Monday, December 26, 2016
Pam is at again--taking a vague idea or principle that I have and turning it into an action plan. I take the greatest of pleasure in showing kids that they can do more than they think that they can and that work produces results.
As discussed in a previous post, I encourage young riders to develop analytical skills and I listen closely to their ideas concerning the development and improvement of our program. Even if the idea is not practical the mere fact that the kid is thinking about such thing is tremendously important. The main way that I encourage such thought is to respectfully listen to the idea or plan before commenting on it.
In addition when I am asked by whiny kids to do something for them that they are entirely capable of doing, I simply tell them to "go figure it out." This is quite a shock for many kids who are used to having adults at their beck and call but invariably it leads to the child achieving another accomplishment, which no matter how small, leads to the confidence necessary to take on bigger challenges.
And here is Pam's idea. (Which came along about the same time as Jackie made a great suggestion to me). We now have colonial pigs, goats, and a few chickens to provide historical context for our Colonial Spanish horses. Understanding the historical context of these horses is vitally important to our efforts to preserve and promote them.That is why our costumed living history programs matter. That is why Jackie's heirloom garden is so important.
People are shocked to learn that there are wild Spanish mustangs on the east coast. They are even more shocked to learn that it is possible that the two wild herds at Shackleford and Corolla are the only herd of wild horses left who are not inter bred with modern horses. They are completely ignorant of the fact that in the early colonial years the small Spanish horses were the only horses in the southeast.
Then as they look over our replica 1650's era farm site and think about the fact that if their ancestors came to America south of the James River, and then south around the Atlantic coast, all along the Gulf coast or in any part of America west of the Mississippi these were the horses they rode. They are not just part of our history. They are part of our family and that is the main reason that we cannot allow them to go extinct.
We are making radical improvements in the infrastructure that supports this educational message. I want to enhance that presentation by adding additional livestock. I want either Arkansas Piney Woods cattle or Florida Cracker cattle.
Pam suggested that we create a committee of some of our younger teen riders and have them do the research as to cattle availability, price, transportation cost, and deveopment of a fundraiser to cover the cost of getting the cattle here.
That is a wonderful idea. I have kids that can do it.
Jackie suggested turning over the work of maintaining the heirloom garden to the kids under her direction.I love that idea also. Although she is not a child, but is a bright young lady, I have turned over the management of the Spanish goat program to my daughter Ashley Edwards. Sometime entire families are taking on big projects. The Lindquist family is working on developing a black soldier fly development program. In 2018 I want someone to turn our compost/worm farming/vermiculture efforts into a venture that not only manages waste but leads to income for the program. That will be a great job for a committed young person to take on.
In related news, Comet is getting some age on him and, to my tremendous surprise, he is gradually, graciously deferring to Peter Maxwell as that young horse seeks to replace Comet as the Emperor of his herd.
I am getting a little age on me and am looking forward to gradually, graciously turning over my empire of dirt to some of the spectacular young people that my horse lot helped raise.
Posted by Steve Edwards