Horsey Therapist

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rusty as fun



Today was a day full of pleasantness.

RNB and I travelled north together -- he to test drive the backhoe he wants to buy and me to consult with a psychologist who provides equine facilitated psychotherapy in her community. RNB is planning some earth moving adventures. I am planning some psyche moving adventures.

On our drive north we practiced some conscious communication skills we learned with Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt (www.imagorelationships.com). On our drive south, I drove and RNB napped. I was tempted to nap as well but decided my full attention on the driving responsibility was more important. To keep myself alert I mentally started writing an article on Providing Intentional Safety in EFP. More on that in the future.

Two horses needed trimming today and I proceeded with that. Both horses were grateful. The change of seasons brings significant changes in their hooves, and this year is requiring more frequent hoof care than usual.

After the hard work, although the afternoon sun was fading, it was still light out and I wanted to ride. Rusty agreed to this idea so I saddled him up.

He is so round this spring! Round enough so I struggled to girth him up with the same girth I always use with this little, old close contact postage stamp of a saddle. Round enough so the saddle fits him better than ever with adequate clearance over his withers. A nice surprise!

Our ride was most pleasing to me, and to him as well I suspect. We took turns. I asked him to move and I allowed him to chose where to move and when to stop. After a brief pause, I dismounted and lead him to some place where I could comfortably mount him again. Then repeated the request to move and going with him where he chose. Each time it was different. When he chose to enter the open gate of the round pen, after he stopped and I dismounted, I closed the gate and continued my experiment in sharing. Plus added some steering from my seat. He can't wander too far or too fast in the round pen, so I felt safe riding him with so little control. My ideal is to ride him this way anyplace, anytime. He often gets too excited to listen well when we distance ourselves from the herd, but perhaps I'll try this same experiment outside the paddock on another day. It may go as smoothly as it went today.

2 Comments:

At 15 April, 2006 08:45, Blogger ELL said...

Several years ago when I first discovered EAGALA http://www.eagala.org/
I began dreaming of having a facility where that kind of work would take place. It is so encouraging to see you making it happen.
There are many programs for the physically handicapped to have horsey experiences, but I have not heard of EAP making as far north as Maine. I greatly look forward to sharing in the creation of your facility through your writings.

 
At 15 April, 2006 09:39, Blogger LJB said...

Flying Changes Centre for Therapeutic Riding in Topsham, Maine, has started an EFP program, and I believe Hearts & Horses in Buxton has an EEL program (equine experiential learning) based on EAGALA's approach. Equest in Dayton has offered equine adventure programming for a number of years, and I think someone at Riding to the Top is doing EEL. I agree, it is great stuff, and thanks for your good support about my efforts!

 

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