Our formal training is progressing really well. Since our first session in the round pen with Catherine Hoskin, a trainer in Australian Natural Horsemanship (thanks to Joe’s recommendation) Tommy and I have been given lots of things to practice together, on the ground. Actually, I’m the one being trained here because Tommy does pretty much anything you ask of him. I am learning to give clear signals and be consistent in everything I do with him. It’s like learning to drive. It might look easy in experienced hands but there is so much to think about all at once and it helps if you happen to be ambidextrous.
Everything has to be repeated on both sides and in both directions otherwise you end up with a very lopsided horse. Catherine makes it look like a graceful ballet. For me, it’s anything but graceful as more often than not, I end up feeling like a clumsy twat with two left feet, a tangled mess of ropes in the wrong hand at the wrong moment, sending out confusing messages. Tommy, thankfully is very forgiving and I am making some progress. Albeit slowly.
The more we do together on the ground, when I do manage to get it right, deepens that bond of trust between us and the more we practice, the better we both become at communicating with each other. It is a slow and steady process but I realise it is a brilliant way of developing the very ground rules of our relationship which in turn forms the bedrock of our partnership. The very things that we shall be relying upon in the particular test of endurance that I am planning for the two of us. (see The Journey)
For more interpretations of this weeks WordPress photo challenge: endurance, see here