Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Life's Too Short Not to Dance Every Damn Day

"When we come to a horse, we have to take into account the physiological impression of our affect on her."

Alexander Nevzorov 


 
 (Unsaddling Leah after our morning ride. Ha!)

Today was a better day with Leah.  I had to ride before work again, and I had an even smaller window, so we worked on standing still while mounting, walking out, and side-passing.  Altogether, it was 15-20 minutes in saddle, but they were 15-20 positive minutes.  Her side-passing had especially improved...like 100 percent!  I was so proud of her that we ended on that note.

Annette, over at Aspen Meadows, watched the documentary, Path of the Horse, (free on YouTube) and wrote about it.  I decided to watch it again today, in between patients here at the office, and I was so happy I did.  I saw some glaring mistakes I had slipped back into with Leah.

I think it was Mark Rashid who said in the video, "Through our training, we take out all the softness in the horse and then we have to spend all our time trying to put it back in."  He said that softness comes from the inside and lightness comes from the outside.  Softness is that stillness they have grazing at peace in the pasture, and they should take that with them whenever they're with us.

It was also Rashid who said we have to be like the leader in the herd, not the alpha.  In my case, that's Old Red.  I have to be Old Red!  And, Have a mind like still water.

Alexander Nevzorov: "When we come to a horse, we have to take into account the physiological impression of our affect on her. (This reminds me of indirect pressure--Dorrance) We are mammals, we are all physiological beings. You're listening to me with very big interest, but if right now I put in your pocket some burning coal, no matter how interesting I am, you will be running and screaming and jumping around your camera, but not listening to me. Everything in us mammals has a great dependency on physiological feelings and the art of speaking horse language is first a skill to not cause her physiological discomfort or pain."

Klaus Hemfling: "We wonder why they are not dancing anymore."

A quote from me:

I want to dance, and I want my horses to dance.  Life's too short not to dance every damn day!

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the call out. I agree with your sentiments. I'm trying to get Brett to watch it too. I worked with Tex the other day and the whole I time I tried to be like still water. It's a great visual to use when trying to be quiet and soft.

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    1. It gives us an image of what our work should look like...and what it shouldn't look like.

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  2. Love this post! Heading over to You Tube to watch that video.

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    1. Interested to hear your thoughts afterward.

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    2. Interesting documentary. It resonated with me on a lot of levels although I did find it a bit esoteric in presentation. I'm a pretty practical person, and that has affected my relationship with horses, but s I age I yearn for that deeper connection that has been missing. Here are some of the quotes I found noteworthy: From Carolyn Resnick "We dance together because it feels good to share united movement"; for me, it's that unity that I am looking for and since I love to dance I know what that feeling is. From Linda Kohanov: "Use emotion as a language" Yes indeed, I know that horses can read our emotions, no words needed. And from Alexander Nevzorov: "There was something within me that I still needed to find" Yes! That is exactly where I am at.

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    3. That united movement is what we're always searching for. Good quotes.

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  3. nice post! I like your philosophy

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  4. Oh Linda, I read Annette's post and watched that video. It was incredible! So much truth, and so much pain and emotion. I cried with understanding, compassion and sadness and joy. Just lovely. We have so much to learn, and only these amazing animals can teach us, if we're only humble and open enough to listen. My dream remains the same - I want only to spend time, in any and all ways possible, with these beautiful beings. Thank you for sharing, I'd never heard of it before. The first time I heard this was while auditing a Tom Dorrance clinic. Such a quiet, peaceful, soft-spoken, gentle man he was - who could perform magic with horses, who seemed as relaxed and willing to please as I'd ever seen. For the first time, I had seen a better way. It's not always easy, but I'm right there with you, wanting to dance. :)

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    1. I'm so glad you watched it and it resonated with you! Yes, some people have that magic touch with horses--or at least that's what it looks like to us. I'll spend the rest of my life searching for more and better ways to communicate with them.

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  5. We should all have the patience to learn how to dance with our horses. I need to find time to watch that video. Nice work with Leah too. I never set a time frame but let the horse set how much time we need. Short sessions are sometimes the best. I think a shorter session helps them to retain what they learn, doesn't tire them out and leaves them with a good feeling of accomplishment. Good post!

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    1. Very true. I think the short sessions are better, really, for what I'm training her to do--trails. Too much time in an arena can make them sour.

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