Monday, June 05, 2006

Of Horses and Humans

What a weekend! We did a two day horse clinic up in Hampshire and one of the horses was a fierce biting horse. As usual he wasn't small either. He towered over me and to say I wasn't a little apprehensive would be a complete and utter lie.

I have this approach to horsework where I've kind of worked out that the last thing you want to add to a horse with a problem are more problems, so I always go in with the aim of showing the horse I am there to make things better, not worse. Anyway, this guy spent the first half hour trying to chew me up but every time he gave it a break I just stood there quietly to see if I could get him to decide he preferreed doing that to all the hassle of biting. Amazingly he eventually started to come through with a bit of peace which we managed to build on over the two days. He wasn't cured but we were starting to get a bit of work done by Sunday afternoon. Everybody could see that he might be ok which was really what the owner needed to know.

Sometimes it is easy to start thinking that the problems are there forever, so it is quite an important part of the whole deal when you can start to see some improvement. I think the owner went away feeling a bit more hopeful.

As much fun as the clinic was we were a bit sore to miss seeing Sezer getting chucked out of the BB house on Friday evening. Boy did that guy play it all wrong there. He so didn't need to say and do all that stuff that ended up getting him 91.6% of the vote , the most hated housemate of all time. Actually I didn't think he was by any means the worst of the bunch - I just think he didn't know that sometimes even though you can see things aren't right, often the best thing is just to shut the old gob up and walk away. I'm not sure all this 'let's get it out in the open' stuff is always the best way to go really. It's surprising how things will disappear if you just leave them alone instead of feeding them with even more crap. See the link with the horses here - I didn't mean it to happen but it's the same thing isn't it. Sometimes we just don't seem to know when to pull out of the deal and shut up shop.

Anyway, I caught last night's episode on repeat this morning and even more fascinating relationships are developing. The Scottish tranny is really stirring things up by walking in on the girls in the loo. She's quite a tragic figure really, saying how she dreams of being pregnant and really would like to have a baby. Then in comes Nicki who doesn't seem to quite know where trannies fit into things at all and starts to go on about how she will only ever be able to have a gay partner. I'm still trying to work out how she's working that out.

Then we had the champagne dinner party with the beatiful Imogen and the really tricky Richard. He's not quite clever enough to outwit her, but he may be right about her being boring. I reckon her sweet smile will compensate for that though. Ah, the intrigue of it all, roll on tonight for the next update.


  1. Yay! Tom is back! Tom is back!

  2. the first couple of weeks have put me right off BB, which is a shame as i am generally a pathetic, unashamed BB addict. like you say, can't be doing with the snobbery of not liking it, but this year they're all so objectionable.

    oh, and i'm blogging again, so shall we swap links?

  3. I start to see your interest in BB now, Tom. We are, after all, just herd animals, just like them hosses.

    However, I'm a bit more choosy than most about whose fleas I pick off.

  4. Tom, I forgot to mention that I linked you on my blog. I hope that's all right.

  5. Tom, Tom, Tom.... so my nice blog has put you off, has it?

    I'd hit something, if I were into hitting things. Or I'd swear, if I did that as well. Dang... I just might be too nice.

    I'm sure you could cure me!

  6. I'm scared of horses but we've got to look after three of the buggers for a month while Richard's parents are away in October. I'm dreading it already. Especially the little Shetland pony. He gives me the evil eye and is waiting for his moment, I know it!

    There are some rather provactive photos of BB's Aisleyne on the web, y'know. Well, you probably do know, but thought I'd mention it anyway. You being a BB fan and that.

  7. Tom,

    If you wrote a book about Horse Psychology I would buy it! I think the same rules would apply to us so-called human beings. And I agree with you that communication is overrated. Most of the time, the more you talk about stuff the worse it gets. Lovely post.

  8. Carmenzta, Tom has written an excellent Horse Book I hope modesty won't prevent him from telling you about it - mind you my horse is have trouble reading it but he is enjoying the beautiful illustrations!

  9. Tom has written a horse book? How cool is that?

    I was once stepped on by a horse as I was walking him to cool him down after a hard ride. It didn't hurt when it happened. I just felt a lot of pressure and then I watched in amazement as my toes began to swell up out of my shoe.

    Last summer was the last time we went riding. There was this horse that simply didn't want to be mounted or led or anything. She kept head butting me and shoving me quite rudely. My girls got a laugh out of it, but I was determined to win her over. I did eventually, but it took time.

  10. Ziggy – thanks for blurting that out. Now it looks like this blog is no more than a cheap marketing exercise for my book. No seriously, thanks for your kind comments re the book.

    Pammy – At risk to my little bunnies in the back garden, if you ever come to UK I’ll saddle up a couple of horses and we can ride off into the sunset. I fucking hope my missus doesn’t see this – I’ll be dead meat.

    Krusty and Surly – come on guys, get back into it and then we can have long discussions about what a bitch Grace is. It is easily as good as last years and now the characters are settling in it’s starting to get really fascinating.

