Sunday, July 30, 2006

Working on a Sunday

After the runaway success of my last post I feel OK about putting up a post about horses. I know I will take a severe drop in popularity but I hope someone somewhere enjoys it.

Sunday morning and I’ve got work to do. For the last five days we have been working with our friend Jo and her horse Trevor. Today is the last session so here’s hoping it all goes well.
The thing that goes on with Jo and Trevor is that when they come across exciting situations Trevor loses the plot and Jo gets really nervous about it. The way we work with this is to try to get the rider and horse more together as a team, so that the horse starts to look for his safety from the rider rather than thinking he has to take care of himself. Of course this also means that the rider has to offer the horse this safety too – if she is a bundle of nerves and freaking out all over the place then the horse won’t take much comfort from that.
The job has been going well. Yesterday Jo really started to get to the point where she was there for her horse, and Trevor began to realise that he did not need to be on ‘red alert’ whenever he didn’t feel safe. I’ve taken some photos to show you the difference between the two situations.

Here is Trevor completely ignoring Jo. His neck is all braced up, he is leaning on the bit and he is basically 'out there'!

Here is Trevor standing softly within himself, volunteering not to pull on the bit and happy to relax on a loose rein.

Here is Trevor going in walk with the same soft feeling, on a loose rein and listening to Jo's every word.

Once we have started to get this way of being established in the horse’s mind in a smallish safe place we then move out into a bigger space and show him that it works out there too. The trick is that the horse loves this feeling and if you offer it to him he chooses to take it – it’s often not as big a job as you would think it could be. Then we just keep going until we get out there into the big wide world and the horse is still feeling good.
OK, you’ve rumbled me – this post isn’t just about horses – this is the way I deal with the world too? That’s why I like working with horses because the work we do with them reminds me of how I try to run my life too. If I feel good and safe within myself I can cope with most things, if I feel a bit crap and 'out there', then everything begins to get to me.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Good Things from the USA

In order to redress the balance in my own mind, and to help me remember that the world is in perfect balance, here is a short list of good things to come out of the USA.

The Captain
Frank Zappa
Janis Joplin
Jimi Hendrix
Joan Rivers
The Simpsons
Mark Rashid
Tom Dorrance
My horse's ancestors
Bob Dylan
Ken Kesey
Gerry Garcia
Timothy Leary
John McEnroe
Allen Ginsberg
Jack Kerouac
Grace Slick
Muhamed Ali
Oliver Stone
Clint Eastwood movies
Lee van Cleef
City Slickers
When Harry met Sally
Sleepless in Seattle

And then of course my cyber buddies, Fronty, Carmentza, Annaroma, and Superbabe Hot Pammy.
So there you go - it's not all bad.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Sunday Morning Sermon

I may have already mentioned that I come from a family steeped in religious history. Among my recent ancestors I can claim two parsons and a nun, and my Dad trained to be a priest but bailed out before signing up. Most of my Dad's more recent side of the family have spent lifetimes wandering between the church of Rome and the Anglican faith - I spent my early childhood going to Catholic church every sunday, and I spent one year in a Catholic school run by nuns.
At the end of this one year, when I was ten, my mother threw in the towel with Catholicism and took us to live about thirty miles from my Dad; I never went to church on a Sunday again. Three years later my Dad threw in the towel on Rome himself and signed up with the C of E. Thirty-six years after they split up my Mum and Dad got back together and ten years later they are still ok. My Dad still religiously attends church and my Mum now hangs out a bit with the Quakers.
I detest religion of all kinds - maybe that's a bit strong, but I am definitely not a fan. I can see that it does help some people to get through life, but what I don't like about it is that it is dogma. A load of theory and rules made up by humans to give them some kind of framework to hang their lives on. I'm not even going to go into the heaven and hell, laws of karma, reincarnation, eternal life with virgins (never mind fucking limbo) speculative bollocks - how much chaos has all this rubbish caused throughout our history.
But I'm pretty convinced this awesome creation is not just some accident of nature, and even if it is I do acknowledge the divine experience (possibly slightly too much acid there, do I hear you say). Go there and you won't need a load of religious bollocks to help you through your life. From there everything good comes.
Well it is fucking Sunday isn't it!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sleepless on Dartmoor

I usually sleep pretty well but what with Pammy running off with Krusty I'm in a bit of turmoil at the moment. Anyway I came downstairs, made a cup of tea and tuned in to Radio Devon and blow me they were doing a phone in about hairy ears. Well, as you know this is one subject I am qualified to talk about, so I got on the line and had quite a discussion about the pros and cons of the whole situation. I suppose I was talking for maybe five minutes - we covered a fair bit of ground. The main two points I wanted to make were the obvious advantages up here on the moor re. the weather conditions, and secondly how surprised I am at the number of ladies who find ear hair a turn-on.

Anyway, I thought no more of it really and I was just about go back to bed when there was a knock on the door. It was only Meg Ryan who had been driving nearby and just happened to have heard me talking on the radio. Of course I asked her in and she started to explain that when she heard my voice she realised that I was the only one for her and as she was in the area she decided to look me up.

Straightaway I sensed danger on many levels. I mean, she's done this before so how could I know that she was serious. Also I know she can be hell of a noisy when she gets cranked up and what with the missus upstairs asleep I needed to be careful here. We talked for a while and she was just as sweet as she is on the telly. But she could see my dilemma. Could I just throw away 25 years of marriage because she liked the sound of my voice. We had a little hug and she drove off and I went back to bed. I can hardly believe that happened - I mean what are the chances, eh, eh, eh.....