protecting horses

Theory…

I’ve been thinking a lot about the education of horse handlers and riders. There are so many videos out there with information as “How To” demonstrations… I used to say, “Take 100 horse people, ask them a question and you will get 99 answers because 2 of them might agree”. An exaggeration, I know – BUT, there are multiple methods because all horses are individuals; all people are individuals; horses will always TRY to cooperate with us. The only way to gain experience (the only way to become a horse person) is through “Theory, Direction and Practice”. The best way to learn Theory is through books. Yep. The Masters have documented methods and philosophies in amazing books that deserve study. I put a few important books beside our new banner (I’m loving it!) and Mark took a pic. I return to these (and several other masterpieces) time and time again… I’m old school.
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My feelings about the films and videos (and mind you, I am, myself, in 2 valuable, international ones) is that they draw from a different part of our brains – to sit and quietly read a book, dwelling on a potent paragraph or chapter, puts us in a deeper learning space. So much in the standard writings of Masters needs to be “felt” rather than “viewed”.
 
The key to good relationships with horses is clarity and CONSISTENCY. Whatever style or method you choose, you must be consistent in its application and in explaining it to the horse. My deep hope is that you choose a method based upon compassion and kindness. We can choose ideas from many teachings – ultimately it is the horse himself/herself who decides if we are successful.
Categories: Horse Training, protecting horses | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Water is Life

We have been adding to the herd on the track system at Dharmahorse Two. LungTa (the Draft gelding) and 4 mares have become a bonded herd with Joe (28 year old OTTB) needing his own private space and the newest addition, Teaberry, coming out of quarantine. Teaberry went to the central giant round pen four days ago and was integrated into the herd yesterday… he is a gelding, a youngster for DH at age 7! He and Luna hit it off (kids, they’re just kids!). We put Juniper in a side pen so she wouldn’t ramrod the new kiddo at first.

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Last night, LungTa took Dream Cat (little Arabian mare) to a far corner of the track. This morning he still had her sequestered there. We brought Molly (the world’s greatest mule) and Bodhi over today and they are in the smaller track system by Joe. All was going well… except, LungTa and Dream Cat had not been near the water tubs!

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I couldn’t let them go long without drinking water – no matter what I did, LungTa channeled her back to the far corner. So, we put Teaberry back in the separate pen, Juniper back in the herd and I had to put Dream Cat in the central round pen for tonight where she will have her own water. She drank and drank! Then LungTa came back up the feeding stations / water area and HE drank and drank. Whew!!

What seem like the best of plans can work out differently than expected. Maybe some people would not have noticed that LungTa and Dream Cat were never going down to the waters… maybe an impaction colic (or two) would have been tomorrow’s destiny. But, we juggled things to make everyone as safe as we could. We hope to sleep tonight, we are weary.

Because we had to change Joe’s pen and now he is fenced off from his beloved Yucca (he scratches himself on it), we put a big railroad tie deep in the ground and attached nobbley scratching pads all around it. Joe loves it! And, no worries, it’s supposed to get warm enough tomorrow for me to soak him in emulsified Jojoba oil and warm water (he has chronic dry skin, I have total empathy).

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Joe is gaining weight slowly. Teaberry is sound, he has been trotting and cantering around all day. Bodhi loves Molly, Molly is liking Bodhi well enough… Clemmy pretty much loves everyone and she is sound enough (she’s very “over in the knees”) to gallop full tilt across the whole yard! We left lights on around the DH2 Yard so no one loses their bearings tonight. Loving horses is all about these things.

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Water is Life. If LungTa and Dream Cat were not going to go to the water tubs, we, the thinking, responsible ones, had to find a solution. There is always a solution. Perhaps I will actually sleep tonight!

Categories: healing, protecting horses, Saving Horses | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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