Mic and Prima at Home

This blog entry is actually a clip from a very old newsletter – March 2008. Yes, it has been that long since I started working on the stinking “book”. Good Lord! I was reviewing old newsletters because I am about to start them up again. I came across this one and I think it is still relevant today with my horses. I now have Jasper too, but at the time this was written it was only Mic and Prima. Enjoy.


Where to begin? I have actually been really unsure what to write about other than news because I have been pummeled with lessons that are worthy of sharing – and haven’t we all? In thinking back to last June I thought maybe a personal look at my hermitage might reveal some of those valuable life lessons that horses teach us…

I realized that when I actually did take the time to first rest, then think and then organize things around my goals, I could get a rather large project accomplished by focusing on it. Now… about riding my own horses… (Just MAKE the time! – I think to myself).

I learned that writing things down forced me to realize what was in my head, what I did know, what I didn’t know (that I needed to actually research) and how challenging and humbling it is for anyone to become “good with horses”.

In thinking back about each teacher I have studied with I realized that each one had an important piece of the puzzle. None had all the answers and none were wrong. All I can do is pass along the best I have gained from each one coupled with my own insights along the way. Each teacher offered a unique perspective that has guided my personal experience and understanding.

But ultimately the horsemanship journey is one that is taken alone. It happens between the horse and rider. Every horse offers an important challenge that is most often perfect for its rider. It is only because we choose to face the challenges that the right teacher then appears, the puzzle pieces begin to fit together and it is only for the love of the horse that we remain willing to learn.

I had a barn built on my property and turned my little home into a one acre ranchita for me, the two horses – Mic and Prima and the cat – Opu. We have all settled into our daily routines and it finally feels like a home with everyone here.

Prima - hanging in the barn aisle

Prima, my Arabian mare, has been with me for all of her 15 years. It is a bitter pill to swallow to realize that her challenges are no more than a reflection of my own learning curve. On the one hand she is the easiest horse I have ever owned because we have such a strong bond and on the other she offers no mercy for repeated mistakes. She kindly points out my weaknesses regularly and keeps reminding me to stay humble. I do believe that Prima was put on this planet to make sure I get it right one day. She is my toughest, most honest teacher without a doubt, but also the kindest.

Mic - Greeting me at the gate

Mic turned 12 this year and moving him home was the best thing for our relationship I have been able to do. He came into my life as a green 5 year old and I always had in the back of mind that Mic would be for sale at some point – and I always struggled with him. It wasn’t until Mic returned from a lease in poor shape that I finally promised he was mine forever and I would never try to sell him again. We began to make progress once I changed. Trust has been hard earned with Mic after our rough start and finally having him at home has been a great thing for us. The importance of trust, love and commitment to the relationship with a horse makes all the difference.

Spending the summer with my horses, without ever “working” them or “progressing” or having a “training” agenda of any sort brought back some of the simple pleasures of just being around horses. I got that kind of feeling you get as a kid when you just wanted to be at the barn even if you didn’t have a lesson or work to do there. I just shared time with Mic and Prima and while I puttered around the yard with various chores they would hang out, follow me and share their quirky herd conversations with me. Here I was writing daily about rider’s becoming more observant, more attentive and better role models as leaders and I found that I was not in fact doing much of that myself. I realized that I almost always had my own agenda when I was with them and had sort of forgotten to take the time to really observe what was important to them. From them I had trust – I had a relationship – I had their respect – I had their love… what did they want? Why hadn’t I asked that question before? While of course I have provided the very best care I can, I started to see that there was no substitute for my time – for my presence in their lives – as part of their herd – as someone who loved them just as much as they loved me. This was a very valuable lesson.

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Equine Imbalance

...."Many problems (of the horse) can be caused by unbalanced patterns of tension in the body"........
....."Uneven tension will often result in uneven body use, difficulty carrying a saddle and rider, stiffness generally 'through the back' or the body as a whole, behavioural problems etc..... " Gavin Scofield D.O.
Founder of Equine Postural Training &
Official Osteopath for the British Endurance team

Acknowledgements

Photos Contributed by:
Jim McCleary - McCleary Photography
Christianne Gentile - True by Christianne
Sarah Wengernuk - Essence Photography

Quote Of The Day

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school
~Albert Einstein