Sunday, January 9, 2011
Direct Line Thinking & Cash's 1st trim
If you follow the Parelli program, you hear the term "direct line thinking" a lot! If not, it's probably something you never hear & certainly not something most people in the horse world think about. Interesting (to me at least) how much happens when my horses have their feet trimmed. I'm incredibly fortunate to have a farrier who not only has studied Parelli but is a very natural thinker. The previous time he was here, our rescue & foster, Cash, was still pretty wild so didn't get trimmed. He's now been here 3 months & for all appearances is the definition of gentle, loving, sweet, tolerant, etc. So it surprises me when he reacts to new things like a normal horse. Now when I say normal, I mean a horse who hasn't had tarps, umbrellas, flying plastic bags, bright orange sticks, etc. as part of his life since birth or shortly after as my Kisia & Zorra have. When my farrier approached him, shiny rasp in hand, he kindof left the planet. That little guy is lightening quick...he moved up & away from that thing before you could blink. Hmmm, I didn't think about that! It was clear we weren't getting near him with the rasp so I informed my farrier that I would work on that & he could just trim him next time. Being a natural puzzle solver he said OK & that he'll just pick out his feet. What he really did although, was a sort of dance of trust. He moved slowly around him, clearly & so quietly asking for a foot....cleaning it, but so much more! Cash keeping a close eye on him stood perfectly still & was the model of concentrated effort. He then allowed him to approach with the rasp & rasp each foot. I was mesmerized! It's hard to even say what happened. But taking it slow, starting with what he understood already (picking his feet up) & being very clear helped him to accept the rasp which obviously terrified him. Mark left me with an old rasp & Cash's cute little feet look WAY better! Patience, clarity & solving the puzzle rather than just doing what your there to do (direct line thinking!) is what horses understand! Cash pictured here yesterday getting a back scratch & letting me rub the white hairs on his nose. He almost always stands this still & has that zen-like expression on his face.