dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Musings

For the basic Adult Amateur (or non-professional horse trainer) raising a youngster is daunting on some days.

 It's a lot like parenting. I used to work with families of children with special needs. I noticed that the parents often had more than the usual amount of guilt. Guilt that it was some how their fault, guilt that they weren't doing enough to help their child, guilt that they were neglecting other family members. I used to tell them that there were two types of people in the world: those who knew how to raise children and those who actually have children. Frankly, I made most of it up as I went along.

I'm doing the same with Steele. There a many books out there on training young horses (just like parenting). I've read a lot of them. I take what seems applicable and ignore the rest. Lots of people have opinions on what you should do or not do. I find it helpful to listen to them and then weigh it in light of my own circumstance. Here are the questions that I wrestle with:

  • Am I going too fast? Pushing him because he's smart
  • Am I not pushing enough? 
  • Am I being over strict? Or not strict enough?
  • Am I giving him time to be horse? What does that even mean anyway? 
Yesterday I let the horses out early in the morning. I then realized that it was pouring rain. I hate the fall rain- the horses get wet and when the temp drops they get chilled. I brought them in- which Steele seemed happy enough about but Irish was peeved. Every inch of Steel was coated in wet mud. So grabbed my fleece cooler and put it on him to wick away the water. It was comical. He didn't mind it on but after a bit I put him in his stall and it made a funny noise when he walked (the shoulders are lined so it doesn't rub, this made a swish sound). I kept my eye on him for about 15 minutes. He picked at it a little bit and then went on eating. I decided to go in the house and leave it for a bit longer. While I'm in the house I'm envisioning him getting it half off and then becoming trapped. Or ripping it to shreds. I finally couldn't take it anymore and went out. Guess what? it was fine. He was eating happily and the blanket was where it should be. sigh. 

Steele, I've noticed has none of these worries. His thoughts seem to fall along these lines:
  • is it supper time? 
  • does she have a carrot?
  • where's the best spot to roll and really get the mud in?
  • what is she doing now? I'd better go hang out with her. 
  • Where's my breakfast? 
  • What do you mean I have to stand while that mean holds my leg up?
So far I think we're doing just fine. The other day when I went in his stall he gave me a 'hug'. That's when horses wrap their head and neck around you and hold for a few seconds. It was very sweet. 

He then walked into my space. Which I had to correct. Oh well. 

Like I said, I'm just making it up as I go along.
its okay, I know what to do even if you don't


  1. I just love this post. It really hits close to home with me. I find myself swinging between wondering if I don't let him get away with enough or if I get after him too much. I know deep down I am doing the right thing but it is hard not to question yourself. In reality though is there anyway some trainer would do better by our boys if we sent them off for "30 days"? Hah, no way.

    1. I know I would fret more if he was off-site than being home.

      I also think that the questions are good - it's when we think we know everything that we're in trouble. :)

  2. I just realized while reading your last post again that Steele was born in November! How did that happen and how did I not notice that the first time lol. :)

    He is soooooo cute! I second guess and question everything I do too. I'm so afraid of messing up. My biggest thing is wondering if I'm pushing Chrome too much physically.... or not enough considering he's fat and has a locking stifle.... it's so hard to know where that balance is!! I am overly cautious about everything and it might not end up being a good thing.... but what can I do? I'm still learning and doing my best. I guess so long as they are happy and healthy then everything will be okay. :)


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