As some of you may have noticed on our IG:@interPRiority : my horse Idol Worship, OTTB ( Off the track Thoroughbred), have developed a nasty phleg leg in his left hind. I had been privileged to be counted as essential services to attend to that leg through twice-daily walks and / or Arnica and hosing-down treatments during RSA’s Strict Lockdown Period early 2020.
We’ve had our ups and downs, with remarkable progress getting the inflammation down – only to have it flared up the next day with no reasonable explanation… With the particular dedication and self-discipline exercised, I was able to proactively take charge of my day to gets-to-the-doin’ of everything planned. During Lockdown from April to May, having this responsibility kept me going.
What helped, was a lovely 1h session through Zoom with our ST Gauteng Buddy group. Actively sharing thoughts and odd experiences during this time on how everyone had been coping differently- had been beautiful. Yet, short lived.
Privileged to live close to Idol, our daily visits hadn’t been of much effort on my part – except for some cycling(and carrying the bike over the gate to-and-fro.). The progress we had achieved from our daily walks had actually influenced his top line and overall flexibility in the neck, chest, body and poll. Not to mention the connection we’ve achieved towards our communications through both body language and voice, together with effective uses of tools ( the cavesson.) It’s remarkable to reflect back on our journey.
Yes, I’ve been working on our LFS with each interaction, with each exercise in moderation depending on numerous factors ( time,weather, stiffness, etc.). It had been strange to observe how Idol turned from reluctant complacency – towards being a curious over-performer when we do our exercises. From being completely imbalanced throwing his body around all jiggly when attempting to bend and walk on the right rein, we achieved him carrying his centre of mass more between all four his legs. Working slowly on an effective posture from standstill, to walk, back to standstill again. Working our way around the yard.
It astounds me, that it’s been almost two years since Idol’s headshaking started. We’ve tried N1 Technique (Breathing to calm the nerves and manage anxiety), we had a horse behaviorist out, we invested in a Monty Roberts Dually Blue halter, and exercised Anthony Roberts training videos. We had the chiro out as well as the Physio; and even had his teeth checked two weeks prior to the headshaking starting…
Since November 2019, we’ve experienced NO headshaking. And nothing since. No matter the time of day I go to see him. I thank the guidance and shared frameworks from Straightness Training curated by Marijke de Jong. Direct reference to her Module 8. Once you know what to do, and which questions to ask. It’s your responsibility to define how you’ll implement it and change the approach accordingly. Your horse is much smarter than what you gave it credit for.
It’s since July, and I miss him. Being back actively working, had limited our time together drastically. I’ve since attending some online ST webinars for active guidance, as well as introduced Idol to Anna (one of my favourite PTA work colleagues) , and had another afternoon 3 hour long date arranged with @_lighfooted last week Tuesday. Did you know she had introduced me to ST? As Early as 2016! It had been a bit airy-fairy to me at the time, and I’ve since grown quite a bit on my own self discovery path… Never the less, she’s an amazing friend to have, because we both have interests in Architecture and Horses! She’s a brilliant thinker, making it fun sharing our thoughts and experiences hands on during our sessions, with critical observations.
Her horse, Annie, is a remarkable teacher. She had shown me what too much pressure really means. She’d shown what it means to carry your weight well especially after understanding the question you’re attempting to ask. Be clear and concise, but don’t over think it. I’m so greatful for that afternoon experience, as its value I’ll immediately implement within our own sessions going forward with Idol.
That’s it for my Horsey update, and I hope to share about our journey more frequently. There’s just so much happening right now in the world, that it’s tricky getting to everything.
Till then, have a great day.