Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Painting is like training horses--you only really learn from doing it yourself, and you have to be willing to make mistakes, but keep trying. It also takes courage. This is my second painting of the same photo--the one on the right. I'm not sure it's done. I think I want to work a little more around the eyes before I call it quits...maybe soften the shadows as well.
I want to break down the Van Hargis demonstration, or ideas from it, into separate, short posts. This one is on what he said about "whoa".
First, he said many of us use the word "whoa" to mean slow down, relax, stop, and whatever else. He decided to use the word to mean something very specific--take two steps back. He says the word whoa and then asks them to back up two steps, says it again, backs them up again, and on and on. He says that this way when he says "whoa" and he's in forward movement the horse begins to think, Uh oh, I'm behind, I have to hurry and stop and take two steps back.
I'm guilty of using the word, whoa to mean a variety of things and, in all honesty, I don't think my horse knows what to think of it or if he does at all.
Yesterday I went on a trail ride with Cowboy and I tested a couple of the theories behind the Van Hargis demo and failed on both. 1.) He didn't seem to understand the word whoa, and 2.) He thought of me more as a passenger than an active rider.
I started to ride with much more energy and movement, which really got Cowboy to pick up the pace, even break into a trot until he understood I only wanted a faster walk, but when I'd stop, he'd keep going. It was clear the agreement Cowboy and I have is that he is in charge of our trail rides. I have to admit, he's a good horse, so it was kind of the good life for me. Being an active rider took more concentration and physical effort on my part.
There were two things I noticed that changed when I rode actively. 1.) Cowboy was very grumpy at the new arrangement. 2.) He did what I said to do when it came to doing something he didn't want to do.
I'm heading to see Hary Potter with my son, so more on this later....