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|