Getting Ready to Fall and Life Long Student

September 11, 2022

How are you preparing for Fall this year?

For me, it looks like turning within, reading more, and still moments with my feet on the earth. These are the moments I am interested in, yet I often find myself in quite the opposite- frenzied movement and chaos erupting seemingly at disagreeable times. But that is how we learn. How helpful contrast is in making its point. How quickly we learn when there are clear “yes” and “no”‘s. And in saying that, look how we resemble our horses we seek to train, and look how we too, need clear messages from our horses if we are not in the habit of listening. So, join me this fall, in listening to the whispers of our horses, as well as the yells!

I recently had the absolute pleasure of having a client’s horse in for training, Jackson. Jackson is a 15 year old Quarter Horse that came to me for an education in Dressage and Relaxation. I soon learned he was also a Gemini which meant intelligent, changeable, quick moving, and prone to anxiety. He was such a joy to teach because of his intelligence and willingness to please! He never resisted working harder which made him a terrific partner for me!

We alternated between moments of utter resistance, confusion and chaos to (in my humble opinion) moments of stunning connection. It was totally fascinating and illuminating to me to connect with Jackson and gave me faith in my abilities to work with nervous (rather than just confused and defiant which I am familiar with) horses. Every conversation (ride) I had with him, he improved, it was very satisfying. When our last ride finally came about I had an “Lets see what Jackson want’s to talk about today” attitude that also came along with an overly airy head space that took me off my centre. I’m not blaming the perspective, but just outlining the energy I was in that day.

To follow along my training stories with Jackson, Lennon, and Lucy check out my YouTube Channel Erica Flak under Riding Diaries for video and forensic description of my training techniques! Anyways, our last ride contained a moment I have been resenting myself for since it happened- Jackson kicked out. It was easy enough for me to understand in the moment, but it has stuck with me since it happened. It’s not the worst thing that can happen, nor is it unusual, especially in the circumstances, but Jackson has never kicked out before. Is it my fault? What did I do wrong? Did I push him too hard? Why would I bother giving anyone advice if I still make mistakes? Everyone that sees this is going to think… etc etc.

I have been allowing my fear to gnaw away at me. I wanted to share this because I am committed to sharing my experience in a way I’ve never seen done before. I am living by the principles I train by- Honesty and Integrity. Moral of the story is we are all scared were doing the wrong thing and we can let that push us into our darkness (fear) or back into the light (honesty). Why did Jackson kick out at me? Prolly cus he wanted to. Prolly cus it was an equal and opposite reaction to my energy. I was spaced out so he’s like Erica! Pay Attention!

Just like how I trained him- tap on the bum when he’s not listening- he returned the favour.

Thank you Jackson.

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