Tuesday, April 1, 2008

You've Got His Back, You Need His Head

My boy has a stripe down his back; do you suppose it'll be there when he sheds?

I about died.

"Get your horse down here and we'll see if Ken'll help you with him," Curt was saying. He didn't have to say it twice. I was on the ball, calling my friend Nancy to see if I could come pick up her trailer. I figured I'd let Sandy have the evening and all night to look at it parked alongside the barn, put his dinner in it even, so that by morning he'd be ready to travel.

Except for one small thing.

My truck and Nancy's trailer didn't get along. Seems her truck was wired differently, so she had her trailer re-wired to match. Unfortunately that means no one can pull her trailer, so my plans to haul Sandy to meet Ken McNabb were dashed.

I went to bible study last night and wasn't feeling real well, so came home early. When I got here, there were four messages saying "CALL NOW!" from my friend, Linda. "Ken's here and wants to talk to you!" I called. He was in the middle of a lesson with Curt (he has a filly in training there and comes to work the hydra bull) so he couldn't come to the phone.

"How about if I just drive down?" I asked her, and yes, do that was the reply.

We had a lovely conversation. What a great guy! He talked me through some of my concerns, the biggest one being, "I just don't want to screw him up." His reply was a laugh, then, "You're not going to screw him up, just do whatever you do with confidence, even if it's not the right thing. He'll pick up on that and you'll become the leader. That's what he needs."

He thought Sandy sounded a lot like the colt he had at Road to the Horse last month. Said once all the training was through and they got to the the obstacles, his colt did great. He just really struggled with his fear during the gentling process. After learning what Sandy was already doing (saddling), he said once I had the mind, I'd be home free. Well, not really those words I don't think, but certainly indicated life would be easier.

Sandy and I will now have some major training sessions so that he can get over his mental hang ups. It was good to speak with Ken, he told me he wanted daily progress reports; even gave me his phone number! Did I mention what a great guy he is? He helped boost my confidence level back up. No more self doubt allowed! My gut instincts seem to have been on track considering Sandy's weekend behavior, and to top it off, the sun is shining!

***Now, in case some of you are wondering or concerned about Ken offering insight: He's not judging at the Western States Expo. He's doing EMM, and I believe Midwest, but not the competition I'm in. So please, if you've read this and are concerned about competitors and judges...there's no need to be. No different than if I were to be taking lessons or attending a clinic, eh? :) Y'all have a great day, I know I will!


Callie said...

Gosh, what a face. I think it's great to welcome advice and get tips for what you're doing. There's nothing wrong with seeking knowledge. Makes one more knowledgeable ;)

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm glad that you were able to get some help and that you're feeling confident again. I know after my fall, I've had some trouble with that confidence thing and it's the pits. It sure can mess things up quick.

Sounds like Rich is a great guy. I'm glad that you have that kind of support. Looking forward to more posts on this process.

You're right the sun is shining. How cool is that!!

Mrs Mom said...

Go Tracey! That is completely awesome to have a support corner there that has been there and done that. Way to go! ;)

Hey! Did some of the sunshine vibes fromt he south FINALLY make it up to you guys???!!! I hope it sticks around!

Tracey said...

Thank you, ladies!

Callie, I know there's nothing wrong with seeking more knowledge, but since Ken's judging two other events I didn't want anyone who stumbles along to cry foul on him :)

M~ I don't want to fall! My bones are brittle and won't come back as easily as they once did, lol! But thanks, yes, the ground confidence is back!

Mrs, thanks for the sunshine! You done good!

Katee said...

Confidence is the key with my mustang for sure. He is a wimp. A total follower. He lives to be led. If I am calm and confident he feeds off of that and is calm and confident himself. Problems come in when I get worried or stressed out or nervous. If I'm off my game, he's off of his. I love the horse, but boy would it be nice to have a horse that wasn't so closely connected to my emotional state!

OneCowgirl said...

Keep up the confidence. Never let the horse know you have any doubts - ask questions - patience - I like to end on a good note - even if I've only worked a horse for 15 to 20 mins -

Kathy C said...

A woman I know who is John Lyons certified puts an ipod on, with music that is calming and attends every session with the knowledge that it will be a successful one.

She says the confidence in herself is directly responsible for her successes.

Now, I wish I could be so confident, but I struggle with that myself!!

Shirley said...

Sandy has a beautiful face! Sounds like you are getting some good advice to help build his confidence and yours. It is amazing what you can do with a horse once they trust you; training seems to get easier.I hope you do really well at the challenge!

photogchic said...

Very cool...sometimes we need that kind of encouragement or advice to get us "un-stuck." Things are going so great...so nice of Ken to take the time to talk and give you some advice.