People ask me all of the time how I got into natural horsemanship- and I always tell them at the beginning of any of my clinics…
11 years ago I had no idea what natural horsemanship was- Seriously- no clue.
I was eventing at the Preliminary/Intermediate level on my Thoroughbred George, and we either did really well or really badly. We did really well if I didn’t get mad at him, or really bad if I did. I know that sounds awful, but that is the way that it was.
So one Sunday, I was in my house waiting to set out for my jumping lesson. All of the sudden I heard this horrible wind and a thunder of hooves. I looked outside, saw my horse George quivering in the corner of his paddock. His run in shed had disappeared- I presumed he had been standing under it a few minutes before.
In Texas- where I lived at the time- we have these little thangs (that is how we say things in Texas) called Dust Devils. They are little tornadoes. They move thangs like horses’ run in shelters and then go away. They deposit these thangs in people’s driveways and that- they are very naughty- kind of like the trolls of tornadoes.
Anyway, that is what had happened. So I had a scared horse and no shelter. As far as I was concerned at the time- NO PROBLEM! He will calm down eventually, and I can hunt for my shelter and put it back up. This was before I had a two year old son and was crunched for time.
I proceeded to go and get my horse and lead him to the horse trailer which- just to let you know- he never really liked in the first place.
As he exited the gate, he saw the horse trailer and stopped. He planted his feet. He was not going ANYWHERE.
After 30 minutes of attempting to drag my 900 lb horse to the trailer, I realized that this was just not going to work. Even with a chain around his nose. As it always happens in this situations, around 30 people just appeared and tried to shove my horse in the trailer.
He was not having it. After another hour of 30 predators trying to chase him in, George finally started rearing and really fighting. I called it quits, sent everyone home, and realized my fate- I would be living here for the rest of my life, never go to another show again- and that was just the way it was.
Over the next week, I persisted. Bribery didn’t work. I would put a bit of hay and sweet feed just at the near edge of the trailer, and he would sneak a bite and run back. He knew what I was up to.
Finally, one of my neighbors- that lived at the “Parelli barn” got my attention. Where I was training and boarding at the time was a very traditional facility. We rode around in the dressage arena and held our horses in a death grip and then jumped them wildly around the jump field. We had to time our rides to when our neighbors were not bouncing a big green ball around their horse, walking across a flapping tarp or, better yet, going through a “car wash.” We had no idea that they actually rode their horses- all we ever saw them do was play with them with all this crazy stuff.
So when the gal from next door idled along the “Berlin Wall” next to me and slipped me a scrap of paper under the fence, I was slightly suspicious. “Psss…” she said…”I know someone that can help you!”
I was game for anything, and frankly, desperate.
I nonchalantly- yet quickly- walked over to her, and took the slip of paper.
“Who is this lady?” “She helps us with our horses, and I think that she can help you!”
As I said, I was desperate, so I took the piece of paper and quickly marched back to my house and called the number.
Someone answered, “No, she is not in…she was in the hospital…”
I wondered why she was in the hospital- maybe she was a trainer that got hurt? “No….she is a nurse…”
OH? I thought, was she going to drug my horse…no problem (remember, I was desperate!)
“No…she is a Parelli student, and willing to help!” Parelli…hmmm… I thought- tires? Oh! I remember now- that is who the lady that owns the farm calls the Anti-Christ, and she has his book!
Again, I was desperate, and made an appointment. She showed up the next Sunday.
I found one of the orange sticks and rope halters from one of the boarders at the barn (this was contraband- they were not supposed to have those sort of things at our barn!) and I provided it to the nurse/trainer/Parelli student.
Within 15 minutes, my horse was standing quietly in the trailer. Needless to say, I was speechless.
I knew I needed one of those sticks.“It’s actually not about the stick, “ said the nurse. How often would I hear that in my future?
So that is how is started. More later.
RECIPES ON THE ROAD
Here is my first installment of RECIPES ON THE ROAD
While I am traveling, sometimes I don’t get to a grocery store for a while because:
A.There isn’t one
B. I am to busy
C. I have a 2 year old-refer to b
So consequently, I have to dig around in the fridge and find something. A few weeks ago, I dug around and found the following ingredients:
Directions: Sautee the chopped white onion in butter and olive oil. Have the linquine cooking separately. When the pasta is ready, drain, and put aside. When the onion is starting to look good- kind of glassy- throw in the garlic- not for long, you don’t want it to burn. Then put in the heavy cream- when it starts to bubble, add the parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the cooked pasta and toss. Taste and add whatever. My husband loves this dish, my hips hate it but it still taste good! Good on a cold night when you need some comfort food!!!!
The Hungry Horseman