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Monday, 28 June 2010

A Very Positive Frame of Mind!

I had a 25yo Israeli Helpxer to stay for a few days last week, before she flew back to Isreal, and she did me so much good. She is the sweetest, kindest person you could ever wish to meet and very bright and enthusiastic about life.

We had long philosophical conversations and although she was a bit too 'New Age' for me at times she made realise how much I probably missed out on by deciding to leave school half way through A levels through sheer boredom.

I thought university would be like school but I went to a Laminitis Conference a couple of years ago that was really for vets and I loved having to work so hard to understand the finer details of the scientfic research and anaylisis. I suspected then that I might have enjoyed university and, on the basis that I need something new to really occupy my mind and expand both my knowledge and my horizons, I'm planning on enrolling with the Open University in September and hopefully build up to getting a degree.

I've been investigating the courses that might suit me and I think I'll probably start with an introduction to Psycology. I did wonder about Philosophy, or even Zoology or Marine Biology, but I'd like to understand more about how our minds work, not least my own!!!!!

I cancelled the log cabin and turned my bedroom into a den instead, with only things of mine that I love in it, and I now have one room in the house which feels like my home at last. I bought a pine dresser from the Oxfam Shop 2 weeks ago and was really excited about moving it in. On Saturday I went back there and bought a pine desk and a wicker chair for when I begin my OU course and they are being delivered on Wednesday. Next I'm going to begin on the other rooms and look for another person to share the house with. I will post photos, I promise!

My young Israeli visitor also had a couple of lessons on Grace. She had ridden a few times years ago but had very little in the way of control to begin with. I got her to sit centrally and stop leaning as if on a bike, then showed her how I ride mine using breathing as a big part of communication and got her to explore that and she did fantastically!!!! She was really taken with the whole idea and I may feel the need to do a bit more of that with other people at some stage.

I finally feel as though I'm beginning to take control of my destiny and find some purpose and direction. I've had some more quite upsetting events in the last couple of days, not least Flora, who is at the vets as I write, having an operation on a broken back leg where she pushed the Land Rover window open and jumped out when I was doing 30mph on route to taking them all for a walk in the forest early yesterday morning. I'm very worried about her but I've refused to let it floor me and I've stayed calm and optimistic throughout which is much more like my old self.

I think I really am back on an even keel at last!!!!!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Pilates, Dinner with an Old Friend and Photos of Ettrick.

I went to my first ever Pilates class yesterday and loved the way it left me feeling - totally chilled out and serene. I thought my breathing had been having a lot to do with the panicky way I feel inside quite often and Pilates seemed to confirm that. Today I have felt like my old self again all day, which is definately a record!!!!

This evening I went out for a meal with an old friend I haven't seen for years. We had a great time and did plenty of heart to heart talking. She said that she had seen David and I as two halves of the same whole. She said that surely it would have been easier for me to just give up but it wouldn't have been. I have never been a quitter.

She told me that I am very driven. I agreed but said that I don't know what I'm driven to do anymore. Thinking about it I do know - driven to survive and find ways to be happy again, and I'm already there in many ways. It's just finding reasons that I need. David was my reason for everything. Now I need to find my own reasons.

I showed her a little bit of clicker training and she told me that her sister has been doing Parelli for donkeys years and can't do anything like Bella and Jack can. That made me smile.

Here are some photos from my last stay in Ettrick. It's a beautiful place but so remote and bleak. I love short visits there but I couldn't live there. I like my counrtyside more gentle and friendly. The photos do have one gentle, friendly aspect to them though - my companion on my walks - the lovely Henry!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Advice Please, esp. Jean.

I have a bit of a mountain to climb and I would be very grateful for some advice.

Pressure is increasing on me to teach and demonstrate clicker training and, while I'm very comfortable with people watching my ponies and I perform I'm very uncomfortable with trying to teach or shift the focus onto myself and what I'm doing.

It feels big-headed and as though I'm showing off. I hate the way it makes me feel so much I don't know if I can or should even try to overcome this barrier. I try very hard not to be too self conscious and, of course, to teach I'd have to be completely self-conscious.

I know I can do it, and I know exactly how to go about it but inside I'm screaming "I HATE this, don't listen to me, I know nothing!!!!" I'm much happier just calmly and quietly working away training on my own.

This is not a new thing with me, it's just more intense now. Maybe I should listen to my own head and not try to tackle this now, or maybe even ever, but that feels a bit like cowardice and I know I could make life easier for some owners and their horses if I didn't cop out.

Clicker training is just about precise communication, which comes relatively easily to me, and I can write about it but I hate myself being the centre of attention and I don't know how to get over this hurdle, or if I should try.

Please, if anyone has any thoughts on this? I know you were a teacher Jean and I know Hilary trained medics? Did you ever feel like this?


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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!