Turn it down!
Learning to communicate with horses is a completely new language to me. Like learning to play a new instrument; even reading the music is hard, to start with, never mind concentrating on tempo and expression! Every time I am at Pippsway I learn so much and bringing it all together is very like learning to play an instrument or drive a car for the first time. It takes every single fibre of my being concentrating on what I am doing and even then it is a clumsy fumble of an attempt! Getting it right is also so much more important as I am engaging with a sentient being! Not a ‘thing’...
There are these moments though. These glimpses of what is possible. What can be achieved when it all does come together and those moments have already been beyond my wildest expectation. I have faith that with persistence and practise that as with my piano, classical guitar and driving, I will be able to bring it all together effortlessly in future. What seems such a struggle now will become the norm. Like exercising a new muscle, I tire easily at the moment physically and mentally and yet with persistence strength will come.
In the meantime I will have experiences like I did today…..I went into Spartaca’s stable to scoop the poop and forgot that because she has been bred by Pip and has only ever known Pippsway of horsemanship that I was doing the energetic equivalent of shouting ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!!!!!!’ over and over again. What was worse I hadn’t actually given her any idea of where she was meant to go! Thankfully Pip was watching all this unfold and told me to stop and think about what I was doing. What was I asking? The moment I thought about what I actually wanted Spartaca to do she immediately walked to the spot and stood there. Suffice to say I felt rather stupid! Why was I shouting nonsense at this horse when all she needed was to be asked quietly and clearly? Now don’t get me wrong, Spartaca is so mentally and physically healthy and robust that she’s nobody's fool! She won’t just do my bidding! I have to have the volume, tempo and expession of my energy at the right volume or I will be ignored! Each horse is different but with Spartaca being decided and determined is a must, then with just a thought she will do whatever it is you ask.
Who would ever have dreamed that scooping the poop could be such an important exercise? Not me! I look back on what I thought was ‘being with horses’ with disbelief. I was on a different planet to my horse! What our horses have to learn to tolerate and ignore when we are strutting about neither hearing them or speaking to them in ways they can understand, and then getting grumpy with them when they are confused or scared, is actually pretty bloody awful. I am so pleased that I have found Pippsway of horsemanship. Pip is changing the lives of horses one human at a time!