I didn't lose any weight this week. Darn. Then I've had company all weekend (my primary writing time) so I'm way behind on my pages count with 22. I will achieve my riding goal. I've ridden three times and am off to the barn this AM for my fourth. So not too bad, I guess.
It's the little things...
As I mentioned I have a guest this weekend. My long-time friend and former college roommate came to stay the weekend because she wanted to audit a Buck Brannaman clinic about 30 miles away. So instead of writing and riding I went with her.
I have mixed feelings about natural horsemanship trainers, having worked with many in the past, but I'm going to avoid that topic and save it for another post down the road. As a friend of mine often says: Beware of cowboys with websites! (Sounds like a good title for future post.)
Regardless, I've read two of Buck's books, The Faraway Horses and Believe. I thoroughly enjoyed them and would recommend them even if you're not into natural horsemanship. I have a lot of respect for the message he conveys in those books.
The auditing fee for this clinic was $25 a day, not exactly cheap, even for someone like me who's used to doing dressage and paying the outrageous fees some dressage trainers charge. The clinic in the AM was for beginners. The afternoon clinic was for advanced horses with some rope work, etc., in it.
So, here I am, sitting for six hours in a clammy cold arena, getting a sore butt, and feeling guilty because I'm not riding my horse or working on my book. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around some of his training methods because some are in direct opposition to what I've learned in 25-plus years of dressage instruction, some are exactly the same with different terminology. But hey, there are many different right ways to get results from horses. Most of his cues were invisible, and I can appreciate good horsemanship, so I found that part fascinating. Buck, himself, is charming and entertaining with his western drawl and no-nonsense advice on horsemanship, not to mention his sense of humor.
But I'm rambling, again. As all the things I should be doing are running through my mind, including writing this column, I realize that this week's topic is sitting on his horse in the arena. I start writing down Buck's quotes and cowboy wisdom. Granted, most of it is common sense and so obvious that we tend to miss it as we over-analyze things. But here are my quotes from Buck's clinic:
- Every day I hope your horse will make you a little bit better rider.
- It's the little things that get you to the big things.
- When it works, get out.
- Don't ask questions of your horse that you don't already know the answer to. Prepare.
- If you aren't willing to do the work to fix it, then live with it.
- These clinics are my laboratory. I learn something from every horse.
- If I'd only had experience with good horses, I couldn't be doing this for a living.
- Most people do just enough to be annoying to the horse, but not effective.
- A rider with presence has feel coming through them to the horse.
- If you don't ride enough then nothing you do is going to make a difference, no matter how correct it is.
Have a great week everyone and ride that horse!!!!