Doing this is very humbling. I am actually learning the most of all involved. Today was the best example of this yet. We started out in the outdoor arena. I talked about causal effects and accidents, and we did some human and horse body awareness work. I used Hrimmi as a demo horse for the latter. Then the four in attendance followed suit with their horses.
The wind picked up. We were all the sudden eating dust. Hrimmi couldn’t focus. So we went into the indoor arena and everyone prepared to ride. Pete put Tyra in the round pen saddled up Hrimmi.
I had said that I was setting Hrimmi up for success by having her regular rider ride her. It was clear that she wasn’t going to move, what with Tyra bouncing around in the round pen. I focused on Sarah and Amy and let Pete be. Pete then figured out what I had not. He walked Hrimmi around, and then decided to pony Tyra. Hrimmi then became quite agreeable and walked around inside and outside the arena.
Right then, I realized that I’d erred in that I had not, last week or this week, seen things from Hrimmi’s point of view. She’s a herd animal, and as such has logged hundreds of miles with her buddy. Asking her to go off on her own didn’t make any sense to her at all. And so it was Pete who figured this out, the guy I’ve called the horse husband.
I also figured out that I have been attempting to cover too much ground in doing the horse body awareness activities. Having one exercise rather than several is obviously, a much better way to go.
Another revelation – I need to go more slowly with the horse body awareness work. I had us humans do tapping, then showed them on Hrimmi who was mystified. I then watched Jessica do this with Scout. She worked in a slow, mindful fashion; in fact watching her interact with Scout actually relaxed me.
And still yet another revelation – Amy’s horse got caught up in his rope when tied to the trailer. First, she, and then I, noticed that after, he was trembling. I did put a body wrap on his leg. I should have had us all take a look at him and talk about what she should do next.
Oh well. Today’s insights were hard earned. But you don’t become a better teacher unless you get out there and do it. Just like most things.
Next: 240. 8/31/20: A Conversation with Tinni