Wednesday, May 08, 2019
This is a morning for loading the horses and heading over the mountains to Lebanon, located on Oregon’s west side, to begin this summer’s training. My horses are doing reasonably well and such a trip isn’t because they particularly need training. No, it’s for their mom, me, I need more training.
You’d think a left-handed person finally could get into her head which way to turn when someone says “go right” or ” turn left”. I become lost and fail such commands, unless clearly, someone also points me in the correct direction. You’d think a person who’s worked with horses for about 10 years, as I have, would have learned much about how to handle them for desired results. Well, maybe I get block-headed, for lots of situations become perplexing, and it’s upsetting when expert advice and assistance isn’t available.
For the next few days things will be different, for luckily, an animal training expert is close at hand. My friend Elaine, who hails from Eastern Oregon, is in town. She grew up with horses, and in fact, used to train my horses, knows them well, understands their quirks and can explain how to interact more effectively with them. I describe my mare Rosie as being a little on the “hot side”, sometimes challenging. In Elaine’s experience, the first and most important key to training an animal is to understand its basic nature, and then use that knowledge while working toward specific goals. She has practical tips for handling Rosie, also stressing the importance of correcting an animal firmly but with kindness. Our conversations have manage to relight my dimmed recognition that understanding an animal’s basic nature, and incorporating its natural ways of perceiving and reacting into a training plan, likely will achieve the most preferable outcomes.
Today, will initiate a higher baseline for this summer of working with my horses, as we benefit from the help and advice of two fine trainers.
As to my confused left-handedness, oh well.
Dear Friends, understanding an animal’s nature means understanding our own. Diana