I stopped in town today to drop something off. There on the front
step, a native man stood, talking, waiting while the women folk did
their shopping. He was very friendly and said hi as I walked past. On my
way out we struck up a conversation. He introduced himself. His name
was wonderful and in the native tongue, Tatanka something that meant
two. Of course I can’t remember it, I can barely remember my own
children’s names. I told him that of course I knew what Tatanka meant! I’ve seen Dances With Wolves.
He said he would tell me how to say anything I wanted to know. I want to know all of it! How often do we get a chance like that? My mind doesn’t absorb knowledge as quickly as my thirst for it would desire. I froze, I couldn’t think of anything to ask. Finally I said hi. I want to know how to say hello. He told me. He told me quickly and fluently.
I tried. I stumbled through repeating it, poorly and with terrible pronunciation I’m sure. He knew what he was doing though and kept going. More words. Paragraphs of things I was unable to grasp. No way my mind, already lagging behind, could remember.
As I drove home repeating the one phrase I could almost grasp over and over to myself, trying desperately to force the knowledge into my brain, it occurred to me that we often do the same thing with our horses. We know what it is we are trying to teach. We know what the outcome should look like. In our excitement and enthusiasm we keep pushing more and more of our knowledge to our horses.
Our horses are usually willing, they do try so hard to get along. They do their best to grasp all the things we keep throwing at them. Perhaps if we slowed down a little. If we worked on one thing at a time. Gave them a chance to catch up, to learn that one thing before we moved on to the next. Perhaps we would speed up the training by slowing it down a little.
The phrase I was trying so hard to grasp? It was along these lines. Not quite this, instead it was we will meet again, I think, but this was the closest I could find.: Ah kay wan chee keyn ktay = It was good to see you again!
- First Training Session With Poppy