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 .

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Extra Pickles please,(or ask for what you want )

Here we go gang! You haven't been subjected to one of the rambles of my tangled mind for a while . Are you ready???

My dad, when he goes to a drive through burger place always orders extra pickles.
Well first of all the man likes pickles what can I say?
But secondly it is his little way of making sure his burger is fresh ,when you make a special order, they have to make the burger fresh. Now I know that most places claim to do that anyway, but we have all gotten the tepid burger with the cheese that is all melted and icky on the burger. Dad , never gets them that way. He asks for WHAT HE WANTS, in a way that he will get WHAT HE WANTS.

OK , stick with me here, I have another analogy  then I (hopefully) will make my point.
I work for Mental health, and in doing that work with quite a few  psychologists, and  other professionals.
These folks are well educated and well versed in the workings of the mind and interpersonal skills right?
Mostly, yes, but they are also human and fallible. I remember talking with one of my supervisors over lunch one day. She was lamenting the fact that she and her hubby went out for burgers on the weekend, but she hates to do this as she never gets her burger the way she likes it. She  likes her burger plain with cheese and mustard, simple right?
I asked her how she orders it, she said " I order the burger, no onions, no ketchup,
not relish, no pickles "
I asked her why she was telling them what she DID NOT WANT instead of asking  for what she DID WANT?
She looked at me stunned and said she never thought of it that way. Well this gal was a great lady and nothing if she wasn't determined so she went home that night, told her hubby they were going for burgers, and low and behold, got exactly what she wanted! (She  rushed in the next morning to tell me!)

So what does that have to do with horses? This is after all a horsey kind of blog right?

Well last week I took Cat (Catch a Dream ) And Andee,(AV Docs Baby ) to the trainers . I was on my own loading them and using the new trailer, which I am still getting used to the angle haul style . Caught them up , and started to load Andee, unfortunately, my issues with the unfamiliar trailer popped into my mind and I began to think "what if she won't load , how will I get the partition closed, what if she fusses and spooks Cat what if....?"
And my sweet compliant  gentle Andee took one look at the trailer and said "OH hail no!If you are worried I am NOT getting in that death trap!"

So I said to myself (yes I talk to myself ) Well done genius! You screwed that up nicely!You know better that this.
 I always say " walk on like  you expect the horse to be right there with you, and they usually are "
So I took her back  regrouped myself  and gave me a severe talking to.
I could have pushed Andee and got her in, but since I had another horse to load I did it differently. I grabbed Cat, waltzed up to the trailer like it was nothing, and asked her to be right there with me KNOWING THAT SHE WOULD BE, the only thought in my head was we are getting in the trailer. The trailer is a big step up and the angle I was on made it a little bigger, and Cat is a shorty, but other than to lift her  foot waaay up past her ear as if to say "are you kidding me I am just little " she got right in!
I then secured her inside went and got Andee and having convinced myself she was going to leap right in and be with her friend  took her up to the trailer.
What happened? She got in!
They are safe as kittens in that trailer I just needed to  get my head around how to do things.
So my point/s?
Probably becoming clear , or at least I hope so.
 Ask for what you want!
 Ask ,like you expect the answer to be yes.
 and Keep it simple.

How many times when riding have we done this?
"Oh well that is a scary  bridge/tree/rock/arena whatever " And started thinking about all that can go wrong . Horse have great intuition and they  sense that change in us very quickly , so we are in effect telling them all about what we don't want. We need to instead tell them what we do want .
So with horses  and in life, whether we want extra pickles or a smooth canter transition, I believe the best way to get  what we want is to ask for it .No doubts, no fussing , no over thinking it .

KISS Keep it simple sweetie!
And of course , as always , stay safe!


Reddunappy said...

I so agree!! Great post.

Love it!!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...


When it comes to everyday life with my horses, I simply expect that whatever I want to do with them is no big deal...I have very, very few problems.

Been retraining my brain to think that way when running barrels on Moon too. It's working. ;-)

Paint Girl said...

Yep, I do the same thing!! I see so many people make the mistake of thinking of all the bad things that can happen when it is as simple as thinking that "yes, we can do this!" And I like that you used trailer loading as an example, so many people make such a big deal about trailer loading. I march right up to the trailer and jump right in like it's no big deal with horse in tow, I have never had one that wouldn't load. Now if I hesitated or stopped before I loaded then I would probably have all sorts of problems!! LOL!
Oh and I am super picky with my burgers too, I don't like pickles, mayo or mustard!!

cdncowgirl said...

EXACTLY!! Although it does slip my mind too lol

Oh and the burger thing, one caveat to that... To get your burger "right" it's not always about asking for what you DO want, it's about asking for it in the simplest way. If there's more stuff you want taken off, as in your friend's case, just list what you want BUT if what you want left off is a shorter list (as is mine) then ask for that. Saying "No pickle no tomato" is a lot simpler than saying "With cheese, bacon, lettuce, mayo, onion, ketchup and mustard" ;)

Crystal said...

I like this post! I try to do this all the time, and I am lucky in I have had no major wrecks so I dont worry so much about what might happen cause it never has. But sometimes its hard to remember all that simple stuff, so easy to make it confusing and hard when it really isnt, like lead changes, so many people have trouble and my horses just do it. Am I better than them, absolutely not! but I didnt know it was supposed to be hard, lol.

aurora said...

Good thinkin'!!

WishIHadAHorsey said...

Amazing post - I will spend my day asking for Extra Pickles Please! Thanks so much for sharing.

GoLightly said...

Amen, girl. Amen.

Linda said...

Great post! We do try to complicate things at times don't we? I've had to talk to myself like that at times too and remember the "kiss" principle (although mine isn't "sweetie".

C-ingspots said...

Wonderful timing and sage advice my friend!! I will try ever so hard to "stay out of my head" and KISS this evening when I try mounting Eagle for the first time ever!!! Prayers accepted and appreciated...

kestrel said...

I worked with handicapped riders for years, and one autistic young man really acted up when looking at a group home. Mom was having issues with son moving away from home, and the young man picked up on it and translated it into 'if it upsets momma it's got to be a bad thing!' Later on, when they were both ready, the young man moved in and loves the place.

Funny how what we sometimes see as 'bad' behavior simply means they love us enough to follow our emotional cues explicitly!

Cut-N-Jump said...

I used to tell a friend of mine at horse shows, if you expect bad behavior or spooks- the horse will respond with exactly that. Expect them to behave like they do at home and they will.

**Now if I can just apply this to my own riding at home...**

Burgers- I agree with cdncowgirl and it depends on the length of the list, want or don't want. Otherwise I just make it at home.

kden said...

I used to have a sign up in my kichen that said, "So, what do you WANT?" as a constant reminder. I haven't thought about it in a long time. Thanks for the reminder.

Knotty Dogs said...

This was exactly the problem I was having with Kahlua when I first bought her and was having trouble getting her in the trailer. She wasn't afraid of the trailer. She was afraid of my fear of the trailer. I didn't know what to do, so I had a trainer come help me. The biggest thing I got out of that lesson was exactly what you talk about her, which is the same thing we tell people in the stockdog world all the time. "Picture in your mind what you want, while you're doing it, and it will happen." That's it. It's setting aside the fear, and that's not always easy to do. Excellent post.

sally said...

Well I'm off to buy a burger!!