Saturday, June 12, 2010

The clinic begins

Yesterday was the first official day of the NHE clinic at Mount Shasta. Cathy Scott has been a wonderful hostess with the huge support of her jack-of-all-trades husband Gary. Her daughter Jamie and grandkids Layla and Ian have added so much to the scene here too. Maurizio and I have been here since Wednesday and have settled in and have greeted each of the participants as they made their way here from Colorado, Arizona, and parts of California.

Align Center
Cathy's place, at the foot of Black Butte, who stands beside Mt. Shasta

The Lovely Mt. Shasta herself, shrouded

Maurizio and I helped Gary put the finishing touches on the ranch.

Maurizio screwing in the gate

This is Paisley, Cathy's newest addition, a BLM mustang filly

This is a video from my phone that I took yesterday of when Maurizio broke through with the Quarter Horse "Ladybug" and the two ponies, "Zippy" and "Patch"...the tiniest one is Allie. This was after a few tries of enticing them into wild games. We all were having a lot of fun.

(I can't tell if this video has uploaded correctly, will someone please comment?)

Yesterday morning I walked into the kitchen as everyone was finishing breakfast. I quickly became immersed in a conversation about how we are perceived as "people who don't ride". It was amazing to be in a room full of horse lovers who have horses and choose not to ride. A first for me. I pulled out my video camera and started filming with the hopes of being able to share this conversation with others who weren't able to be here.

Then we watched the Horse Encyclopedia 1 video by Alexander Nevzorov and paused between the two sections for a discussion about hooves (we have at least 6 barefoot trimmers here).

After a break for lunch we were ready for the horses. Maurizio spent a lot of time with Ladybug who has a history of extreme cowboy abuse and then some well-intentioned "natural horsemanship" that traumatized her more. He showed such love and gentleness towards her and he also had fun kicking around a soft ball and swishing a twig to help her have a different experience of a whip-like object. Next, it was time for the two ponies to have a turn. They roughhoused together and were interested in the ball and completely non-reactive to the twig-whip.

At the end of the day, both people and horses had come closer together. We've been sharing our stories and learning to listen to the horses and each other.

At the end of the day yesterday, the mountain glowed so brightly that my camera couldn't capture it.

I experienced the day flowing along with everybody giving their best presence, attention, questions, sincerity and openness. It has been a model of how life could be if we all brought our best selves up. Of course it is only a beginning.

The campfire burned brightly long into the night.....

This is the next step happening right now. As I write this, the group of us are gathered in the living room watching Alexander's Principles DVD.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, Stormy! Hope you'll share more about the workshop and what you learned there.