Monday, January 12, 2015
Saving The Sand Horses Part 7
It struck me this morning that I do not believe that I have ever used the oft spoken phrase "Uh..Uh..it's hard for me to explain..." Things have never been hard for me explain. My explanation might be incorrect but I have always found communication to be both simple and fascinating. All the way thorough college I worked at Jamestown as a costumed historical interpreter, occasionally in the fort, but generally in the Indian village. For years I used the opportunity as a laboratory, constantly observing how tourists responded to different inflections, body language, and themes. Although I am a total failure at small talk,(especially with strangers), I have always found the stage or the podium to be a comfortable place. Public speaking is much less stressful for me than discussing the weather with a stranger at a party.
Of course, my curiosity about communication caused me to drink everything that I could read about natural horsemanship as deeply as I could drink it. My handful of BLM mustangs were the first horses upon which I applied what I was learning . My success was hit or miss. It was so very different from everything that I had learned about horses through 4-H and in my experience training horses as a young teenager.
Eventually breakthroughs occurred. People started coming out to watch as I worked with the horses. Early on I learned the first important lesson of wild horse preservation. The only hope that the wild horse, or the Spanish Mustang, has lies in novices. People who always wanted a horse but never had one were fascinated with my wild horses. To my surprise, people with lifelong horse experience would watch a successful round pen session only to note that the horse lacked balance over all and that its head was too big.
These casual sessions lead to my first clinic on horse taming. That session lead to more clinics. Those clinics lead to parents asking me if I could teach their kids to ride.
And that lead to the development of our program, which now likely has the most diverse group of rare and nearly extinct strains of Colonial Spanish horses in the world.
Before I had Corollas I had little riders, at first only a handful, but a very enthusiastic handful of young kids who wanted to become horses. It was those kids who caused me to obtain our first Corolla.
But we need to talk about those early clinics before I get ahead of myself.
(The picture above is of my Corolla Red Feather, the most athletic and most violent horse with whom I have ever shared a round pen. He is still an athlete but now he is sweet---a bionic Teddy Bear.)
Posted by Steve Edwards