And so, I spent the morning in front of my standing desk, where I worked on the revision of a chapter in the Forks book. I have a view out the window, of the woodshed – I am able to tell what the weather is doing. It was snowing pretty heavily in the morning, and I thought for sure that it was going to be a snow day.
By lunchtime the storm had (as the weatherman says) tapered off. I decided to go outside and tend to the horses – give them some hay and pick up poop. I wasn’t planning on doing any more because even though it wasn’t snowing, I believed that it was a snow day. But once I got out, I saw a bit of blue in the sky and realized that as far as the horses went, it was going to be yet another homeschooling day.
I first went around the loop with Tinni, and then did the same with Hrimmi. Both seemed to enjoy getting out. Then I next took Raudi and Ryder out. I opted to take Raudi on our trails. I wasn’t sure what condition they were in – and for this reason I figured that I’d make it a short ride. Much to my surprise (and to Raudi’s dismay), the trails were less snow filled than I thought. So I ended up riding them all. It was a slog for poor Raudi, but she will thank me come spring, when she moves effortlessly on grassy trails.
Lastly, I took Tyra for a walk around the loop. Yesterday, I built a barrier with poles and barrels – she was to stay on one side, and I was to stay on the other. This is total Intrinzen – giving the horse some autonomy in its training. The horse, not the trainer, acts on his or her own volition. This way, the horse is more apt to internalize the task.
I have had some doubts about Intrinzen training because I didn’t think my horses were catching on. But these doubts fell by the wayside today. I started out on the road, with Tyra walking in one tire rut, and me walking in the other. In between us was the middle berm. I also did as I did yesterday, and gave Tyra treats by reaching under her neck, as far as my hand would go, and then opening my hand. The two things combined worked, and in short order. The entire way, Tyra walked in her rut and stayed out of my space. And she did not mug me for treats.
We ran into a fuster cluck at the corner of Samovar and Oceanview – neighbors, dogs, and vehicles. I stopped and talked – our neighbor Craig has a three month old German shepherd, and he said (my words) he wants Sadie to be socialized. Tyra went and stood in the middle of the dog pack and introduced herself to Sadie. This, I thought, is why we get out, even on snow days. Small encounters matter.
I rewarded Tyra for behaving so well by letting her run the last part of the trek home. I am so proud of her. She’s going to be a bomber riding horse.
High point of the day – right after I hooked Tyra to the hitching post the plow truck went by, and went by fast. It was 6 p.m. – it usually comes through at midday. I was so lucky – I got all the animals out before it came through.
Maybe tomorrow it will again snow. Winter does not seem to be over quite yet.
Next: 54. 2/23/18: Laurie Knuutila: Things Learned in a Winter Horse Corral