The horse's pasture to the East...

Friday, November 12, 2010


Some days are made for hot cocoa, good books and a blanket to snuggle in. Like today, for instance. It's 45, dark and raining outside...classic November weather. I have the lights on here in my study to cheer me up. And the weeping willow outside my door, next to the pond, is bright yellow. It's the last tree to hold on to it's leaves out here except for the oaks.

I'm practicing my "thank you!"s today, trying to retrain my brain. If it's something I can't change, move on and work on the things I can. I've cleaned the house and the inside of the barn, read some of my books, called a friend and it's not quite 4PM. Time to clean the studio and get it ready for another round of paintings, I guess.

While I work, I've been listening to the rain. Since eliminating the TV from our lives several years ago, I've learned to really appreciate the quiet. All I can hear is the rain on the roof, my dogs as they sleep and the hum of the computer. No radio or music for now. It's nice to just be quiet sometimes.

This past week, while my back is on the mend, I've been glutting myself with old Savvy Discs. I know lots of people sell theirs since they can watch them as reruns later on the Savvy Club website, but I like to keep them in notebooks on my bookshelf. I see them as part of my reference library. They're like old friends, ready to tell me a good story when I need to hear one.

The disc I watched last night was from September of 2007, Issue 28. In it Linda Parelli works with a Left Brain Introvert named Beau. Talk about a challenge! He's Lucky magnified times 3. Beau is pushy, dominant and sees people as something to buck off and step on. He's gorgeous too. Several times, while watching Linda work with him, I laughed. That kind of horse can be very charming while he's thinking his wicked thoughts. There's several minutes of him exploring, chewing on and ripping up a tarp while Linda stands and talks to the audience. In Beau's mind, he's completely dominating the tarp, but he's also a clown while he does it.

When I pull out discs to rewatch, I'm usually pretty intuitive about it. Where ever my hand lands is the one I choose. Funny how my hand went to the one with the LBI who displays some of the same behaviors Lucky does. How interesting! It's just the one I needed to see too. Lucky isn't as extreme as Beau. But he is enough like him that watching Linda play with him was very helpful, at least with my visualizing, since I can't actually do much for right now. I think I'm going to add in some buckskin lace to my imaginary leggings and work harder at "walking in Linda's shoes" when I'm seeing myself playing with Lucky. Little details sometimes make all the difference.

I'm also rereading Robert Miller's book THE REVOLUTION IN HORSEMANSHIP. John's just finished it, so now it's my turn to put sticky fingerprints on the pages. It's a wonderful mix of history, technique and an excellent resource for finding out more about many of the Natural Horsemanship trainers. The book is chock full of good advice. I can find something worth quoting on nearly every page. One of my favorites is " Think right down to the ground.", Ray Hunt. I interpreted that phrase as "Think with your whole body."

So I guess you could call me a busy little bee. But that's also part of the problem. I'm a BUSY bee. I kind of feel like I'm caught in the greenhouse and bashing myself on the windows. It's given me some idea of what confinement is like for a horse, when they're recovering from an illness or injury. My claustrophobic side begins to come out. I need to move my feet! Must be the extrovert in me.

I have nothing profound to say, no amazing discoveries except that I'm getting better at being in the "middles" with Lucky, on our journey together. It's OK to take tiny baby steps, even if some of them are sideways. Pat Parelli says that a horse can only go six ways "Forwards, backwards, right, left, up and down." so I guess practicing my Sideways game, even in my head, is still another way of going forward.

I am ever yours, the middle

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