Friday, November 30, 2007
This week has been full of changes regarding horse management and riding methods. On Monday a new barefoot trim practitioner came to do a consult on all four horses' feet. At the end of a nearly 3-hour no-charge consultation, I had four horses in the front field encircling him, completely absorbed in his presence.
As a result of his visit, I'm feeling good about a number of things I already have in place that lead to good hoof health. I'll be cutting back on processed feed - slow but steady until we cut it out entirely. Keil Bay is getting hoof boots to wear on his front feet while under saddle so that he can get the comfort he needs to land heel first. I have a new remedy for thrush/yeast. And finally, I'll be learning to trim their hooves myself!
It was cool and misty and foggy on Monday morning but it felt like we'd found the light in an area of horse management that's been very murky for me.
I've also been working on the issue of lightness with the driving aids. We've struggled with the instruction to "smack him harder" - him being the pony. It's gotten to the point I feel like screaming when I hear that phrase. We're ditching the whips to work with Marlis Amato on what she calls effortless cooperation. A touch of the leg to the horse's side is all it takes. The first session is scheduled for, appropriately, the afternoon of winter solstice.
All this is coming to pass this week as I ready to begin work on the YA "magical pony" novel I've been simmering for several years. I'm seeking light in that area as well. A title for this story whose action begins on the eve of winter solstice.
In a way, I'll be writing toward the light that winter solstice brings.
Here's to a light-filled December.