Silly Little Things

I was watching my girlfriend work with her new horse the other day and gave her some small hints.

She exclaimed, she never knew that or thought of that, and certainly never read it in any books.  Where did I learn that?  I really had to think about what she said.  Where did I learn some of these things?  Good question.  Answer – I don’t know.  Perhaps I read something somewhere, a long time ago, but mostly I learned a lot of these little tricks from the school of “hard knocks”.

Maybe you could think about what you do, why you do it, and where you learned it.  I bet most of the things, no one taught you, you learned the hard way.

Did you ever wonder how people found out what was poison to eat and what wasn’t.  Did someone eat a watermelon, and say it was really good when it was red, and they didn’t die, and that’s how people found out what was edible?  Or, Harry tried that thing that looked like a fruit and he’s not here for breakfast.  Guess we won’t eat that anymore.

The school of “Hard Knocks” is an intense study on how not to do things, and equally an easy study on what really works best.

How many horse people have had dislocated fingers, broken fingers, fingers that are full of arthritis.  How many of us learned not to wrap a lead line around our hands (even if we knew that), or not to allow knots in a lead line or lunge line.  Boy when a rope slides through your fingers with a knot in it, kiss you life as a concert pianist goodbye.

I watched her, unknowingly, let the end of her lunge line drag on the ground around her feet.  Now this is one thing that makes me crazy with some of these well-known trainers.  They may be aware of where their feet and rope are, but the people watching aren’t that savvy.  Getting dragged, even around a circle in a round pen, will ruin your day.  And it will scare your horse, which in turn will make him run faster.  It’s just a no win situation.  I know I’ve said all of this before, but it’s so important it needs to be repeated.

Most of the things I told her yesterday where things I’ve printed here in previous posts.  Some she may not have read, or if she did, they didn’t apply to her at that time.

I know I’ve written about holding your lead line or lunge line like an English rein, coming from your pinky, through your hand and out the top by your thumb will give you a better grip on the line.  Nobody taught me that, it was that special school I’ve been attending for close to 60 years.

She has a OTTB.  Okay he’s broke, but not to do what she intends to use him for.  So I told her to just start from scratch as though he doesn’t know anything.  It’s becoming more of a learning experience for her than him.  I can’t say it’s easier to train a horse that has already been trained, because correcting some bad habits, or getting them to unlearn some bad training is sometimes harder that teaching something from scratch to a young unbroken horse.

I can tell you one thing, this whole process will cause some interesting posts in the future.  I will remember things I didn’t know I forgot and pass them on to you.

Be patient, we learn from repetition.  We really learn when it hurts.

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