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Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Post For Equine Progam Managers Only--The Sun Is Not Really Burning Out



Hurts more than the kids realize, more than you can realize when you are 12 years old. When I get home on Saturday I am often in significant pain. When I come in after a heavy Sunday afternoon I am always in significant pain. Yesterday came the added bonus of realizing that I seem to have mildly fractured my thumb during the latter part of the week. I am coming to grips with the fact that we have so many new participants that many of them will become good riders before I can be counted on to remember their names. Spent so much time teaching and working things out that I only rode about seven miles yesterday.

Bottom line--went to bed beaten down and absolutely worn out. Slept until nearly 4:00 this morning and came in to begin the morning's correspondence on the computer.

First thing that I see is a simply worded, powerful note from a program participant letting me know the impact that the program, and yesterday in particular, has had on her.

Made my thumb feel better--feels good enough to type this post!

If you are an equine professional and your program is not giving you the satisfaction that you hoped for,---- or if you have been thinking about developing a program-----go to the Mill Swamp Indian Horses group face book page--scroll through and look at what goes on at the horse lot (not the business page, the group page).

What we do is not magic, but the results that we get are.

And what we do is not hard to replicate. And what we do can be done anywhere there are horses and people. And what we do should be going on all over the country.

And if you put a program like this together it will leave you absolutely worn out.

But not burned out.

(The rider shown above was not the one who sent the the note over night, but these pictures were just to good to ignore)

1 comment:

George W said...

I see ads for college programs that bill themselves as "equine management programs." I am not really sure what that means...I am quite sure that I would enjoy taking the courses and proably would learn some interesting things.
Pretty sure I would get kicked out for picking fights over industry fuelled...umm...stuff...
You do know that much of academia...particularly in the agriculture fields are fuelled by corporate interests? I leafed through an FFA manual a few years ago..made me ill.
But, I digress..
There are no such manuals here...maybe there should be at some point...but not now. You see...this is simple, we taoe care of horses in the simplest way possible...we teach kids to take care of, train, and ride, in the gentlest, simplest way possible.
We keep horses as close to wild as domestically possible....we keep kids as close to wild as domestically possible...
If you are beginning to sense a pattern here, you are making a good start.
Adults: I know it in my bones (especially this morning..Steve is not the only one feeling creaky) that each amd every one of you has lamented the complications of life...If you don't believe me...go open all of your snail mail amd read all of it through. Now, how much of that you just read is absolute garbage? How much of it is some nimrod in a suit with a cheap particle board desk trying to to sponge a buck off you without really adding anything meaningful to your life? Most of it, I imagine.
The point is...keep this stuff simple. Not easy...it is never easy...but simple. Overload a kid with a long list of chores to do (most of which are unnecessary busywork which ultimately teaches a kid to be a mindless little conformist who unquestioningly does what he or she is told) before they go get on a horse....ditto afterwards. "Well the stalls have to be mucked." Not the kid's problem. It is YOUR problem...and one which causes your horses many, many problems over the years. Horse does not need stalls...and the only reason a kid needs a mucking fork is to clean out the back of the horse trailer when you take him, and that superfast "cute little pony" (who does not live in a stall) out to some race so he can smoke check bigger,more expensive horses who live in stalls and wear blankets.

When that youngun does so, you will appreciate the profit...because you get to walk around grinning ear to ear for a week...or a month.
The horse trailer need not he pretty either...just safe.
That child will, in a sense, become your child...there is no escaping that in this simple, easy horse world...that child will trust you, because you don't overload them with things unnecessary...believe me...kids have BS detectors par excellence. They respond to simplicity...it helps them to grow.

The payback is humanity...our ultimate birthright...after all...what is more human than a child on a fast pony with a silly grin on her face, eyes all lit up and breathless from bombing down a trail, full tilt boogie.
The payback...for the child...is being independent minded...strong enough to feel their fears, and go on ahead, and the memories of a brand of childhood lost to politicians, narrow minded, controlling bureauRats (not a typo)and hover parents who can be quite suffocating.

Programs like this are the foundation blocks of the future of humankind. Because a bubble test will never prepare that child to live..no matter how many times they take one.

There is only one test....falling off...and getting right back on.
-Lloyd