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February 11, 2015: Field of Dreams Farm

Yesterday I went for a ride with Claudia and her friend J. They brought along the Sihler’s two mares and Hroun, their four month old foal. Today, Dick’s coming over with Jokla. I’m assisting Dick in getting his mare ready for Saturday’s trail trials. I’m bowing out so that I can give him a hand. Vickie is thinking about riding Hunar over here. She is going to do the trail trials and will practice on my course.

People are coming around and doing trail riding/agility/obstacle work here. This is all good. It’s odd, given that we have so little land to do the agility/obstacle course work. I keep the horse pen clean

so that we can use it as an arena. And when people come over, I move our horses around – either tying them to the hitching post and trailer, or putting them in the small pen that’s attached to the enclosure. As I tell them “we must remain flexible.” And it’s never a problem.

I’ve always wanted to have horses. And I’ve always wanted to be a part of an Icelandic horse community – with the intention of sharing and exchanging information. And because I envisioned this, this is what has come to be. This last statement is revelatory because it attests to the power of belief, obsession, and imagination.

So all morning I thought about the phrase Field of Dreams and as well the accompanying phrase “build it and they will come. And I decided that if I move to a place with more land that I will call it Field of Dreams Farm. Yep, build it and they will come.

And they will come – mainly older riders, those who want riding instruction and are most open to their instructor’s using a positive approach. I’ll do the same things with them that I’m doing with Dick. If I am fortunate enough to have, say, a dozen students, we’ll sit around and talk as a group. I think that in the past, when I worked with people and their horses, that I was missing a piece of a puzzle. And as it turned out, that puzzle piece was human body work.

I woke up this morning and boom – found myself immediately envisioning our owning Bonnie and Dale’s place. Now if we owned it, it would no longer be called Moose Wallow. Rather, it would be Field of Dreams Farm. I’d put a big sign up at the intersection of Spike Fork and Buffalo Mine Road. It would say Field of Dreams Farm and have a picture of a tolting horse. Maybe Hrimmi, because she’s so distinctive. People would then have no problem finding us.

It’s good, to dream. It’s also important to be happy with what one has. Otherwise, you then spend inordinate amounts of time wishing for things and not being appreciative of what you have.

I am very appreciative of what I have. I mean, we started here with nothing as far as horse property goes. We had a field, but no fencing up. There were no horses. Now we have this, and as well, a beautiful barn/shelter. And we have three horses, all of whom continue to teach me new things.

For example, this morning Pete and I took Tinni and Hrimmi for a walk around the loop. Hrimmi was being mouthy – rather than get impatient, I instead let her off lead and let her accompany us. She quickly figured out where the slippery ice patches were, and avoided them. And she came to me when I called her. Her being loose provided me with the time needed to think some about what to do about her chewing on the lead line. This was also a problem with Siggi, and I never did solve it.

I suddenly realized that what I needed to do was simply substitute one behavior for another. I worked on smile, touching her upper lip with my finger. She lifted her lip and then dropped the lead. I then gave her a treat. Bravo. This was the moment in which the work of Horseman Ray Hunt intersected with the work of Animal Behaviorist Karen Pryor. He said make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. And she said substitute one behavior for another. Really, same thing. Bottom line, Hrimmi and I had a good time, being in the present together.

So, I will continue to dream about Field of Dreams Farm. Ya just never know what might happen. Indeed, this is what makes life so very exciting.

Next: 43. 2/12/15: Field of Dreams, Part II

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