"Only in doing something do we find out what needs to be done."
This is a quote that came to me as I worked with Beautiful Girl today, but I have no idea where it comes from--if anywhere. Reminds me of Newton's First Law of Motion, "Objects in motion stay in motion."
(We both look like we've never seen a camera before. And, someone's been eating snow!)
Some of you have expressed interest in doing the 100 Day Challenge with me--YAY! Welcome aboard. I would like to take a moment, as this New Year starts, to encourage you and to set some parameters for what I'm doing and what you may be doing.
1. It does not have to be complicated or time-consuming!
When I say that, it does, usually, have to be more than just the normal grooming--but only you know what your horse needs, and if you feel it rises to the level of "training" or progress toward some goal, by all means, count it! Just do something, and I swear, you'll find your way with your horse(s).
So, that is my only parameter. Just go out there and do something that rises to the level of progress.
I'm going to do my best to share with you little exercises I find along the way--exercises that we can do in any weather and with very little time--but that build our horse's trust and confidence--and our own. My number one goal will be to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Day 1, for me, was bareback riding with my granddaughter. Day 2, was bareback riding, alone, through the snow. Day 3, was working with Beautiful--and that is the 15-25 minute, simple exercise I want to share today.
Since BG's legs are not the straightest, yet, I do want to ride her this year, my work has to be in keeping her CALM as we progress from step to step. The biggest obstacle will be herd boundness. So, today, I decided to take her to the arena, away from the herd, and walk her around, through the deep snow, several times each way, keeping her to the outside of the arena each direction.
This was good work for her, and a great workout for me! Surprisingly, she didn't seem very concerned about leaving the herd, but she did need a little leading work. Horses have a strong leading side and a weak leading side and, no surprise, BG was weakest on the right. She was a little jumpier that direction--not because of the deep snow, but because of basic insecurity. In the past, I would throw the lead over Leah's back at that point and lead free, but we weren't ready for that step.
So, I decided to shut up.
Yep, zip it! I set my timer for 3 measly minutes and entered the silent world of Beautiful Girl.
"Be still and know that I am God." Bible
"The music is not in the notes, but the silence between." Mozart
Those are the quotes that came to me as I listened to the distant thrum of traffic, a magpie squawking at the horse feeder and taunting old Red, the wind chimes on our deck, Beautiful Girl's feet shifting from her weight and crunching up the snow. As the time ticked on, I heard her pawing through the snow looking for food. I also heard my own sniffling and the crinkling of my coat. Besides the last two, the silent world is GLORIOUS!
When I put BG back in the turnout, she followed me along the fence line to its end. (Wow! So, I was right about her wanting to partner!) I decided to turn back and run the other direction (WOW)--she ran, too, leaping over the snow. I turned and ran back toward the house--again, she followed, but then ran to the other horses--tossing her head wildly in the air as she left me.
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Yep, only in doing something did I find--not only what needed to be done, but what I needed.
For those of you doing the challenge, what do you need? What does your horse(s) need? What are some easy exercises you can share with us so that we can rack up progress as we rack up days?