The time I have been spending with the horses lately, I am feeling more like a waitress than partner, just cleaning and feeding them, grooming a bit, and giving out candy canes as treats (they love them). About two weeks ago, I played with Whiskey on-line and he was really quiet, no energy, did what I asked but seemed bored or indifferent, he had his attention more on Fosse than me. (Just so you know, I have not even considered riding becuase we've had a lot of ice everywhere all winter. ) He even acted like walking on the crunchy snow was too difficult and maybe painful. But, when I decided to stop for his sake, I took his halter off, he blasted away at a full gallop, happy to be free, and I know, I should not think/feel this way but, I was totally destroyed, hurt feelings, felt like a failure, depressed, and gave up for the day. I went back to the house feeling horrible (perhaps one reason why I have not posted lately). Anyhow, last weekend, I went out in the turnout and had candy canes, no halter, and played at liberty with the horses, both Fosse and Whiskey at the same time. I'd ask for something but not the usual stuff, and then, give a piece of candy cane as the reward (or incentive to try more perhaps). I was really trying to work within the horses' hierarchy of needs. I would ask for something else, they'd do it, candy cane. I played for about 20 minutes and went back to the house. I started thinking about this experience and although I had feelings of happiness, I started to doubt our relationship and what had actually happened. Was I just their vending machine? Do they actually hate me? (I know, totally irrational.) I have decided that our relationship does have a void and the void is my presence. It is like I expected them to be "normal" even though I have not been. I have not been doing anything that resembles normalcy for us in a long time. It was not the candy canes, not really, it was me. They loved the candy canes, and me, but, I've been absent and they are not looking to me for leadership. Wow, a total reality check,. Now the guilt sets in!
So, the lesson in all of this is that life happens, things change but, it does not mean things cannot improve. Relationships take time, effort, and energy and it takes everyone to participate. (And, you can still give candy canes...)
In that vein, a few things are going on in the horse side of life which is good because I really need a good dose of motivation and Parelli spirit. (I cannot go to the Harrisburg Celebration becuase I am working and also have the funds allocated to farm improvements.) Anyhow, the things are: I am the new owner of Parelli-Yorkers Yahoo Group, I am reviving the North Country Parelli Play Group, and I have answered Norma's 20 questions from the Daily Parelli Blog as a way to think, plan, and move forward. (Oh, and yes, the horses had candy canes this morning. Tomorrow is slated as an all-horse day full of barn cleaning, hoof trimming, and play time--in the mud!--and more candy canes! LOL) Until next time...
Questions posted by Norma at Daily Parelli.
1. What is your Ultimate Goal with horses? This goal has changed since I was a kid playing and riding horses. Back then, I wanted to move to Arizona and work at the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Ranch http://www.al-marah.com/ . Then as I got older, an Olympic Rider or Endurance Rider seemed cool but my parents did not have the money to invest into something like that so, as I aged, just being with horses was enough. Once I discovered Parelli, I wanted to become a Parelli Professional but, my career as a Librarian and now, Academic Library Director, I realized that I could not give it up to work on a Parelli-centric career because truly that is what is means to be a Parelli Professional. I have simply too may responsibilities and a strong and stable income. I cannot make the career change; I cannot take the financial risk. So, my ultimate goal with horses as of now, is to find a complete harmony and a perfect partnership with my horses Fosse and Whiskey, to excel as far as we can, to always put my principles before my goals, to have fun, and be sure my horses are having fun too.
2. What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within ten years? In ten years, I should already be there!
3. What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within five years? I could easily go through level 4 within the next five years.
4. What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within two years? I could get through level 3 in the next 2 years.
5. What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within one year? I could complete level two in the next year and perhaps even start level 3.
6. What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within six months? Get my facilities in order and find a regular amount of time to spend with the horses like I used to.
7. What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within three months? Attend two play dates with friends for motivation.
8. What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within one month? Review the new Parelli Patterns and start employing them by setting up a time on my calendar to watch them (and other videos).
9. What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within two weeks? Find a regular amount of time to spend with the horses even if facilities are less than perfect.
10. What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within one week? Get to the gym 4 times next week (and 3-5 times per week on a regular basis).
11. What action could you take toward that goal within three days? Watch the latest Savvy Club DVD (I tried to do this when it came but they had to send me a new DVD because mine did not work properly).
12. What action could you take toward that goal tomorrow? Spend the day with the horses cleaning the barn, trimming hooves, and finding play time with no excuses even though it is muddy, wet, and cold.
13. What action could you take toward that goal today? Finding a positive thought about my horses, about our new life, and to stop dwelling on what used to be. I have set up a video meeting for Monday night. I am also reviving the NCPPG with modifications, and have taken the lead on the Parelli New-Yorkers group.
14. What action could you take toward that goal right now? I have taken action by answering these questions.
15. What information could you acquire that would improve your chances of achieving your goal? I have tons of Parelli resources, am a Savvy Club member, and have a network of fellow PNHrs to help me.
16. What’s stopping you? Time and appropriate facilities.
17. Really? Yes, I have been working 60-70 hours a week at my new position, I also have no outdoor lighting or arena/round pen spaces at this time and no indoor arena either. But, I am working on it!
18. Do you see how easy it is to make a plan? This type of planning is not new to me at all.
19. Now, here’s the toughest question of all: Once you have a plan…Are you willing to change it if you need to? And yes, I know plans need modifications.
20. Did you count to see if there were actually 20 questions? Of course I did, I could not help myself, I am detail oriented. I copied the questions in MSWord to answer them and afterwards, paste into the blog. I used auto-numbering to check the numbers and number for the blog, where I discovered that this question was the 20th question. What can I say? I am meticulous (or just plain strange)!