Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane


"The North Wind and the Sun"

The North Wind and the Sun had an argument one day. They disputed which of them was the stronger. A traveler came along the road at that time, and the Sun suggested a way to resolve the argument. Whoever was able to cause the traveler to remove his coat would be the stronger. The Wind accepted the challenge and the Sun hid himself behind a cloud. The Wind began to blow. Yet the harder he blew, the more the traveler clutched his coat about himself. The Wind sent rain, even hail. The traveler clung even more desperately to his coat. Finally, in despair, the Wind gave up. The Sun came out and began to shine in all his glory upon the traveler. Quite soon the man had removed his coat. "How did you do that?" asked the Wind. "It was easy," said the Sun, "I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way."
Aesops Fables

When I was a young gal I used to go up to a ranch outside of Livingston, on the Bridger Mountain side, and participate in a Natural Horsemanship Clinic. I was the youngest to participate, at the age of 11.

I continued to participate through High School, they had it annually, I learned a lot from the clinician, Bill Smith, and had a great time with all the people. The clinic was 4 days long and every day was FUN!

When I turned 22 or 23 I bought my little Arabian mare. Her name was Abby. I trained her from the ground up, myself and thought it would be fun to take her to the clinic up at the ranch.

I had chosen to ride Abby English, instead of Western, she was a small mare and the English saddle look nice on her and she was such a wonderful mover, I wanted to use her for Dressage (this is a French word that means "to train"). Dressage is actually a precise way of training that teaches the horse to be supple and harmonize with it's rider. I LOVE it =)



Anyway, the people that come to this clinic are Cowboys and Cowgirls mostly. Or people that like to trail ride and desire to have a better relationship with their horses. They all had big western saddles on their horses. Most of them, including the clinician gave me a hard time about my little saddle. They ribbed me for all of the 4 days. On the last day we were taken into the big outdoor arena with a big bunch of cattle. They were steer ropin cattle and didn't much like us being in there. Our assignment was to go, cut a steer out of the bunch and take it all the way to the other end of the arena, away from the group. Everyone took their turn, they rode up, cut a steer from the group and tried to chase it up the arena. Working as a team with their horse, of course. No one managed to do it.

Then it was my turn. They all ribbed me, teasing and asking if I needed to put a different saddle on, one with a horn to hang onto. They teased and told me not to fall off, and hooted and hollered at me. I took it well I must say.

Abby hadn't ever seen a steer before. I took her slowly up to the group so she could get a good look. A white steer with black spots caught her eye. She headed directly for him. He stood his ground watching us. Abby walked right up to him, nuzzled him with her nose, then started to lick him! He stood there enjoying the attention. Then I turned Abby and started walking up the arena... and that steer followed us! He followed us all the way to the other end of the arena. And all because Abby made friends =) We didn't use force or try to scare the steer. She just gently went in and made friends.

I will always remember that. Oh! We shut them right up too. No one else teased me about not having a horn to hang onto the rest of the day =) Abby made quite an impression on that group of Cowboys and Cowgirls and on the steer!

9 comments:

Linda said...

What a horse! And what a story!
I love horse stories,...and horse movies,...like Black Beauty, Flicka, etc. It always looks like so much fun to be out in the beauty of nature and riding with abandon. BUT,...even though I like the "idea" of it, I am not into horses myself.

I can appreciate the relationship that people form with their horses though, and it sounds like you and Abby had a good one.

Paula said...

I loved your story!

Lucy said...

Love it! A little gentle encouragement is all that is needed...

annie kelleher said...

what a great story! you can do a lot more with love and gentleness than force :)

Betty said...

Loved your story and the one up top! So meaningful!

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Oh...I love this! How applicable to life. My husband is a horse man and says you can learn a lot about life and people from horses. I love that you showed those cowboys and cowgirls, too! Good stuff! Thanks for sharing this memory!

Tanya said...

Great story!! Beautiful horse too. :) I'm a mama to to young girls whoa re dreaming of own their own horse someday. :)

Lynnette Kraft said...

Mindy,
You are such an neat person with such an interesting past.

From going to China to riding horses! :)

Abby was a wise horse - we could all learn a lot from her actions.

Thanks for sharing today.

Abigail Kraft said...

How cool! Sounds like a lot of fun, and Abby sounds like a very smart horse. :)

Thanks for sharing!
--Abigail