I didn’t know what picture I could use to describe ‘the glowing’ but the feature photo is of Monty Gwynne and Alexandra Kurland with Monty’s beautiful horse ‘Icky’. Here is a horse that thoroughly enjoys what he is doing. He obviously feels great and is enthusiastic for more!! Here is a link to a post on my time at Monty’s.
Now, how can I describe this…. As I watched Alexandra with Sebastian, I saw a change. It was like the horse changed from the inside! Alex was working on balance – on dressage steps – shoulder in. It looked like she was doing nothing – but a lot was going on.
I saw a moment where Sebastian ‘felt’ his body – felt an easier way to move his body. With that, tension was released. Of course it is like describing a Feldenkrais session! I saw a change within the coat, the muscles – and the eyes. It was fascinating!
I was fortunate to have a night with with Alex at Caeli’s house after the clinic. Alex showed me video footage she took of Sebastian – which showed this ‘glowing’ – and I was so excited to see the changes. This is when I first realised that there was so much more going on than ‘just clicker training’.
There were little miracles happening!!
I could have watched it all night – but Alex had an early flight in the morning – and I had one a few hours later…..
Caeli had been so welcoming – she took me for a drive around her area – Silicon Valley. I could hardly believe I was there. I had so often heard about it – if you want to read more – here is a link.
I had time to reflect on the previous few days. So…. this is what Alex’s clicker clinics are like!!! I had never been to a horse clinic like that. I tried to put my finger on what was different. I’ve been to some very enjoyable horse clinics …but…… and once again I’m sitting here trying to find the right words!!!
That’s it! The care!!!! Oh the care that is taken!!!! Each horse comes to the clinic as an individual. Information is gathered about each horse. Time is taken to observe – and then in the next session Alex – along with input from the group – decides where to start with the particular horse.
That’s what it was I first noticed!!!
At most clinics – there is a ‘do this with your horse’. All horses are meant to do it. Then ‘do that’. People are usually struggling – horses are confused and it often ends in tears…. There is pressure to perform – for both horse and human.
In Alex’s clinics there is a wonderful quiet observation. ‘Where are the ‘holes’ in the training? What does this horse need? How can we best help this horse in the time we have available?’
Yes!!! That’s what it was – such a deep respect and empathy for the horse – as well as the human with the horse! Time was taken with each horse – there was no pressure or “make ’em do it” attitude.
It was so refreshing – it just kept confirming what I had found on the Five Go To Sea cruise.
I had found ‘my people’.
COMING UP – HORSE ADVENTURES IN ARKANSAS
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