Saturday, 10 November 2018

Stay

Mystery of how kelpies herd sheep solved - Western Australia News
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Have you ever taught a dog to stay? Or a horse to stand still?

I don't have a dog, but I know they don't really like to stay in one place. Often they just want to come to you. Or maybe if they are a working dog they want to go chase the sheep.

I have taught my horse to stand still even if I move around him. He knows that he has to do that but doesn’t always want to. Sometimes he slowly creeps forward hoping I won't notice.  He is so sneaky often he literally only shifts his weight, then takes a tiny tiny step. If I don't correct him he gains confidence in disobeying and takes bigger steps.

I was paralleling this to me in a spiritual sense. I think it could have a few applications.
  1. I often come to God in the morning but slowly drift away as the day goes on. I thought about how I teach animals to stay and I can teach myself that too. To abide, dwell.

  2. Thinking again of a working dog God has me staying in a particular place for a  purpose. I might feel useless and out of place, like God's moved me out of the action to a useless spot on the side. But like a master places his dog so God puts me where he needs me.

  3. Being still is a good neutral position. My horse or a dog is most ready to hear a command when they are still. There are no other distractions or any of their own opinions in their minds. It really is a submissive action for them. We are most ready for instructions when we are still and can take more into our minds. I know I'm guilty of walking away in the middle of instructions. Mum says go and... and I'm already on my way. It is humiliating to have to come back and say what exactly did you want. When we have our own ideas we get off course, but being still we can hear.
Psalms 4:4  Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psalms 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.



If you are curious about how I taught my horse to stand still here are some tips.

Have your backing up solid.
Maverick has three cues for backing up: backwards pressure on the halter. my hand pressed on his chest and a lifted waving finger (yes it's a strange one). All of these I reinforce with the word "back". To begin put pressure on the lead, then say "back", further you can add the hand on the chest. This helps them think of a solution because it takes their mind solely off their head. Do not increase the pressure on the lead until you have done these. If they still don't respond increase the pressure a little. Don't jerk or yank have it calm and constant. Stop all cues as soon as your horse even shifts backwards.

Begin teaching standing still. 
Lead your horse to the area you want to work in. Say 'whoa' to stop him. Then if he moves forward simply back him up straight away. I don't say "stand" or anything because if I don't ask anything else of my horse by default I want him to stand still. After backing up lead him back to the exact place you had him before. This helps them learn more quickly that you want them in a particular spot and not to back up from there either. It is that simple but takes a lot of practice. My horse is now at the stage where he will freely stand still or back up while I sit his bucket of food down. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

Old October - New November

Everyone one is posting about happenings of the last month or the exciting prospects of November. Reading your posts got me really inspired to write one myself. I've found blogging a little hard because I'm not really a passionate writer but I hope to post regularly for a while and then decide whether to keep going or just enjoy others blogs.

In October I
  • went 4x4 driving with my brother
  • randomly went to a tulip garden with Mum
  • got a few more hours of driving
  • went to an outreach focused encouraging weekend with my sister
  • spent time with friends after that
  • went op shopping and 'detouring' in the middle of a big city on the way home
  • worked and enjoyed all the ponies there
  • had a friend and her horse come and visit for a week
  • rode together almost every day and had a blast
  • listened to a lot of country music (which is ok but not very uplifting.)
  • went camping
  • which included more 4x4ing and putting a big hole in the exhaust 
  • watched a lot of adventure DVDs with her and Bro
  • read very little, like I finished off one book (I've read a lot more other months) 
  • finished (like forever :) a few subjects in school

This bit was alright but we came across some rough steep sections. 


Some really nice views though.


All the flowers are planted in patterns or pictures.

I'm not a fan of the city. Look how grey everything is. 
Ticka and Marv

Going for a quick bareback stroll til we decided to saddle up and go somewhere.
Adelle riding Ticka


Adelle riding Maverick
A lovely spot we found out we could have camped after a night of noisy neighbours at another campsite. 
We had such good food...
I'm excited to make plans for November but I'm still thinking about what my goals should be. I'm really excited to be going to Equitana; the biggest horse expo in the southern hemisphere. For me that will include helping my boss out the back, watching amazing people and spending lots of money probably. I'll have to do a post about that. 

So that is a piece of my life. Isn't it great how I spent one on one time with my family without even planning it that way? How have you been? 

Friday, 28 September 2018

Could Going Back Be The Fastest Way To Go Forwards- Guest Post

I have something really exciting to share with you! A guest post by Rebecca Ondov. I 'met' Rebecca through reading her books. They spoke directly to me and I thought I'd ask her to share something with you.
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SkySong and Rebecca
Hi, I’m Rebecca Ondov, Rachel invited me to chat with you because I’m horse crazy like you. I’m so horse crazy that for 15 years it was my job to lead people on horseback through the Rocky Mountains of Montana on horse camping trips. I literally lived in the saddle :). Although I’ve ridden thousands of miles, each time I’m around horses, I learn something new about me, my horse, and God. Recently I was reminded that the fastest way to go forward was to go backward. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But it’s vital to understand this so that we don’t get discouraged and give up. Instead, we can win at this game of life and be happy.

