Sunshine, Asparagus and Gettin' Ready Not To


My friend Phil Oakes, who mentors us at our monthly Cowboy Dressage clinics, often tells the story of a boy whose parents made him sit at the dinner table until he tried his asparagus. The boy sat at the table for hours and wouldn't give it a try. Finally late that night he took a bite, and he said you know Dad, "it's not that bad"!

Phil then relates this to partnering with our horses, and how often times their behavior is how they learned to get ready to do something. It's how they have always gotten ready. So they might just be "gettin' ready not to". It's our job to show them there is a different way to get ready. My pony Sunshine is a beautiful and gentle soul. However, she does have a few things that she spends a lot of time and energy "gettin' ready not to" do. We are patiently working through them. When the vet comes, or when it's worming time, my otherwise gentle pony starts evasion techniques and flings her head up and down with powerful force. It's how she has always gotten ready. She doesn't know another way. After much patience and support to help her through, when the vet visit is over or the worming is done...she softens as if to say..."Is that all you wanted? It really wasn't that bad, I LIKE ASPARAGUS"! OK, maybe we aren't quite to her "liking" the vet or wormer yet, but we are on our way to learning a different way to get ready. With other things, like having her head and ears rubbed, she definitely likes asparagus now and she has learned a new way to get ready while building trust.

I can relate this story to things in my own life sometimes. This blog for instance! I have had the idea for weeks now. And I spent a lot of time gettin' ready not to write it. So today I decided it was time and I sat down and wrote until it was done. And guess what? It wasn't that bad! As a matter of fact it flowed! I like Asparagus too!

What is happening in your life that you have been spending time "gettin' ready not to" do? Sunshine and I both encourage you to give it a just might find out that you like asparagus too! Sometimes the "gettin' ready not to" takes more time than just diving right in and doing it! Remember, there are people out there who need the magic you have to share.

Believe in the Magic!


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