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 my
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.
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