a day. As I get older, night and sleeping are becoming an interlude that is a brief period of time that separates like-activities. I fall into bed and I wake up and resume doing what I was doing the day before – it seems like the amount of time in the sack is miniscule compared to what it used to be.

Jackson Browne once sang a song with the line “I don’t want to be a happy idiot, working for the legal tender.” Well, I’m a happy idiot, doing the same things day after day, except for the fact that I’m not working for the legal tender. Some legal tender would now actually be a really good thing.

I’d like to think that I’m engaging in activities that in time will make the world a better place. Dunno. Time will tell, but right now she’s mum.

Today, woke up to temperatures in the high 30’s. It was overcast, and a slight bit of rain spit was coming from the sky. Pete and I took Hrimmi and Tinni for a walk. Hrimmi and I did well together; she is now very adept at scooting around the slippery areas on the road’s surface. This is good because she is not, like the other two, wearing ice shoes.

I then took Tinni and Raudi for short trail rides. I thought about not going out at all, but then decided that short rides were better than no rides at all. Both horses were glad to get out. Both times I took the dogs with. They too were glad to get out. I also did a bit of agility with Raudi – we did the S-poles, went through the narrow thing, and went over the hula hoop. Raudi did quite well on a loose line, so I called it good.

Dick and Jokla came over for a lesson in the afternoon. We spent a considerable amount of time inside, doing relaxation exercises. Then we did ground work, using agility obstacles. I first gave a demonstration with Raudi – imagine it! Raudi who used to drag me all over the place was the model horse. And she did just fine – it was almost as if she knew that she knew something that Jokla didn’t know. And after, we focused riding. By then it was dusk. Dick rode in our pen – I put Hrimmi and Tinni in the shelter pen and tied Raudi to the hitching post.

Dick rode, and I at first let him do what he wanted to do because I could see that he was working extremely hard at putting what we’d been talking about to practice. In this respect he’s an excellent student. In fact, I as a teacher have never seen anything quite like it. He’s serious and wants to be a good horseperson/horseback rider.

It interested me that he first chose to ride Jokla around the pen, and then later he started going over obstacles. I thought early on that perhaps he should do it the other way – however, this worked well, and for two reason: The first was that she got to blow off a little steam. And the second was that afterwards, she focused on going over the obstacles. I saw her relax – she slowed down, and at the same time lengthened her strides. Then I saw Dick relax. His hands came down to Jokla’s withers, and his legs lengthened. From the beginning to the end of work with Jokla, it was a downward rather than an upward spiral. It could, I suppose, have been the other way around.

This is what I don’t get – how come other instructors in this area aren’t doing this, meaning on-ground and mounted exercises with a focus on breathing, awareness, and posture? Just hopping up on a horse and being told what to do is making less and less sense to me.

I am thinking (right now) of the stiff riders at Beth’s place – and the stiff horses who stumble over poles. I guess doing things the way I’m doing them takes time. And most people don’t have time.

My one concern is that I do not know enough about what I’m doing. Right now I am most definitely figuring out things as I’m going along. I would really like to work with another instructor, bouncing ideas off him or her and continuing to do what I’m doing. Maybe its like the book Field of Dreams. Imagine it, and they will come.

Next: 16. 1/16/15: A Conversation including Hrimmi, Raudi, and Tinni

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