Thursday, 20 May 2010

Parelli Play

It was such a beautiful morning; I suggested to the girls that we go out and play with the ponies before we did our chores. Full of the joy of hearing that I have passed my first Parelli audition, I began level 2 Freestyle with Teri. It is amazing to see how the learning is sinking in; I knew exactly what I was doing and it was sooo easy. We did Direct Rein, Indirect Rein, Halt and Rein Back, not perfectly, but without the slightest bit of confusion or resistance. When you put your focus where it needs to be, the body moves as it should and the horse understands.

Kate played with her new pony, Cloud, and Pippin (already a master at Liberty work), volunteered to join in. So there was Kate, new pony on one side, doing On Line work, and Pip on the other side, doing the same work at Liberty. It was beautiful to watch.

Julie Anne put in an hour's concentrated work with right-brained Tim. She shares such wonderful insights about herself and the way she learns when she spends time with him. She tells me that Tim is her a few years back - lacking in confidence and full of fears, and just needing to find that safe place. Today Julie Anne is
confident and outgoing, and she is full of faith that Tim
will be the same. She needs that faith, because he can be really silly! During her riding time today he decided he couldn't possibly move forward, and he threatened to buck when she asked him to. Up went the phases, and eventually he did move forward, and realised that he could! He tends to freeze, and he has learned to use this tendency to his advantage too - so it is not always fear. Julie Anne is so good at reading him and sensing the difference.

Monday, 17 May 2010


Beautiful Spring morning. The skies filled with birdsong. A new pony in the home paddock. A quiet, peace-filled house. Coffee next to my laptop. The refrain from a song sung in church on Sunday whispers through my heart:

Jesus, Your love
is all that I'll ever need
All that I need to know
Jesus, Your Love
is taking control of me
Oh, how I need Your love....

On days like this the love of God is a very tangible thing.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


Kate (8) has a drama class on Saturday. Driving home, she told me that they were talking about maths, and that some of the children in her class were very surprised to hear that she doesn't know her Times Tables.
'What are they, and why should I know them?' she asked. I replied with a brief explanation of what they were and explained that most children learned them off by heart so that they didn't have to work them out each time they needed to do a calculation.
'Oh. But I don't really understand what they are....'
I explained that it is a way of working out the total number of groups of things.
'Like, if we have 2 containers with 3 sweets in each one, how many sweets do we have?'
Sounds of counting in the backseat....
'6!' was the triumphant answer.
'Yes, 2 times 3 is 6', said I. 'Now if I have 3 containers with 3 sweets in each one, how many sweets do I have?'
We continued this little game the whole way home, using larger and larger numbers, and Kate answering correctly almost every time. And just before we got home I told her that a lot of people get caught by 0 in multiplication.
'What do you mean?', she asked
'Well, if I have no containers with 3 sweets in them, how many sweets do I have?'
'Well, I would have 3 if I had a container with 3 sweets, but I have no container with 3 sweets!'
'Oh. I get it', she cried, 'you have no sweets. You just wish you had some!'
Now Kate understands what times tables are. Will she learn them by heart? I am not sure about that. But at least she will be able to multiply if she needs to....
Like many maths students in school, I could say my Times Tables off by heart - but it was years before I understood what they were. On the surface, people would have thought me more knowledgeable than my daughter at the same age. But I find myself wishing I could have had the same kind of understanding that she now has.