Weekend Coffee Share

gr (1)

Would you like some coffee? Or perhaps tea? The coffee is made, and I will have the tea kettle going in not time, if you’d rather have tea. There’s plenty of teas to choose from; black, red, green, and white ones. I’m on my second cup of coffee. It’s a dark roast, and boldly brewed. Strong, just like a like it.

How was your week? Mine was good. We’ve had strong winds here this week. Strong like trying to move my truck sideways on the freeway. My daughter and I have indulged in different school projects; such as a research project about Australia, Valentine’s Day history, rhyme words, remarkable Queens throughout history, what it takes to become a participant in the olympics, and how to research topics of interest on the internet etc. School wise, it’s been a great week!

mts4 (1)

Ghost (my horse) is doing fantastic. On the windiest days I’ve adjusted the training, taking that into consideration. I have worked with him twice a day, every day, as usual. I only work him 15-30 min at the time. If we just play it can be slightly longer. I believe in consistency, and short, creative, session. He seem to thrive on routine. A lot of people around our neck of the woods are unfortunate to have the flu, making the indoor riding arena available, more than ever before. We’ve built obstacle courses there, and played with a big yoga ball, perfect for windy days. (You can see this weeks photos, and a short video of Ghost, if you head over to Instagram.) Yesterday it wasn’t quiet as windy as the other days, and I decided to work outdoors, in the round-pen. Since I’ve only had Ghost for a little more than a month, I’ve spent a lot of time working on gaining his trust. It’s true that I have asked him to do things, but more in a getting to know you kind of way. I feel that he trusts me fairly well now, naturally I will keep working on our relationship, but I’m upping the game a little, asking him to face some of his fears. It’s only by stepping out of our comfort zone that we can truly grow. Ghost is a sensitive horse, a very sensitive horse in some ways. He is intelligent, and it is possible to connect to his thinking side, of the brain. Did you know that horses have a thinking side, and a reactive side of the brain? On top of that you have to teach a horse everything from both sides, it’s not enough hat he knows that a plastic bag won’t eat him on the left side of the body, you’ll need to make sure he knows that it won’t eat him on the right side either. With Ghost it is easy to connect to the thinking side of the brain, but the reactive side is still very close. Especially with everything that involves ropes. I can hang over his back, and put my leg over his back, but if a rope touches his back, he is at the other side of the arena, or as far away as he can get, in the blink of an eye. I’ve been working successfully with silk gloves around it, but now when he trusts me a little more, I ask a little more of him. I’m being very carefully to not push too much, because he is so sensitive, but it is necessary that I help him overcome this fear. It can take as long time as it need to take, but I need to help him get through this. Before I do, he’s not going to be able to become a safe riding horse. We did have some major breakthroughs in the matter yesterday, but I am expecting this to take some time. Surely Ghost can have opinions about things, like where he wants to go when we are out for a walk etc, but when it comes to ropes, it’s not that, he is afraid. He’s been through something, at some point. Maybe someone have roped him when he was very young? Even though that doesn’t match the story I was told. Anyways, we will get through this. He is very trusting, and tries, even when he is scared. There was a lot of licking and chewing yesterday. He is definitely thinking, trying his very best. I purposely waited to deal with this, until I knew that he would come to me for reassurance, which he constantly did.

mts1 (1)

I’m going to work a little more on this, and then I’m planning on spending lots of time long reining him. Driving him on the ground, with long reins, (sort of if I would have a cart, but without a cart. LOL.) That way he’ll have plenty of time getting used to ropes/lines on his body, before I start riding him. He will also build more muscles, and learn to be soft and supple, flex/bend, and steer easily. All of those things will highly benefit him (and me,) when I do start riding. I’ve also decided that I am not going to use the beautiful, heavy duty, F.Vela saddle I got last week for him. It weighs at least 55lbs, and I’m not sure it would be very comfortable for him. I might try to trade it for a more light weight endurance saddle. We’ll see. Plenty of time to think about that. Spring is just around the corner, and I am definitely going to take advantage of the warmer days, that soon will turn into hot days. Introducing new things to a relaxed horse by the end of a hot day, is something completely different, compared to introducing something new to a fresh horse, on a cold, windy day. If you’re not a horse person, I apologize for all this talk about horses. Can you tell that it’s something that I am passionate about? When I learned to read I read everything there was to read about horses, at the three libraries closest to where I lived (I was 5 years old,) and I mean everything. Growing up, and later having horses of my own, I still enjoy learning more about these fantastic animals. In the end it’s definitely the horses themselves that teach me the most.

grb (1)

Tell me more about your week! Are you planning to have a garden this year? If so, please tell me about it! I’m not sure about my garden yet. It’s a complicate thing. I have access to 3 acres, that I can do anything I want with. I used to live close by, but I don’t anymore. I’m not sure what I am going to do about that. I love gardening, and I really do want to have a garden. In the heat we have here you need to water it twice a day, early in the morning, and late in the evening. The rest of the day is scorching hot. I would have to drag my daughter out of bed at 4am every morning. I just can’t do that. When you don’t live nearby it’s just not practical. On the other hand, there’s so much that you can do with 3 acres of excellent soil. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week.

mts3 (1)

Today we went on a great hike up at Mt. Shasta. The photos in today’s post are from that hike. This post is a part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you for having coffee with me! I really enjoyed your company! Please come back soon.

