Horsey Therapist

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Stuttering in motion

I stutter.

As a child, my older brother stuttered. He struggled to control the verbal stuttering that accompanied many of his thought expressions. He went to therapy for it and now, many years later, I recall his stuttering only because I realized last night that I stutter.

It is apparent not in my talking, but in my moving.

I have been aware that I move through space with stops and starts, especially if there are many things on my mind and I'm passing by reminders of those things and I stop to do this then move then stop to do that then move and sometimes in the middle of doing Y, I remember I had started to do X and I stand there actually wavering back and forth, my body demonstrating the indecision of my mind regarding what to do now. Hesitations, pauses, backward steps, sharp turns to left or right...

I want to change this. I did change it after it was brought to my awareness last evening during class. But to be self aware in the rest of my life, that depends on me, not my teachers.

So I set myself a little challenge: move forward.

Already this morning I have stuttered a few times, and it was those moments which led to this challenge. Regardless of what my mind is doing -- wondering, doubting, changing plans -- I will move forward. If I am headed to get a scoop of feed for the chickens and remember that I can also bring a scoop of feed for the geese at the same time, instead of stopping dead in my tracks and turning around to go pick up a second scoop, I intend to move forward, perhaps circle back or perhaps continue with my initial plan, but whatever I do, I move forward.

I set myself another little challenge this morning: wash dishes with opposite hands.

I have the habit of holding a dirty dish in my right hand and holding the scrubby sponge in my left. This morning I changed that. AWKWARD! I hope making a small change like this will help with the left/right differences I felt when introduced to two basic escape techniques in class last night. In fact, doing the dishes like this helped my left shoulder be soft and relaxed -- I tend to hold that shoulder up and forward more than my right shoulder.

I suspect this imbalance I found so blatant last evening is part of why my horses tend to respond differently to me whether longing to the left or the right. Yes, I continue to be motivated to improve my effectiveness as a horseperson.


At 09 December, 2007 07:25, Blogger Victoria Cummings said...

You have once again opened my mind to looking at the way I do things and quesitoning it. I don't stutter when I move because I am a worrier. I overthink what I have to do and plot out how I'm going to go here first and get this and then do that and then get that. It saves me excess movement, but it also keeps me from being as spontaneous as I'd like to be. And it can drive my husband crazy. Congratulations on joining the Aikido class. It inspires me to do it too. I was reminded of Mark Rashid's description of his first Aikido classes in "Horsemanship Through Life". I love that book.

At 09 December, 2007 08:10, Blogger LJB said...

I intend on re-reading that book of Mark's now that I am personally entering the world of Aikido. Have you seen him in person? He comes to New Hampshire twice a year now. I feel very lucky to have him so close!

At 09 December, 2007 20:45, Blogger Victoria Cummings said...

I met Mark in San Diego at BethAnn Doblado's. I just audited, didn't ride. I'd love to ride with him. Are you near Tim Harvey's place? I'd also really like to meet him. I wish that I could find some trainer in Connecticut near me that is tuned into what they are doing. Do you know when he's coming to NH again?

At 09 December, 2007 22:05, Blogger LJB said...

I think Mark will be in NH again in May. I'm somewhere on the waiting list for that clinic and will audit if I don't ride. Kathleen Lindley was in CT recently. Have you met her? Looks like she'll be in Hatfield MA in 2008 as well as in NH. Have you contacted Mark's home base for the name of any student he might recommend? Or give Tim a call, maybe he has an idea? I come to CT now and then to visit family near the mouth of the CT river. Are you in that area?

At 10 December, 2007 06:59, Blogger Victoria Cummings said...

I'd love to get more info from you about Connecticut trainers - but I hesitate to give a lot of personal info in our blogs. Would you mind e-mailing me at so we can talk back and forth privately? Thanks for all your help and valuable information!


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