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December 10, 2018: The Darkest and yet the Brightest Days of the Year

Pete posts my dispatches on my web site. I often ask him what he thinks. He’s pretty non-committal although every so often one will grab his attention. Ten out of 365 posts is pretty good odds; I’ll take it.

Last night he said that he read yesterday’s dispatch on Home Schooling and said that he thought I was being hard on myself. This surprised me because this was not the type of response that I was seeking. Rather, the underlying theme had to do with motivation and how difficult it can be to get and stay motivated at this time of year. I used homeschooling educators and this horse educator as an example.

Tyra under saddle for first time - Summer 2017

More about my end of things: The weather here is not always conducive to getting a whole lot done on the horsey education front. In fact, it’s less than conducive eight months of the year. The majority of horse owners in this state either work their horses in arenas or just let them veg this time of year. Now, in Florida, the owners work their horses year-around. I suspect that it’s easier for them to stay motivated than it is for us here.

I have been making the best of things even though sometimes the best is less than the best. I dig down deep and plumb the depths most days. Today was one of those days. This morning I pulled a muscle in my lower back—I’ve done this a few times this past week. As soon as I was able to again walk, I followed through with my plan, which was to ride Tyra on Siggi’s Trail.

I wanted to see how she’d do in the wind, with the snow blowing off the trees. I figured that the drifting snow and uphill terrain would slow her down a bit. I was very pleased with her high degree of receptivity and her exemplary behavior. She could have done a few crowhops and then taken off in a direction of her own choosing. Instead, she moved along in an alert and forward fashion.

I have a few theories as to why this was. First of all, being a riding horse is in her DNA. She was born to carry human beings over hither and yon, and so this is what she does. I also think that the work that I’ve done with her has made her fit, agile, flexible, and balanced so she has no problem in doing as asked. She’s been educated using some of the principles of the Functional Movement System, and so have I. She’s making her own connections, I am sure. Today, for the first time ever, I was able to maintain rein contact in making turns. This was a huge breakthrough for me.

So yes, home schooling continues. And even though I am slacking – some, it is not to the degree that this is going to have an adverse effect on my pupils.

On the way home, the snowplow was coming up the road. I had dropped Ryder’s leash on the trail and she was running loose. And I had released Tyra. I was working with both on walking on either side of me. I erred in panicking and grabbling the dog and horse. I should have instead worked with them both. The good thing was that Tyra was not at all bothered by the sight of the big machine.

Live and learn. Learn and live. This is the very best any of educators can do, especially those of us who are dealing with wind, snow, and ice underfoot.

345. 12/11/18: None of its Simple

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