About me and this Blog

I am a woman of a certain age who has finally been able to enjoy my love of horses Initially to ride them but as time has gone on I have learnt there is more to horses than riding them and want to share this with you.

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Trust me I am going to sit on you

If you must know I lost one pound this week, well now I am disappointed I have worked so hard, been swimming, walking and had three rides! Moan over back to it the only way is down. I am intent on sticking to it and being lighter for my dear old Oscar, or whoever else Hayley puts me on. In an earlier post I hinted that as well as loosing weight there were six other things I needed to, get a grip of, which riding helps me with. One of the other things is quite major really its” inner peace”.    

This week as well as riding at the stables I have been hanging about generally like some groupie after a rock concert! Although I have had a busy time elsewhere I wanted to soak up the atmosphere, it really is good for the soul.

Hayley has just taken over a 6 year old 17h beautiful black gelding, called Spirit and although broken to ride he has quite a lot of issues which have built up over the years.  Spirit is therefore very much a horse after his own name. I have been watching Hayley in some schooling sessions with him. Its captivating, I am sure she could lead me round by the nose, if she wanted to, oh I think she does!

He is a big gangly teenager with a lot of power and emotion and not enough training something which could be, I suspect a potentially dangerous combination. Actually getting on him has proven one of the first challenges and although he has started to settle down, with Hayley, when I filmed him this week you can still see the, edginess and nerves. It’s amazing what can be achieved with patients and taking things slowly, building on success.

I for one can be extremely impatient with myself and others. In my lessons I want to go, from this to that quickly, still like a bull at a gate. This week Hayley was asking me to take my time collect myself, as much as Oscar, give him an idea of what I wanted from him before I asked and get set up for the next instruction. It’s a great metaphor for how I am with others. I often start my conversations in the middle of a sentence and then have to go back and unravel the confusion. I need to paint a picture, lay down an over view and invite people to join me in my vision. For years I behaved like my dear  husband was a mind reader. I can tell you he is not and even with quite explicit instruction he still looks at me with that quizzical look and raised hands and asks, ”what?”

Its not just about being explicit it’s also about building an understanding, a trust between you that what you ask for is ok. When you achieve something together it’s reinforced as a good thing and mistakes are let go. How often do we allow each other that type of unconditional love?

The times Hayley has suggested the same things, to me, don’t rise so high, heels down, shoulders back, think contact, soft with the hands, the list is, I am afraid, endless.  Does she ever betray any tone of exasperation? No because if she did, I would shrink and she wants me to grow. The same with Spirit, he needs someone he can place his trust in, completely. As Hayley says he wants to be sure if he is busy working for her with his head down, she will be looking out for the Lions, who might want to eat him.  

I think after all the years of work and pressure my spirit was a bit dented and bruised and I coped by trying to always stay in control, watching out for them Lions! Like Spirit I now have the right opportunity to relax and trust those around me to take care of threats, while I invest in rebuilding myself body and soul.


Elaine, Ellie's Treasures said...

Wow, love the video, what patience. Reminds me of the perseverence we needed with Jay with his mounting issues (he was 14) not so long ago. He's about to be put back into work after a 3 month injury break, so we're expecting issues again! Your video will help us along I'm sure. Elaine

Alison Barton said...

Thanks Elaine, never clearer how important patients is than when working with animals. They teach us so much, I just wish more people would be open to learn.

Thanks for reading and I will tell Hayley how much you liked her work.

Anonymous said...

Loved watching the video of Hayley and Spirit, reminded me of the join up technique I saw Monty Roberts do. Spirit is a beautiful looking horse. I've been working with my instructor on thinking about what I need to do and communicating it to Cleo. Its amazing when it happens.

Alison Barton said...

I know Irene, they can actually read your mind can't they? thanks for reading again, enjoy your next ride