I have been back for just a bit from the Australia and New Zealand mini tour. I took a little time to recuperate over the Thanksgiving holiday and am now focusing on some upcoming winter workshops and Online classes for the winter.
As always I had the opportunity to work with some great horses and their people. Every year I bring new ideas and I enjoy seeing the people from the years before and the progress they have made. I particularly like to see the new horses and people to see what unique lessons they will bring.
I always like to recap some of the more poignant lessons and share them with you all. In the Australia clinic, there were several good ones. For the Liberty class, A draft mare was brought in who was quite shut down and detached. She was a great example over the 3 days of how we as a group and her owner helped her be more at peace with people and within herself. She wanted nothing to do with us at first and when we showed her that we respected that she came out a lot more over the days ahead. I have made a practice of asking people now to give their interpretation of what they think the horse is feeling and it is fascinating what people come up with and the variety of view points. Another great lesson, was how we are not always aware of how our energy is impacting the horses and how sometimes we don’t realize that we are stuck at one level either high or low. I kept reminding people that the agility to go from 1-10 levels of energy (1 being the thought and 10 being LOUD) is a very important practice. Equally important is the mindfulness to feel how and when your energy is impacting your horse and how they feel about it.
In New Zealand, There was a wide variety of horses which helped me illustrate the no cookie cutter approach and how the FDHorsemanship training framework is designed to be adapted to every type of horse/human pair based on their needs, emotional, physical, or both. I was particularly interested in the couple of horses that were showing “polite protest” communication that would normally go overlooked by most people. These horses’ communications were subtle and required real Horse Listening skills because these horses don’t complain loudly when they are in distress and often go introverted or shut down which can lead to ulcers and other internal stress.
I also had some young people to work with in the clinic and I LOVE this, I was able to help plant seeds for future young horseman! I particularly like the mare and foal exercise which I often do with Mothers/Fathers and their small children or non-horsey people and their horsey friends. It helps the horses understand what is safe and thoughtful behavior around little ones and not so savvy visitors that may want to come see your horses. It involves the mother/father or person shaping herd dynamics and thoughtfulness showing the horses what is and isn’t acceptable around children and non-horsey friends. Just like a mare! It is a very good way to work with the whole herd and teaching them to look after all creatures in the herd. Human, big and small and other animal family members that may need to be treated gently.
I enjoyed doing the demos and New Zealand had the best attendance yet! I couldn’t have done it without my helpers Shaunna, Bek, and Christin. If you are interested in hosting a clinic click here to contact us and also check out the Services page on the website. If you are interested in coming for an Intensive personalized life changing study contact us to find out about scheduling a visit at Ohana farm! Happy Holidays!