Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: More Right Hands Than An Octopus

Our program has grown a lot in the last four years but what I said in the old post is still true.Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: More Right Hands Than An Octopus: I never was much for saying please. I find calling someone Mr or Ms to be profoundly obsequious. If I do not know someone well enough to ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Somehow I missed this one when I read the whole blog...that, or my Oldtimer's disease is kicking in..

Talk about an appropriate soapbox.
on so many levels in this country today our children (and adults!) cannot think critically, and in many instances cannot deal with simple autonomous tasks..and that "taint nachral."
Local news story this morning about a young lady in a school in Hampton Roads who was suspended for ten days because she took a razor blade away from a classmate who was self-harming, and threw it away. The reason she was suspended was that she related this tale to school administrators, as she should have done. Read that again a time or two...take a little while to get over the shock, unless, like myself, you have become a bit cynical about such things, and are no longer shocked.
No one disputed the facts of the case..
This young lady was punished because she took a leadership role, did the responsible thing and perhaps saved the life of another human being. This is not an isolated happens everywhere.
Let's put this in terms of our Horse lot...Let's say that we follow a young person around the round pen as he or she is working a horse..and every time they perform the correct action they get smacked with a buggy whip.
That is not going to be very effective, except in ruining a horse and a young person's life.
Now this is a scenario that will never even remotely happen at Mill Swamp, as we have better sense than that. (Plus I don't want Nelson to hit me with a fence post.) It does however serve to illustrate a point..The young lady mentioned above has learned a lesson..whether anyone mentions it or acknowledges the fact...she has learned not to trust the organization which has been charged with her education, her leadership potential has been damaged in some measure, and it is entirely possible that this simple fact will harm the lives of others..she may very well be afraid to do what is right. (See also the blog post "Do that which is right.")
Now, as much as I love to crow about how Mill Swamp teaches young people to train and ride wild horses, history and primitive agriculture, animal husbandry and intermediate level fence maintenance, the one thing that is not apparent to the casual observer is that our little riders are taught leadership, citizenship, compassion, and work ethic..not through any formal training or specific set of milestones, that is simply the example, and atmosphere that exists out here among the mud and bugs. Rhetorical Question: Why is that not the prevalent condition all across our country?
I will cite a couple of examples for you. Young Hailey coaching her dad in how to tack up a horse he was about to ride, and then helping him to ride, or Miss Abigail diplomatically explaining to a visiting parent who had just commited the cardinal sin of telling her daughter to "sit up straight" on the horse that we ride slouched on our pockets because it helps absorb shock and is easier on the horse's back..(Abigail's blue eyes and dimples add very much to her considerable diplomatic skill set.) I could cite endless lists of instances where kids help each other get tacked up, or help guests, or pile in to help do what is needful, but I think the point is obvious. And when boiled down to least common denominator, is truly what sets Mill Swamp apart..One can learn and grow, lead, follow and take ownership without getting beaten up for it. We owe that to our nation's youth, and to those who are simply natural horsemanship terms, we all need to learn to control our inner predator. -Lloyd