|Shaman and Student Laura|
Naturally three days prior to the clinic Rascal turned up sore. I did Jin Shin with about 50% improvement, but felt the ride in the trailer was likely to bring up the issue again. So, I deceided to take Black Elk, as it had been Black Elk who I'd worked with the most of late, and who was the most mysterious to me!
Since I had planned on trailering with a friend, this meant now I only had a few days to get him ready. He happily loaded on my trailer and off we went to my friend's. He was pretty full of himself over at her place and I saw a part of him that I did not expect - he acted bold and in charge! Whew - wish I had a camera when he climbed on top of the hay box to prove his point that he was top dog! Her horse, very kind, laid back and younger than Black Elk, was OK with his showing off, and they had a quiet night.
Once there, I realized I was totally unprepared for having Black Elk travel with another horse, tied with side panels and not loose. By the next morning, the goal I had set for myself that day was to play with my horse in a new place - if we got into the new trailer and could stand tied - great! We played around trees and through new gates and up and down the hills and eventually, I gave it a half-hearted go at getting him in my friend's trailer.
Loading, tieing, being confined by the side pannels, and then trailering to a strange place via boat and highway. Frankly, I was questioning why I wanted to do this at all! Why would I risk my lovely, loving horse by draggind him down the busy highway, away from his home, his herd and his security to have him participate in a clinic? What was in it for him? Not much that I could see.... it was all about me. And for me... I didn't really know why I had wanted to do this so much either!
When he wasn't willing to put more than his front feet in my friends trailer and she suggested that it was time for some pressure, I made the decission to take him home. This wasn't the right time for this horse to be pressured and I needed to be in control of his well being. So, we quietly went to our trailer and he loaded up without a pause.
The night I came home from my first Clinic with Robin Gates, Shaman had come to me in a dream. In the dream he said: "Why is it always about Rascal and Black Elk, why are they always first string with you? Why not me?" That dream made me feel so sad for Shaman, as it was true in many ways.
So, I had thought about taking Shaman - first of all as he had come to me in that dream, and because he loves Liberty Work - often offering things like rolling barrels, getting up on mounting blocks, backing up when I stand behind him. He allso has a boldness and sense of self that is stronger than either Black Elk or Rascal. I felt he could deal with the newness most easily and in fact he loves showing off, and he'd done the most trailering.
With 16 hours left, I decieded to take Shaman, in our own trailer to meet Robin and crew.