Horsey Therapist

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What I am doing

True confessions. I am not riding. Not today, not yesterday, not the day before.

What am I doing?

Well, checking newborn lambs for one thing. The bottle fed lamb is now with his new family -- some wonderful folks who have taken other needy lambs from us in the past. I'm amazed at how time and energy consuming it is to have newborns on my mind, and in the stalls. Yes, it mean more work with tending to feed and water for them, but it's not just about the added work.

Reading and writing about horse stuff. Not writing here much but I might bring over some of what I've written elsewheres. On a training list actually. I am compelled to speak up when I read others giving advice to 'make the horse work' when the horse wants to do X instead of Y. Tire the horse out. Make him work where he wants to be so he'll want to go someplace else. Make him work when he resists (circle, back up 30 steps) so then he'll submit obediently. Make him suffer meaninglessly, over and over again.

Sheesh!

Those poor horses. I guess I maintain some hope that when I speak up in a public place like that list, a seed will be planted somewhere. A seed that lets some person somewhere start thinking about what the horse needs in order to do his best for his human. Not just what the human needs to manage the horse the way he/she wants to. It is so easy to act with punitive motives in our heart. The layers of defenses that we humans have -- all for good reason, I'm not knocking defenses -- but they do interfere with relationships, and on a deep level, they can prevent us from even recognizing our internal processes that maintain interactions that create distance rather than closeness. I ache for these horses. And yes, I ache for these people. I know from my own experience -- it doesn't feel good to be acting that way. Where is the natural joy in those moments??!

What else am I doing? Actively and successfully procrastinating doing taxes! I am typing up my notes from the couples workshop RNB and I did a few weeks ago. I need the reminders, just like when I type up notes from a horse clinic. And finishing up production of the latest newsletter for the therapeutic riding program where I work and volunteer.

And I'm getting ready for a trip to Maine to visit friends and do some teaching. I'm looking forward to that!

So, the sun just came out. I have time before I go folk dancing to do something outside. Maybe I will go for a ride after all!

Friday, March 23, 2007

I will ride today.

I will ride today.

Today I will ride.

Riding is something I will do today.

I will ride today.

Am I clear about my intention????

I can't even say I've missed riding these past days. But somewhere in my soul I have. Instead I have been feeding the bottle baby lamb, traveling local long distance trips, feeding the bottle baby lamb, typing up notes, feeding the bottle baby lamb, dealing with photos taken while on vacation, feeding the bottle baby lamb some more.

Some pictures from our visits in California:


Ocean at Laguna Beach




Newest granddaughter




Youngest grandson

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Home again

We got home late Tuesday night. Despite the phone calls from farm care takers about this and that crisis during our absence, we managed to unpack the car and go to bed. A first for me, not compulsively going out to personally check on each and every animal before retiring. The new level of trust and acceptance felt good.

Lambing happened while we were away during the coldest nights (-20F) and the snowiest nights. Some survived, some did not. Our care takers were overwhelmed AND kept their minds focused and took initiative wherever they could. I have since done some googling and researching about problems with lambing, and have some ideas why there were problems this year and not in the past, but most likely we'll never know exactly why...

We do have one bottle baby lamb in the house right now. Something is not quite right about him and perhaps his ewe momma was smart not to help him make it, but he's thriving despite his shaky beginnings and from some reading, I start to think maybe he'll turn out fine in the end. Anyone want a bottle fed lamb? I'd rather not keep him due to the conflict that arises as I become attached to an animal that is bound for the freezer.

I did ride twice since coming home. The arena is a mess so I rode on the road in front of the house, supporting each horse to let go of their ideas and feel better and better about my ideas which were simple: further down the road, further down the road with more forward energy, stop, turn on fore, turn on hind, small half circle, stuff like that. Proceeding even further into a small trail ride on the dirt road was not an option because at that point the dirt road was in full mud thaw condition, ie., slippery sloppy soupy muddy mess. I won't drive over it in that condition, nor will I ride over it.

Now they are again frozen, and covered with snow.

We have had more water trouble this winter than I recall. Hoses freezing, pipes freezing, tanks leaking. This means I spend more time with shovel and ice picks breaking frozen tanks, and pulling frozen hoses from snow banks, dragging them into the cellar so the ice can melt. Only one faucet and outside pipe froze. Currently we're hauling water for the goats and geese in that area. I'm fantasizing putting together a series of hoses and running water out there from the cellar. I hate hauling water!

Our time away was wonderful. We visited various of RNB's family members in California before we went to New Mexico for an advanced workshop on conscious couplehood with Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt. It's remarkable what miracles can happen with clear intention, willingness to do some hard work (looking inward, being emotionally honest, reaching out to support an other), and determination to nourish clarity, enthusiasm, and safety in a relationship.