    Sharon – OK Shazza, the way to deal with the pony is to make clear where your personal space begins and ends. If you consistently let him know this, by say stamping your foot or slapping your side, whenever he encroaches, then he will soon take it on board. He really wants to know this for his own security and happiness.
    I’m not sure about Aisleen – at first I thought she was quite smart (in the brain dep’t obviously) but now I’m thinking maybe she is a bit of a barby doll.

    Carmy – if you type ‘Be With Your Horse’ into Amazon you will get my book up. Let me know what you think.

  11. Carmentza.
    His other book is so much better.
    Although I have only read one of them.

  12. Anonymous6/6/06 12:50

    Looked up your book Tom - great reviews - I liked 'profoundly simple yet simply profound'. Sounds like a fantastic, thoughtful approach to horsemanship. If only......

  13. sorry sorry sorry! - did I get it wrong again? I thought that's what you said say - you will still send the cheque won't you?

  14. Tom, how many horses do you have? And riding off into the sunset sounds like fun. Tell your missus that I'm just a harmless odd nut from the states that needs to be placated. I'm sure she'll understand.

  15. Tom, how cool is that? I looked it up and am going to buy a copy from Amazon! Now I just need to obtain a horse.

    Thank you, Ziggi.

  16. What's the link on Amazon for the book? I'd love to look at it as well.

  17. Pammy:

    It's here:

  18. Please show us the pictures of jodhpurs now. Please.

  19. Cherry R - Simply profound yet profoundly simple. I didn't know whether to feel good or be sick when I read that. You never answered my comment on your blog - did you see it?

    Ziggi - the cheque is in the post, thanks.

    Cherrypie - I don't wear jods, so calm down. Anyway jods only look good on girls - it's a shape thing.

  20. Anonymous8/6/06 10:56

    oops sorry In reply, yes, and of course the charge is reasonable for a personal service. What do you have in mind?

  21. Bloody Blogger's been buggering about - I've got a lot of catching up to do.

    For example, I now think only Clint Eastwood could be cast in your part. John Inman just wouldn't capture your essence.

    vqnkx - a stealthy compliment from the editor of Kaliyuga Kronicles

  22. Tom, I'm thinking of purchasing your book. The picture on the front of it alone is so gorgeous.

    I'm also thinking of enrolling my daughter in a theraputic horseback riding place to see how it might help her. Have you ever had any dealings with disabled children riding for therapy?

  23. Cherrypie - I think that comment was meant for Vicus, who I agree is very much a man in the Clint Eastwood mould, both in character and physique.

    CherryR - I know exactly what I want but I'm not sure I can describe it here. I want a couple of waistcoats, but ones that button right up the front to the neck, sort of like the shape of a guernsey sweater but with buttons and no sleeves. Cherry, email me from my website and if you are ok with that and we can arrange it from there.

    Pammy - This weekend I was working a little with a 7 year old boy with Downs syndrome. I have never specifically done this kind of work but now and again I come across it.
    The reason it is good is because horses don't pass judgement and kids/people in general can feel that, so they tend to completely relax and open up. No matter how hard people try we cannot offer that service ourselves because we always have some ideas going on about everything and everyone we are involved in.
    I once worked with a really troubled lad about 20 years old, who had rarely spoken to anyone about his life and definitely was not into showing his feelings so to speak. At the end of the four days he was totally admitting that he loved his horse and he was asking if he could just be with him. He was also talking away to me like there was no tomorrow.
    I later heard that he was back in jail a few weeks later, so some may say it's a load of hot air. I don't think so because anything that helps people feel their heart has got to be good (risky generalisation here)

  24. Anonymous9/6/06 12:08

    Check the place out Pammy - I have done a lot of 'therapeutic riding' work, and while the horses always give of their best, the human helpers can sometimes disappoint. When its good it very very good......

  25. although I am no expert at all (hence the need for Tom's brilliant book) I have found that my children and my horse have the BEST relationship - both seem to respect each other with some natural affinity and respect, and both give of themselves without thought or adult pre-judgements. Horse therapy has been found to be of benefit not only with disabled children and adults but those suffering with depression. As Tom so elequently says in his book, horses live in the "now" - this is something we could all learn from and try to apply to our lives - read his book and bugger tomorrow!

  26. Blimey. You go away for a week and all this happens.

    Have just typed 'Be With Your Horse' into Amazon and it's all true.

    And there was me thinking Tom was just some superannuated hippy living on an independent income. I'd upbraid you for telling porkies if I wasn't so impressed.

    I'd buy the book too, if I knew the first thing about horses...

    I thought Sam was very hard done by in the end, by the way. Nikki's a spiteful cow, Imogen's a dimwitted gossip, and Grace is the Big Brother antichrist. I hate it when they get booed, but I might make an exception for that one...

  27. Yes yes yes, Sam is oot and another is in!! Its all so exciting in the Big Bro house that I can barely contain myself!!