Cowboy and Chalk -- those are the names of the two young horses my son and I worked with in Pine Mountain yesterday. Cowboy is always ready to go and has a regal presence about him. Chalk is more laid back and needs to be coaxed to perform -- both are beautiful Tennessee Walkers.
I am below "novice" level when it comes to horses. Horses are a humbling experience for me. I am very athletic and competitive, yet I am 0 for 4 on horses -- on them 4 times -- involuntarily off them 4 times! I have had some hard landings, scared the owner to death, but have managed to walk (or limp away) with nothing broken.
Josh has started me with the basics -- Josh gets it! I watched in amazement as he worked with both the horses -- he looks like he was born riding. He has a sense for the horses that I do not possess. Will I ever? I am learning to handle Chalk in the round pen. I did pretty well. I got Chalk to go in the direction I wanted him to go. I got him to trot at a consistent pace. I learned new ways to observe the horse's attentiveness to me. After a while Chalk shadowed my every move -- the first step in getting him to accept my presence as a safe place.
After a while Josh took over. In just a short time he had Cowboy and Chalk jumping over barrels and responding to his every command. Cowboy was the star pupil -- with Josh on his back, Cowboy galloped around the corral with his head held high leaping over the barrels -- with grace and effortless ease. I looked on with envy!
If I can survive long enough, I will learn to ride. What I lack in native ability I will make up for with determination! I will keep learning and looking to the day when I will be able to fly across a pasture or wind my way through a wooded trail. One day I will "get it."
For now -- Chalk must be trained and so must I.