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!

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