Journey's End Lessons & Training
|Posted on April 4, 2015 at 9:15 AM|
Jimmy, equine companion to Katie, is now living at our facility. He's been Justin Timberlake-ing around and stirring up all kinds of shameless behavior in the Ladies (Vixen, I'm looking at you). Jimmy is very pleased with himself, and with good reason, as he's nearing the end of 30 days of intense training. It is of vital importance that horse and rider speak the same language, thus his intensive schooling, but it is equally important that horse and stable attendant speak a common language.
Jimmy was misunderstood, and labelled "Bad" by stable attendants and others who did not understand what he was attempting to communicate. He is, in reality, a very sweet, intelligent, capable, and eager horse who wants nothing more than to please Katie, and all of his human and horse friends. The training in which he is now participating is no different from the sort of instruction a human would undergo in order to master a new language. A native English speaker would be wrong to label a native French speaker "Bad" because he couldn't communicate in English. The same is true of Jimmy, and many other horses, who are fluent in the language of their former disciplines, but unaware of the subtleties of their new discipline's language. Jimmy is now "Speaking" the language of Classical English Riding Theory with great alacrity, and if yesterday's ride is any indication of his future performance, he will be graduating from Stanford with a degree in Communications very soon. He is happy, relaxed, and comfortable in an environment wherein his idosyncrasies are interpreted correctly, and are respected as part of his unique personality.
One of the things which I think everyone can work on immediately, riders and caregivers alike, is to make every attempt to ascertain the underlying reasons for a horse's behavior before making any judgement as to his temperament. Often a few extra hours spent patiently teaching a horse exactly what he is expected to do, in kind language (verbal or non-verbal), and with clear commands, will make an enormous difference in the horse's attitude.
Jimmy, with his movie-star looks and his winning nature, has a lifetime of joyful activity ahead of him thanks to Katie's patience, and Jenny's expert training.