RicelandMeadows


Another Training Day
January 21, 2019, 11:35 am
Filed under: January 2019 | Tags: , ,

abbyright

January 21, 2019

Abby, shown above on the right hand side, continues her training. She continues to do well. There is no doubt that she will be working in the maple sugar woods in a few weeks. This will also have her ready for spring plowing soon. Today, all of us are tucked in where it’s warm. The temperature is hovering below 10F with a brisk wind. All of us will eat a little more and wait for better weather to be outside.

Abby learns quickly. I think it is because she learns from the other horses. She seems to know to just do what they do and “go with it”. When the load gets a bit tough to pull, she leans into her collar more, pulling harder. When some unexpected object scares her, she watches it, but doesn’t shy away from it. She takes her cues from her teammates. They have both seen many things and are confident that as long as I am near, everything will be alright, scary or not.

The winter has finally arrived. We have snow piled up all around the farm driveways. The ground is covered a foot deep with snow. The landscape is beautiful. The white snow covers every unsightly thing… even our constant mud. Shop work and training fill our days, but soon it will be maple syrup time.



Because I Said So…
May 2, 2017, 10:09 pm
Filed under: May 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

abbybridal

May 2, 2017

Those four words still make my hackles stand up! I absolutely hate to hear those words. As a strong willed child, I did hear those words from my mother, quite often. I would try to reason with her, but once she said, “because I said so.”, that was it. There would be no more conversation of any kind. Unless of course I wanted to bring the house down upon myself!

As a parent, years later, I tried not to say those words. I realized that shutting down conversation is never good. I tried to listen to my children’s point of view. I didn’t reason with them very often, but I did try to take the time to explain my decision. If their persistence continued, then I would resort to “the look”. That “look” would also end conversation once I had gotten exasperated.

The difference between my mother’s approach and mine, was that I would revisit the conversation again once we were in neutral territory. I don’t mean to imply that I am a saint. I just wanted to give the other person, even if it was a child, the opportunity to share their opinion. I have been swayed by other’s logic and experiences more than once, by cooling off and listening….even the logic of a child.

Training children, is good experience for training young horses. The young horse has spirit, feelings and heart. They learn by repetition. I also think that kindness goes a long way. Make no mistake, I am in charge and we will do it my way, but I will allow a certain amount of playfulness. I want to train the youngster, not break its spirit. I will sometimes move to neutral territory to continue a lesson. I will look to see if something is out of order, like a sore spot or annoying harness part causing the distraction. I will check for flies, strange objects in view or new noises. I will not force my will at all costs.

I say again, I am the boss. We will do it my way, but I want to lead in such a way as to make the youngster want to please me. When they think its their idea that helps a lot. When they come to know that it is “our” idea, that is where teamwork begins. I could force my will. I could beat or threaten to beat my ideas into them…but that would only serve to make them hate me and it would only make me tired….that would be total failure!

Today’s “take away” is to lead by example. Take time to listen. Look for clues in other’s logic and experiences. Remember, there is more than one way to reach an objective. By softening your stance, you can still be in charge. You will foster teamwork, team building, respect and perhaps even love. So…lighten up! …. because I said so….