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A little less than three weeks after the 10 day intensive clinic seems like a good point in time to write a resume about my personal learnings. The 10 days on the fantastic Happy Dog Ranch (great people and horses, unique atmosphere, incredible landscape) were filled with Aikido, riding, ground work, Masterson Method, thoughtful homework and learning from Mark Rashid, Crissi McDonald and Gray Graves and being able to watch and learn from Vicky Devlin (Masterson method) and Spencer LaFlure (Natural Balance Dentistry).
Overall „goal“ oft he clinic was to get softer in my horsemanship as I wrote in my last blog text about my personal goals. Being a person who „thinks too much“ I kept thinking the last three weeks after I came home about how I could explain what I learned in that clinic.
And I simply cannot do it which is a learning in itself.
Softness is an internal thing, a feel that will enable humans to connect to other beings in a better way .I cannot find understandable words for it, no matter what language. Mark does a fantastic job of describing it in his books and DVDs and still – it is very different to experience it. It adds a dimension to horsemanship (and life) that seems so obvious, after one had the chance to get a tiny glimpse at it. I just cant write any decent report about it. I can describe a bit what we did and I have done that in the two diaries about Luke and his hobbit (me), which I write on the internet. I had a great time with great people and do what I like best: being with horses.
I was able to learn in a few aikido & horsemanship clinics with Mark and Crissi in the last two years and find it to be the one most valuabe thing I do to improve my time with horses (and anyone and anything else, especially my professional work...). It was incredible to practice aikido in the moning and be able to take it to the horse in the afternoons. I fell immediately in love with „my“ clinic horse Jackson and I noticed that that makes quite a difference in being soft – to have an emotional connection. The aikido ist the one part of the clinic that I liked best. as alwasy It leaves me even after my sixth clinic in complete awe at the genius way of connecting these two domains in a useful way. I will see how I can bring this to Luke. Since he kind of grew up with these ideas there will be no big change for him or me. It is the tiny changes that matter to us, though.
It sure was a great and unique time. :-)