As I'm so very lax in updating my Blog, a lot has happened since the last post. Thanks to much encouragement from husband, family, and friends (Barry and Thomas especially!) I'm immersed in a new adventure. It's great to be pushed in the direction of doing what you love by folks that appreciate you! As I type, I'm sitting at Aaron England's International Learning Center (ILC) here in the middle of Texas, getting ready for the day of learning more about horse training. England's Versatile Horsemanship (EVH) is a method of training that follows the Natural Horsemanship techniques. These techniques use communication with the horse in the language it understands, using mainly body language and positioning to ask the animal what we want them to do. There is also the goal of becoming the leader for the horse, a leader that the animal wants to follow, not has to follow by force.
I've been here two and a half weeks, and as my main goal at this point is to become a more confident and knowledgeable colt starter, we've been going over the basics to starting a horse. My 'student' (actually, I'm more HIS student) is a quarter horse named Johnny, who has been started before, so I can learn the techniques without having to teach him the steps at the same time. Johnny has quite the personality, and is a rather dominant individual, so the first day I worked with him, he tried very much to find out if he could dominate me...not by being aggressive or anything that extreme, but by saying 'do I HAVE to?' to everything I asked, and then acting as though he wasn't sure what I was asking. Once we clarified the fact that yes, he HAD to, and Yes, I was doing it right, he decided it was less work to do what I asked.
I'll do more updates on training with Johnny, but wanted to get this posted, as folks are asking how things are going out here! I'm very much enjoying all the lessons and the people that I get to work with/around, and I have the opportunity to live in a mobile home with a very knowledgeable horse person. There's almost always someone around to talk horses with, and pretty much neverending work to do if I want to be doing something. We have 10 horses in the barn right now that I get to take care of, since the weather has been rainy and cool, and they're doing ok with being in, but they're getting a bit of 'barn fever' and wanting to run around and play. They get to be out for a little bit in the mornings when I clean stalls, but they're used to having most of the day out moving around. The church that Aaron and Riva (his wife) go to is a cowboy church, and I've been able to go two sundays so far. The folks are very welcoming, and it's wonderful to have a church so close that makes me feel so much at home! I was worried that I'd have a challenge finding anything for a while that fit what I like in a church, it's pretty hard to replace Harvest, and this one doesn't even do that, because it's so very different, but I like it! It's not every church that has a stock tank for a baptismal, and holds roping practice every saturday night in their arena! :)
I miss Joe dreadfully, but he gets to come visit in a few weeks, so that makes things a LITTLE easier. And I got to bring a little bit of home along with me, because Aaron said I could bring a horse, so Twisty was able to tag along. She will hopefully be one of the horses that I start while I'm here, I'm trying to get her over the last little bit of rain rot she had from home before we work too much with her.
Well, there are 10 horses that have finished their breakfasts and are waiting in dirty stalls for the manure mover (aka ME) to come clean and give them morning turnout, so I shall have to update more some other time!