Friday, April 22, 2016

Learning to Speak the Same Language: Linda & Leah at School


"All equestrians, if they last long enough, learn that riding in whatever form is a lifelong sport and art, an endeavor that is both familiar and new every time you take the horse out of his stall or pasture."

Jane Smiley

The quote I chose to start this post with today sums up how I feel about working with my green horse, Leah.  It feels new.  It's like learning to ride a bike all over again, or balancing on wobbly legs and learning to take those first few steps, and also it's also like learning a foreign language.

When my instructor talks, I think I know what she's saying.

She says: Bittle, boitle, chitten, chatten, walk. Boitle, chitten, bittle, chatten, left.

And, I'm like, Oh, I get it now! Botten, totten, roiter, doodle, bittle, chitten, boitle, chatten.  

Huh?

Poor Leah, is wondering, Is she telling me to Bittle, boitle, walk, and boitle, chatten, left?  I just can't tell what she's saying, but I'm trying to figure it out. 

We're both working hard to learn a new language together, so that we can truly communicate with one another, and she did awesome yesterday with her willingness to try and her forgiveness of my mistakes.  Her attitude was beautiful from the moment I haltered her in the pasture.  I don't know how to describe it except to say that it seemed her mind and spirit were open to me, and that did not go unappreciated.  In fact, I was deeply appreciative.  Maybe the more so because of her having been closed to me on Tuesday.

My instructor had a lot to say about what happened Tuesday and how it may have fallen apart for us, but it really says it all in the video.  The mistakes I was making emerged in the work we did yesterday, the timing of releases, the amount of contact, etc.  


It's important to always remember what Buck and the Dorrances pointed out over and over again, and probably every other great horseperson--It is NEVER the horse's fault.




10 comments:

  1. I love that quote from Jane Smiley (one of my favorite authors). Your post rings true in so many ways -- it is always new and it is always our fault. Riding (well) is a humbling endeavor.

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    1. Yes, riding well is a humbling endeavor. When I was younger, I had a hard time asking for help--it seemed like an admission of failure--but that has long passed in me. I have no "pride" left...or very little...I have been thoroughly humbled. I do take pride in my horses though, and especially their forgiveness and big hearts.

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  2. I love it when I can watch a video of a lesson.
    Sounds like your trainer knows her stuff and is giving you some good help.

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    1. I love to watch lessons, too. Hopefully, it helps others who are in the same boat. :)

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  3. Leah is such a lovely mare. I love how hard she's trying to figure it out 'this?' 'or is it this?' 'Oh THIS. Got it'

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    1. Thank you. Yes, she was really giving it a 100 percent at that lesson. She's a forgiving horse.

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  4. I love that quote too. It's always a new experience because you never know what's going to happen each time you work with a, horse. You may think you know what's on the agenda but they very often change the plan you had in mind and it's up to us to adjust to the situation on the spot.

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  5. Yep, they can be entirely different from day to day!

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  6. Are Jane Smiley's books any good? That language sure is cute. Bittle boitle chitten chatten... My blog feed temporarily stopped feeding me. I knew everyone in horse blogland couldn't have stopped blogging simultaneously, so I refreshed the feed and found all the posts I missed.

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  7. Jane's quote: ""All equestrians, if they last long enough, learn that riding in whatever form is a lifelong sport and art, an endeavor that is both familiar and new every time you take the horse out of his stall or pasture."
    B & D "It is NEVER the horse's fault."

    Truer words were never spoken.
    Where do you get your shoo-flies Linda?

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.