Love,

Ms Zen

If We Were Having Coffee Together

g

If we were having coffee together right now, at 6 am, my hair would be wet. I just came back from a long walk with my German Shepherd Gretchen. Every morning I take her for a long walk, (and after she’s done her business) I walk her through the obedience/personal protection exercises my trainer patiently teaches us. I take great pride in my dog. She is family, life insurance, and my best friend. I expect a lot of her, and put a lot into her. My hair is wet because it’s raining today. At least this morning, it’s suppose to clear up later.

If were having the coffee at my house, I would with a half laughter say I hope you like your coffee strong. It’s very likely that you think it’s too strong. I’d be happy to make some new coffee the way you like it. Please remind me, how do you like it?

I would offer you one of my spelt/flaxseed ciabattas, with cheese, that I made last night. I’m usually starving after my morning walk. Since you are a close friend of mine, someone I trust, (otherwise you wouldn’t be in my house,) we would be comfortable sharing a moment of silence in between taking bites of our sandwiches.

I would ask you questions (without being nosy) about your week, and listen carefully to your answers. Would you tell me about your latest project? I love listening to almost anything that someone is really passionate about.

If you’d rather listen I would tell you about my week. I would tell you about the books I’ve read. I would tell you about the conversations I’ve had with my daughter about the importance of keeping an open mind, and learning new things. I would tell you about getting my truck back from the mechanic a couple days ago. Almost certainly I would passionately tell you about my time with my new horse Ghost. He is a very sweet horse, inexperienced, and cautious around some things, but definitely tuned in to try almost everything. I’m doing my very best to gain his complete confidence. I think breaking a horse is an ugly term. When people ask me about how many horses I’ve broke, I always tell them that I pray that I haven’t broken a single one.

Ghost is doing great, (compared to no-one but himself.) He didn’t have much handling when I got him three weeks ago (tomorrow.) He leads on a loose rope, follows me through obstacles, over obstacles, I can touch him all over his body (and inside his mouth,) he lifts all his hooves for a few seconds (we’re adding a second or two every day. It’s a process. Without his hooves a horse can’t escape a predator. Horses are prey animals, so this is a big thing for an un-handled horse.) We’re working on getting comfortable around ropes, something he is very uncomfortable around. You see, my horse, is a topic I could talk to you about all day. If you seem to be interested I would tell you more about my approach to training, and how I’m trying to help Ghost become brave around anything he might encounter in his daily life. I would tell you about how happy it makes me that he is able to relax in my company. How well he responds, and the level of focus he is able to have.

I just found out two days ago, that he is a year older than I thought. He will be four next month. That is a very good thing. I would take it much slower with a three year old, than a four year old. Ghost is already showing me that he wants to work, he wants to do things. Being four, his body and brain, is more mature, and ready. I want to do everything I can to set him up for success. I really believe in him. I see him as a part of my family, for the rest of his life. I truly hope that I am going to be able to give him that. I did get an offer on him yesterday. Not that I would ever consider selling him. The person who inquired about him bought a horse that I trained several years ago, and he is coming up in age, and he is starting to look for an addition to his horse family. He loves that horse so much. It makes me very happy to see. I visited them yesterday. It warms my heart to see such a good match, knowing that I was a small part of it. If you asked, I would give you all the details. Otherwise I would ..

.. ask you a question. If you have a horse, a dog, or any other animal, it would likely be about them. How is….he doing? And how is the kids? Depending on your kids age, I would probably inquire about their school. As a teacher, education always interests me. I would probably ask several questions about that. My own daughter left yesterday, to spend a few days with her dad. It’s always difficult to see her go, but I am so happy for her that she can spend time with her dad. This past few months she’s been blessed with more time with her dad than in her whole life prior to now. It makes me incredibly happy. It’s difficult to explain. Her dad is a Marine. Retired now, but he is not exactly living a regular life. That he makes time for her makes me happy. She adores him, and despite that her dad and I don’t share the same values (the reason why we’re not together,) she will never hear me say anything negative about him. I’d love for them to have a good relationship. I didn’t see my dad much, it makes me happy that she gets to see hers. I’m doing everything in my power to make their relationship smooth. I do miss her tremendously when she’s there..like today.

I really enjoyed having coffee with you. If you’re not in a hurry I would offer you some fresh fruit before we say goodbye. This post is part of  #WeekendCoffeeShare. I hope you’ll join me for coffee again, sooner than later 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen

PS. If you would like to see snapshots from my everyday life, I suggest following me on Instagram. There’s plenty of pictures of the things Ghost and I do together, and short funny episodes from our life. Naturally my German Shepherd often hogs the pictures as well.

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close