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Winter 2011 Issue

Winter 2011 Issue

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Published by Sarah O'Brien

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Published by: Sarah O'Brien on Jan 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In this issue:
The Cup
The Proof is in the Pudding
Life, Harry & Horsemanship
When One Door Opens
Harry Whitney’s portrait “Bandy” is featured in the March 2012 issue of Cowboys & 
Indians as the winner of the Portrait category in their annual photography contest.This is a prestigious international contest open to both professional and amateurphotographers and the competition was fierce with thousands of entries. The juriedcategories included: landscape, equine,action, portrait and wildlife.
This was Harry’s first foray into
photography competition. Not bad for his first time out of the chute!The portrait can be viewed online at: cowboysandindians.com or in print onnewsstands nationwide.
Harry Wins photo contest
This newsletter is an all-volunteer effort designed to reflect the horsemanship approach taught by Harry Whitney. While Harry will offer his thoughts and ideas, he does not take personal responsibility for the content of student contributions. 
   T   h   e   A   l   l  -   v   o   l   u   n   t   e   e   r    n   e   w   s   l   e   t   t   e   r    S   u   p   p   o   r   t   i   n   g    t   h   e   h   a   r   r   y    W   h   i   t   n   e   y    h   o   r   s   e   m   a   n   s   h   i   p   C   o   m   m   u   n   i   t   y
   B   e   t   w   e   e   n   T   h   e   R   e   i   n   s
Winter, 2012
Harry’s photography website has
undergone a major overhaul inthe past few months.There is now a shopping cartfeature, new images and photosavailable as greeting cards!Of course, you can still view hisportfolios at any of his clinics andplace orders there, as well.
Dear lovely readers,Welcome to our first issue of 2012!It deserves mentioning thatthe only guidance Harry gaveto me as your newest editorof this newsletter is that he
wanted it to be about each person’s experience in their
horsemanship journey. In particular, why we come to a Harry clinic, what we gain and what we take home.
For me, I go to Harry’s because I appreciate the art of 
horsemanship and am acutely aware that being allowed accessto a master craftsman of any art is rare.I hope the following pages will inspire you to contribute to thisnewsletter why you come, what you learn and what you leavewith after spending time with Harry.
I’ll close with the “Harry 
ism” I took home from my clinic this year: “Responsiveness versus tolerance has a different feel.”
 With joy,
Sarah O’Brien,
Letter from the Editoretter from the Editor
The Cup
by: Kathy Davis BakerI am sure many of you have heard Harry talk about a
horse’s cup running over with angst. It is not a Dixie cup,
coffee cup or even a red solo cup! But, in my mind, the
analogy that Harry uses about a horse’s cup is really im-
portant. Over the years I have asked myself., am I empty-
ing out my horse’s cup, am I adding to it, or am I keeping
it the same?In my daily interactions with my horses I tend to noticetheir mental, physical and emotional state. I ponder if their cup is really empty of angst, if their life is copacetic.I try to improve their state of well being in the little minu-tia of day to day dealings. I ask myself questions like:
How does the horse feel about my approach to them in thefield, how do they feel about being haltered or bridled orsaddled or being ridden?
How do they feel about loading in a trailer?
How can I get them feeling really good about our time to- gether?
How do I empty out their cup? How do I keep it from fillingup to overflowing? Or what does one do when it is teeter-ing on the edge of tipping and like a juggler you are look-ing to keeping the flow within the cup and not out? How much anxiety is there in just that one moment for the per-
son? It doesn’t have to be an anxious moment but it cer-
tainly is an intense moment to work things out between thehorse and the person.
Why is the cup concept so important? To me, it relates tomy own self preservation.
 —when a horse’s cup is about to
spill over, my fear meter goes up a few notches!Recently, I stopped by to visit with some clients as they were ending a trail ride on their farm. I noticed one par-ticular mare who was not settled, her mind and body were separated and she could not stand still with the rideron her back so we could chat.
...Continued on Page 2 
Sarah & Lovely Louise
The mare’s cup was about to overflow, the angst was barely 
being contained by the rider. As I stood on the ground, I pickedup the reins and worked with the mare on getting her mindand body back in one spot
here with us. The angst would beable to leak out of her cup if the mare could get her body whereher mind was (back to the field where her pasture mate wasneighing for her). It was a very busy few moments, blockingthe thought of leaving, offering her a sweet spot. She could let
 go of a thought and feel good and then “zoom” she was gone
again, and we started all over with helping her.Pretty soon, the rider, who was not at all familiar with thisconcept, was able to help the mare get settled. Not much timepassed before the mare was yawning and rolling her eyes andstanding quietly. The owner got the biggest smile on her faceand said it was the first time she was able to have the marestand still in such a good way. I smiled too. I knew I hademptied out that cup a little, and maybe (just maybe) hadinspired the owner to do the same on future rides.
Kathy Davis Baker is an accomplished horsewoman and artist living in Midway, TN.She can be found at: followyourblissfarm.blogspot.com 
The Cup, cont’d.he Cup, cont’d.
The Proof is in the Pudding by: Linda Bertani
We’re a resistant bunch—the “we” being adult learners. Whocould blame us? After all, we’ve had plenty of knocks and
bumps to create a history of experiences. That history shapesour belief systems
and what are belief systems if not to beclung to with all our might?My question to you is: Where does clinging to our experiencesleave us in our horsemanship learning process?
Well, here’s where I see this come up most often at clinics:“Harry, Haaaarrrreeee .. ride my horse. C’mon,Haaaaarrreeee.” (Please note that the whining inflection is not
always coming from the student.) Somehow, Harry is persuad-
ed to work with a student’s horse. Sometimes, we are even
lucky enough for a full-fledged DEMO! Off he goes to work his magic, that Mr. Harry-fella. And to what result? We are allTHRILLED!! And, we want more, more, more!Why, why, why do we want this so much? Does it actually help?I believe there are three main reasons we students want to seeHarry work with our horses:1. We want him to see and feel what we see and feel. Some-
times, we want vindication that “Yes, this surely is a tough
problem you are dealing with. This is the first time in m
life I have seen a horse behave this way.” Other times, we
want validation that we are, in fact, seeing or feeling whatwe think we are seeing and feeling.2.
Okay, we’ve accepted that maaaaaybe our horse is really 
 just a horse and maaaaaybe we are somewhat in this mix.So, could Harry maaaaybe now help us/show us/FIX this forus?3. We are on the fence about a concept because, as I men-
tioned above, we’ve brought previous experiences with us
and we are having difficulty letting go of some belief sys-
tem even though it’s been unraveling before our eyes for
months. We have a strong desire to re-
 juice our “proof”
 jar.As learners, proof is a key to our progress. To alter the thinkingof the adult learner
and, thus, belief system
and then becompelled to modify our behaviors to change the outcome --we need PROOF that the method is valid. Very often, it seems,
we need proof over and over and over again. After all, we’ve
had plenty of practice thinking a certain way. By shifting ourthinking and committing to a new belief system, based uponevidence we have been shown, comes with responsibility. Weare now responsible for
and testing the new infor-mation.
Continued page 4 

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