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November 12, 2020: The Dog and Pony Show: Remaining Flexible and Agile

Our lives here, and those of our animals, center around remaining mentally and physically flexible and agile. Fortunately, our lifestyle complements this objective. I often wonder why we are so busy around here. Talking with friends reminds me why.

My good friend Heather and I were talking – we talk twice a week, in the evenings. I out of the blue asked and was told that, yes, her family has a heated garage and an electric garage door opener. We have a short walk to our driveway parking area. She gets in her car, starts it, and activates the door motor. We trundle out to the car, scrape the snow and ice off the windshields, climb into the interior, and

View of Arcose Ridge from Siggi's Trail

start the engine. Off Heather goes. Off we go. It takes her seconds to reach the roadway. It takes us (with getting dressed for this activity) about 10 minutes.

For good or bad, the way that we are doing this is both mentally and physically challenged. In the winter we have to force ourselves to leave our wood heated cabin, brave the cold, remove snow and ice, and climb into a cold vehicle.

I have often thought that this is time that might be better spent lingering over a second cup of tea. Me, I brought in some wood (I like to keep the kitchen box full – I get impatient when it runs low and I have to make several trips in order to fill it.)

What is most interesting is even though we have opted to do this, and other energy activities, that we still have the time to do fun things, ironically, things that are movement based. Today is a case in point. I worked upstairs, and Pete worked downstairs, until noon. He then took the dogs and Tinni for a walk and did some trail maintenance. I did agility with the mares, first going over the November course, and then working with them on popping balloons. Tyra and Hrimmi got it. Raudi is, right now, the hold out.

I next did some agility with Shadow, the obstacles being a jump and the table. She indicated that she’d rather push the large balls around. I figure, if an animal tells me that something is more fun than what I’m proposing, than I need to be flexible and go along with the program.

Pete returned and he did a second woods walk, with me going along with him. We took Tyra and Hrimmi and the dogs. It was bit of a slog on the now punchy trails, but we all had a good time. First Tyra and then Hrimmi enjoyed running free, as did the dogs.

I finished my outside animal day by taking Raudi for a walk around the loop. She enjoyed rooting around for the last bits of summer grass. And I, always the astute observer, made note of who was home and who was not.

Tonight, Pete will work on student assignments and I will continue reading Animal Training: Successful Animal Management Through Positive Reinforcement, for taking in new ideas keeps me mental flexible when working with the animals.

Next: 315. 11/14/20: The Dog and Pony Show: Dogs AND Ponies

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