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September 15, 2018: Building rather than Burning Bridges

I am not well liked among horse people because I am so opinionated. It’s either my way or the highway. I am not going to change. I do know a great deal and my thoughts and actions are cutting edge. I’ve had more time than most to study, learn, internalize what I deem to be important.

Thankless, yes. But once in a blue moon I am fortunate in that I’m able to share what I know with appreciative individuals. And it then occurs to me, yes, I do know a great deal and yes, I do have a lot of useful information to impart with others.

Today, for example, I spent a large portion of day with a 13 year old who is working on a project for her eighth grade class. She chose to work with me and do a presentation on her interactions with our horses.

She appeared here at 10 a.m. and was here until nearly 4 p.m. I was afraid that this was going to be too much time, but the day went by quickly. She, like most kids her age, has a wavering attention span, so keeping her focused required considerable energy on my part. Add to this, she worked with Tyra who in terms of her horse maturity, is about her age.

It was a good match up. Tyra was challenged by her and she was challenged by Tyra. And they both enjoyed learning from one another, doing unmounted work in the Playground of Higher Learning and doing mounted work in the Playground and on the road.

Intrinzen work preceded agility work, a good thing because Tyra needed some autonomous time. And the agility work, at liberty, was also good for her because she needed to figure out some things on her own. Later the kid said that the groundwork wasn’t easy because she had to “explain” to Tyra what she wanted. I told her I thought this was most apt because this meant that there was the intention of a two-way feedback system.

The ride – I attempted to make a shortcut by not putting shoes on Tyra. I also went with the treeless saddle. Two mistakes here – the kid fell off Tyra, onto her back when the saddle slipped. The lack of shoes also made Tyra balky. I wisely decided to return to our yard and put Raudi’s saddle and boots on her. And so, the second time around, things were much better. I used a single image, which is of a spruce tree, in working we elaborated on that image, having her grow roots and stand tall. This worked – after, Tyra moved out nicely.

After, we wrote about our experiences in our journals. I was pleased because Tyra was so cooperative. She in fact, seemed proud to be doing the job she was meant to be doing. I later realized two things. First of all, my rather unorthodox ways of teaching work. And secondly, I really enjoy taking the time to work with people. I can’t really provide a real lesson unless I have at least four hours to do it. How to explain all this to horse people? I cannot so I won’t even try.

Next: 258. 9/16/18: The Off the Grid Chronicles: Doing it All

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