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 .

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Right, left, right

Yippee ! another ramble lol

Over the weekend I was cleaning my office at home and found a bunch of the old registrations of

some of the "lifers" of Fern Valley,who lived their lives here with me and have now gone on to 

greener pastures. Took the time I needed to remember those great and wonderful companions then 

smiled and tucked them back away. Each one was a teacher, a friend, and protector. While I may not 

see them out the window anymore, I still do, in the legacy they left, the young stock that are a legacy, 

and in myself, So much of what I do, it seems can be traced back somehow to the lessons of patience 

and determination, courage and compassion that these great and gentle creatures taught me. That, 

and the session  from the weekend and last evening prompted this post.

This is a bit about the coaching I do and a bit about horses, with a dash of life in general. So pour a coffee, or a stiff drink if that is how you roll with my rambles and here we go!

There are a couple of good quotes out there about horsemanship, that might suit, the first,

"Make the right thing easy, and the wrong thing difficult"

"If your horse says no , you are asking the wrong question, or asking the question wrong "

I am not entirely sure who originally said these, but I have been know to borrow them and also to paraphrase  from time to time , especially  with the kids, just saying , "Ask  for the right thing, the right way.

When we ask, a horse to do something, whatever it may be, if we set it up the right way we get the right result, as in the case of "Acting with intention" we have a goal, a plan, and action.
We see the goal, we formulate a plan , we give the right cues, and we take action.
Longing can be kryptonite for a lot of folks believe it or not , simply look at the wrong part of the horse while driving them forward can limit your effectiveness.

I look at it as a triangle , the handler is the pivot point , the nose of the  horse  another point and the tail the third

NOSE                                       TAIL



 I wish I knew how to draw in this , but you get the point I hope, whether you walk with the horse or stand static, your body position need to remain  the point of the triangle or the horse will stop,and or run through. Right cue/question the right way , something as simple as looking at the horses head can skew perception and change the pivot point. I really wish I had taken video last evening at the barn, it would show this well. I was free longing Cat and Andee, and because I was on my game and so were they , I was able to do something kinda cool for my client  . We were talking about focus,and attention to detail. also accountability . This young man is very bright, but like many kids, he has some trouble with accepting accountability, often using the excuse "the horse isn't doing it  because they are not listening " OK well to help him out and cause maybe I am a little bit of a show off ( lol ) I got the girls free longing together , then changed directions once, twice , then changed only Cat's direction so they were circling opposite. ( See why I wish I could have videoed this for you ?) though frankly if I had I would have lost focus and mucked it up so ...

Why did I do this? well mostly so the the excuses could be LEFT out.
The horses were clearly focused and paying attention. He still struggled with the exercise he had chosen because he does struggle with focus and attention but without the "blame game" it was easier for him to see the changes he needed to make , and he eventually had cat working nicely on the longe. 
SO what does longing a horse have to do with  life?

 Nothing and a lot.
The idea of putting yourself in the RIGHT position for success.
Baggage and blame  are LEFT out 
Accountability(good and bad)  falls on the RIGHT person.

I said once years ago working in a different situation, but similar in the sense that the blame game and the lack of accountability can be universal. 
"The most empowering moment in your life is the day you realize you are responsible for all of your actions , good and bad" that is the moment it becomes easier to  choose the RIGHT actions" 

Do we all get it right every time? nope. DO I ? NOPE ,but when I get it  wrong I OWN IT! And I am as proud of my success as I am of  what I learn from my mistakes.

Today I went and worked with the girls separately, because I feel that they may be getting a little to comfortable with the "team" efforts. Andee was a bit heads up, but eventually settled, it is very icy outside so we took our time walking in from the pen, last night with the two of them there was a large spooky moment, and while I wear cleats, the seemed to have a "NOBODY MOVE NOBODY FALLS DOWN " moment . Took some time to get Andee calm and focused, but I still really enjoy working with her, she is a bit reactive, these days, so I need to change my approach to meet her halfway. Cat on the other hand, all confidence, but willing and respectful  but today especially I noticed a real softness about her, I was pretty sore with the weather change, and she was soft and peaceful when I was working her, downright cuddly! Guess the coach needed some therapy too!

After all of that came home and did chores, spending a few minutes with the gang here, Johnny and Tango, and all the rest, by the time I came in for the evening , all was RIGHT with my day!

Stay warm and stay safe my friends 


Anonymous said...

It's great to wake up to one of your rambles - thanks!

So many people are always blaming the horse, and it's almost always the person who's the issue. I like that your post generalizes this to life in general - horsemanship is life, as Mark often says!

Shirley said...

I really think you have hit your stride with EAC. With your past work history and your collection of good horses I think this should be your career. You're a natural!
And you could work from home ;0)

Country Gal said...

Informative . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

Cut-N-Jump said...

It's too bad that some folks choose to point the finger & lay the blame over fixing themselves and admitting the blew it. Usually over the minor and petty things too. So glad I ditched that and can move on without the dead weight.

C-ingspots said...

Sounds like you had a very good day! Horsemanship and life, it's all the same to me too...gotta love it. Oh, and not positive about your second quote, but the first one is one of Ray's most-often repeated sayings. Glad to see you got it right, and not the other way around, as I've heard some quote. Thanks for sharing your day, and your thoughts Sherry. And also for your kind words on my blog about Annie. Very much appreciated.