It happened a couple weeks ago. I was riding my saddle horse SkySong and another rider passed me along the trail and trotted out of sight. That’s when my plodding horse morphed into a tornado. He bowed his neck, stomped his feet, pawed, and screamed for the other horse. My heart pounded as I gathered the reins and tried to disengage his hindquarters (turn him sharply), but nothing helped. Knowing that it was dangerous to stay on his back, I slide to the ground. Immediately he tried to rip the reins from my hands, but I quickly tied him to a tree by his lead rope.

My anger flared as I watched the crazy horse. Dirt flew as SkySong pawed and thrust himself at the tree, screaming and trying to get loose, so he could chase after that mare. All I could think was, You know better than that! You haven’t acted that way for years. What is wrong with you?

It took about fifteen minutes for him to calm down—and for my anger at his behaviour to subside. Then I heard a still small voice in my spirit saying, “You can’t get consistent results without consistent effort.”

I exhaled. I’d been blaming SkySong for his behaviour when I’d been the one who hadn’t put in the consistent effort. The last few years I’d been sidelined with physical injuries and couldn’t ride. After a year and a half of physical therapy, I jumped in the saddle and had expected him to be at the same place he’d been years before. My expectations weren’t fair to him. To go forward, I needed to go backwards in his training, start at the beginning by rebuilding the foundation.

This resembles so many things in life. Oftentimes I’ve had goals that were too big and I’d launched into them only to fall flat on my face. But God and my horses have showed me the following keys to keep me from getting discouraged and quitting.

  • First, I need to honestly access where I'm at, not to degrade myself or my horse, but so that I know where to start. I might need to go backward and build a better foundation before I move forward.
  • I write down goals of what I want to accomplish—then break them down into smaller bite-sized goals so that I can set up myself and my horse to succeed. Too big of a goal creates unrealistic expectations, frustration, lack of confidence, and a desire to quit.
  • I make an action plan for accomplishing goals with dates of when I will accomplish them—being flexible to give myself more time if needed.
  • Finally I keep it fun for me and my horse so we enjoy being a team.

One of the most powerful things in life is to put in a consistent effort—even if it’s only a couple of minutes a day. Consistent effort produces consistent results. One small step at a time will take us to the top of the mountain, even if we have to take a couple steps backward along the way. The best part is that when we start achieving consistent results, it builds our confidence and happiness because of our successes.

Do you have any goals you’re trying to achieve? If so, I hope these tips will help you (even if you use this for things other than horses). If you use them, I’d love to hear how they worked for you! You can find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaOndovAuthor/  or on my Website: https://www.rebeccaondov.com/
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Thanks so much, Rebecca! And you're welcome back anytime. :) 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Just Sit




Sometimes its good to sit outside. 
Breathe. 
Think. 
Watch a horse. 
Count the blessings.
And read a good book. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Quotes

So when an uninspired blogger like me wants to post they find a bunch of quotes that speak to them and post that. I hope this isn't too boring. My apologies for having nothing more.


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Life-ish Update

Happy August! I didn't appear at all last month so I'm trying to get a good start to this month.
How was your July? Mine was kinda busy and kind of quiet.

I pony-sat this cute little Shetland. Her name is Posy!

I really like this photo! She isn't as tiny as she looks here. 

I didn't do very much with Maverick. Although I did almost smoother him with a tarp. He couldn't have cared less. 

We went on a bit of an impromptu skiing trip with friends. (It is winter in Australia.) It was heaps of fun and brought back a lot of memories for us.

 It was nice and quiet, but there were actually people there. Just not at this time. ;)


On the way home from that we went to this dam wall. It was really pretty. 




*****
I've got some exciting news for you Americans!!! 

Alycia Burton is touring the USA now. Alycia is doing great things with horses and youth. I won't tell you everything about her, just go to https://www.freeridingnz.com/ or her Facebook page. 
I got to go to one of her shows here in Australia and it was hugely inspiring! I recommend you go see her if you can. And tell me how you enjoy it too. 😊

I'll be back soon! 
Rachel 

Thursday, 28 June 2018

A Letter from my Sister

Here is a letter from my Sister! Because I promised and it warms my heart and maybe it will yours too.


Once upon a time there was a small person, and a big person, and 
they lived in a house with some other persons. The small person and the
 big person were the best of friends. It was like the smallness made up for the
 bigness and the bigness made up for the smallness, and in that way they both 
had everything. But, as seems to be the way of the world, sometimes the big
 person and the small person had to be apart. This made the big person and the 
small person sad, because a part of them was missing. But wherever they
 were, the big person thought of the small person, and the small person thought 
of the big person, so it wasn't like they were totally gone. 

One day, when the small person had to leave the big person, the big person wrote
 the small person a letter, because the big person wanted the small person to know
 that distance could never come between them because they were joined at heart.  
And this is the letter and you are my small person and nothing can stop me loving 
you always. xxx

And likewise (big) Person, nothing will stop me loving you always. You are Beautiful!