Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 2

We had to cut today a little short. The cold of the barn did not agree with Mac's less then mature immune system. Even when we try to proceed, when we try to play at being normal, the disease and the whole medical process seems to overshadow. We persevere, mostly because I am too much of a mean bitch to quit.

I learned a lot. I always learn a lot about any situation I am in. That nature to pick up and scrutinize. I have no problem with stopping to look and watch. That's the part of my nature that I believe will serve me the best in my exploration of being a horse person. Pat Parelli tells me to "isolate, separate and recombine". Bill Dorrance says to "experiment" with the horse's mental system. There are things that I probably do wrong, but so far, no one has gotten hurt and the herd still seems to be voting for me. I think I'll take that.

Pat taught me something that I don't think he realized that he was teaching. I think it was because of my own breathing problem. I seem to be kind of sensitive to "breathing" situations. For instance, I have given myself asthma attacks when watching a movie with a prolonged underwater swimming sequence. Or during the movie 2001:A Space Odyssey. There is soooo much controlled breathing in that movie that I can hardly stand to watch it! That's how I learned to breathe from Pat. When he sets the horse up with a puzzle to solve and the horse gets the right answer, he generally gives a big exhale. Then the horse picks up on it and starts to blow. At that point, Pat will typically say that the horse is blowing and has found its release and has gained some understanding. I don't think Pat even realizes that he is the first to blow. . Regardless, it's a great communication tool.

I remember years ago watching a story on the television series,"Ripley's Believe It Or Not" There was this fellow that traveled around music halls with a horse and amazed people with it. The horse was reported as being able to do math. So folks would call out simple math problems and the horse would answer by pawing the ground. Later someone figured out how it was done. For each pawing of the hoof the owner was blinking his eyelids. The best part of the story is this.... the owner didn't realize the horse was matching his blinks. He thought the horse really knew how to do math! The poor fellow sold the horse and quit in disgrace.

When I am around horses, I try to keep that story in mind. That is how light and perceptive EVERY horse is, until they get beaten up by trainers. The reality is as amazing as the possibility of a horse being able to do math. At least, it is to me.

There is another Parelli-ism that Pat is fond of reiterating, "nothing means nothing". Exactly true, whether it is exhaling or blinking. I have also found that if I want to have my horse approach me in the pasture all I have to do is spend some time watching birds fly and kick around some poo piles. You can take that tip to the bank!

Tomorrow the clinic will be firmly behind me. We will have to see just how much I absorbed. It had better be good because Pip is wondering what the hell I was doing larking around for the last two days.


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