Some days it’s worth it to just hold up in a field with a good book, and watch the herd. Yesterday was one of those days. I usually have more of an agenda with Jean Luc, but yesterday, work had been long, my breathing was is still pathetically labored from this head cold, and motivation was lacking.
I wasn’t in love with the idea of being at the barn. In all honesty, I wasn’t in love with the idea of being anywhere but at home, in bed. Fighting off the last bit of this ridiculous summer cold has been a bear. However, the need to see my horse won out.
Like usual, I pulled in to the barn around 5:30 PM and saw the fly mask near one of the haystacks in the field. Thanks to a quick lift from my BM and her 4-wheeler, the fact that Jean Luc had tossed his new mask like yesterday’s news was really no big deal. It wasn’t even covered in mud. (What a polite young gelding.) BM then asked me where I’d like to be dropped off at.
“The herd,” I told her.
“Really? Like, in the middle of the herd,” she questioned. Clearly, I’m nuts.
“Yes. It’s been a long day. I just want to sit in the field and read a book today. I don’t have it in me to continue working.”
I could feel the judgement ooze off her. But then, after further explanation, I think I won her over. I explained I just wanted to be there. I wanted to observe the dynamics of the herd more. I simply wanted to watch and listen. As odd as the image of someone just chilling in your yard reading a book on the grass while they watch your horses may seem, BM appreciated it. After all, she does it every day from her kitchen window.
We chatted for a few more minutes before she revved the engine to see if it spooked any of the horses. They didn’t budge. Good herd.
“Have fun,” she yelled, and sped off.
I sat in that field for over an hour just watching the herd be horses. They enjoyed sniffing me, trying to figure out what I was doing there. Eventually, I decided I shouldn’t be the only one to relish in a good book, so read to them. In no time at all I was boring to everyone but a brown horse known as Oliver. He stuck around just to make sure I was not a threat (and for the apple treats. If anyone was getting an apple treat, he made sure I knew he wanted one first…sadly his patience was all for naught.)
People believe Jean Luc and I have already created some sort of “magical connection.” People are idiots. The truth is, after yesterday and a few helpful conversations today from others who have clearly gone through these struggles already, I realize just how long and winding the road truly is.
Jean Luc and I have had our moments but we still haven’t had that moment. Reality check. He is pretty, but he’s definitely still not a unicorn. Jean Luc sees me the way a fifteen-year-old views their parents – ATM machine! Only in our case – yummy food machine!
Truth is, I’ve been taking a few shortcuts with Jean Luc. Things I thought we didn’t need to do I skipped. I figured, he's over 10 years old, he knows this stuff already. I would be wrong. But that’s okay, in fact, I’m already feeling better about tonight because I was able to come will a lesson plan for us.
Positive Reinforcement Training Goals for Tonight Include:
Missy also talks about the “comfort” of the horse and uses phrases like, “They’re having a worry.” Though a little soft handed, I think these techniques may work best for Jean Luc and me. Looking at Jean Luc’s behavior as “he’s having a worry,” makes more sense to me. Instead of understanding his issues to be a result of a wimpy horse, he’s just a little scared. It’s my responsibility to show him there are no monsters in the closet or under the bed.
All in all, I’m a planner. Having a plan makes me secure. Hopefully that translates in our work time together tonight. Here’s another great video with Missy and honestly, I hope to somewhat mirror this lesson tonight. Fingers crossed. Time to #BoldlyGo.
My name is Chelsey.
Generator's Cuevo Gold, or as he's known around this barn, "Jean-Luc Ponycard", was foaled in 2004 from Generator's Hurricane & Cheyenne's Little Bit.