Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Don't know , but I'll give it a try

Heads up gang ,thinking again!!!!

On Facebook I have seen several links to liberty horses today. The are all amazing and beautiful demonstrations of what  can be done with the horse/human relationship . Also Dandy is leaving today , the young lady who is taking him is quite the horse woman in her own right , I have seen videos of her riding ,jumping , and just peacefully sitting cross legged on her horses  in pasture . One of the videos that made me  really  "get " that this gal "has the stuff" is her and her beloved mare  in the field in  fairly deep snow . she swung up with  I believe a halter and the horse was blanketed , the video shows her laughing , loving on the horse , riding "hands free" at a gallop through the snow (which if you have ever done can be a bit bouncy ) and jumping logs. Sure she slid off a couple times , but that mare stopped and waited for her to stop laughing and hop up again! The pure joy and the depth of a trust bond she had with this horse  was a beauty to watch .
What does one thing have to do with the other . Well like the young lady , the liberty trainers didn't know they could absolutely do  this until , they tried ,
What could we accomplish in life and with our our horses,if we let go of the "rules " a bit , and really got into our own comfortable relationships with them . allow them to trust us ,by learning to trust ourselves ?And by doing so trust them ?
When I say let go of the rules, I don't mean let go of boundaries, those have to exist  for us and the horse to be safe. But let go of the rules in that "horses are  to be  ridden and driven only"
Don't panic my friend ,I am not suddenly going the route of not riding at all , but looking at the options of building  better bonds on the ground to enhance the riding / driving .
We each have our ways of doing this , and I am not here to argue for or against any particular clinician, other than to say , it needs to be about the work ,not the equipment .

I am just wondering if we can push the limits of what we already do, and see what we can really accomplish,
Take my dear old Catana , she was a horse that literally did anything I set her at , huge steep hill? I was asked , can your mare do it? I said"don't know , we will try" and up she went . And the same with crossing a bog, swimming in the lake, standing (yawning no less ) as a train crossed  in front of her . She had a huge heart , and I asked her to do things , because we had a great trust bond, and I had learned that she would not start something she could not finish ( That horse had a work ethic we should all strive for! )
Several years ago ,I was asked on short notice to come handle my sister in laws  warm blood stallion for collection  , he  was an older horse , and familiar with his own handler and not me . I said "I'll try " I could not would not guarantee success, but I sure didn't go in planning to fail. I was just taking into consideration the barrier to success I would face and how best to manage that. What I did is went in assuming he was no different than my (considerably smaller  stallion) expected the same appropriate behavior and manners , and... got  them. He was a prince ! the warnings I received that he might be rough with me and or try to bite , or ram me into a post (not that he is a bad horse , but they like to try new people ) were  totally unnecessary  . I expected him to be good , trusted him to be good , and he followed my lead .
And of course the Phoenix, didn't know he would dance for me, till I asked!

So lets take this a step further, I didn't know I could write a book of poetry , till I tried! Now I am not claiming to be a huge literary success, but I did it , and am ready to publish book two very soon. Now trying a few new things with my photography as well.
As I said , we never know what we are really capable of till we try.
And me ,
 I'll give it a try
Stay safe and warm!


Ms Martyr said...

Fear of failure is a huge immobilizer. I've only managed to overcome it with age and a "who cares?" attitude. I never wanted to give people the opportunity to point and laugh at me when I was younger. I've gotten over it.

Shirley said...

Love this post. I had a horse like your Catana; Sundee, Coyote Belle's mom, we had that bond of trust and she would try her heart out for me. I have tried liberty riding with Beamer, it is so much fun but I don't trust myself yet to gallop on him like that.
Working with Chickory, I am pushing the limits of traditional training, and following my heart- probably why it's taking so long! But it has helped a skeptical horse learn to trust people.

GoLightly said...

I think anytime you can do quality time with your horses, you're ahead.

Country Gal said...

Wonderful post and photos ! Like my mum always said to me as a kid with my horse and dogs( you never know till you try ) and she was right ! She told me that you have to trust in yourself to trust in your horse or dog ! Have a wonderful evening !

Nicole said...

Yeah, what could we do if we just let go... Now send some of your confidence my way please :)

Jeni said...

Living life to it's utmost fullest and never letting someone tell you what you can't do... it's something some people never learn and my experience has taught me that these people are not very happy.

I like happy - and I push the envelope in almost everything.

Love this post!

Linda said...

What a great post. I try to push the envelope, sometimes I win and sometimes I don't but I think the thing is to NEVER give up. You inspire me.

kden said...

You are very inspiring!

Reddunappy said...

Great post.

I challenged myself a few years ago, and tried something new with my horses. I incorporated some Parelli training into how I handle and do things with them.
I have been around horses since I was two years old. Mom got her first horse then) So dare I say 43 years. Even as a child you absorb, learn, and experience horses. I got my first pony when I was 5.
So after so many years, I felt something missing. Especially with Emma, who is not a beginner type horse, especially on the ground, she is pushy, and disrespectful at times and can be a brat in general. The first beginner I put on her to walk around, she proptly got out of my bubble and layed down with her! I had to find a way that would let me earn her respect and vice versa. Dont get me wrong, all my horses are very well behaved.
But the old standard wasnt giving my the answers I wanted and the comfort leval I needed. So my youngest daughter and I started playing the 7 games, and finding a new way with our horses. I now see the scheptasism and disdane that some people seem to have for this method, but I take what I need and want and if it works it stays.

Anyway, it has been a journey, Emma is in no way ready for me to ride at liberty, nor am I! Maybe someday maybe not, but I know how to get her attention and respect now, without getting angry or harsh with her. I laugh at her antics now and work through things, when I didnt before!I have much more understanding and patience now.

Its been a great experience for me.
The long jouney, growing learning changing. Makes life interesting!

Sorry for the book! :o)

sally said...

What a wonderful post ....lots of great things to take away and think about.....and I'm so pleased you have found Dandy a wonderful home because I've always thought he was extra cute!!

The W.O.W. factor! said...

Very well written! And about your book(s) of poetry...publishing soon? Would love to know when, where...

Crystal said...

Exciting news about Dandy and a new book! I like to try new things too, but sometimes am more cautious than I wish I would be, but I am going to try even more with my attitude then it should be easier to get out and do it.

Leah Fry said...

Well, I try to never say never. Getting my first horse at age 54, when many people are starting to avoid taking such physical risks, has and continues to be totally invigorating.

You go, girl!

GoLightly said...

14th! Well it IS Monday, after all.
can't be too careful.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Awesome post and words to live by! How did I miss this one???

People at the top, didn't get there by sitting on their duff, whining, wishing and hoping.