Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"These Are MY Carrots!"

I had the most hilarious session with LB and one of my young students today. This won't be a real long post simply because you really HAD to be there to truly grasp the adorable hilarity, but it's well worth sharing.

Phoebe (my student) is a very precocious little individual, and extremely talented young rider, and also blossoming as a horse-woman, too. She's a quick learner, very LBE, and is really quite fun to teach. She has Mini/Shetland pony crosses at home, and so has taken quite a liking to little LB. Watching the two of them interact is really hilarious because it's stubborn snotty kid vs stubborn snotty kid. Occasionally, one of them needs a slight correction, but for the most part, they duke it out in sibling-rivalry fashion, and they're both smiling and laughing at the end.

So. Today, Phoebe brought several large bags of baby carrots to the farm to share with the herd. Instead of getting caught up in the middle of the herd of 13, she just dumped piles here and there along the fence-line. Saaaavvyyy. Anyway, she made a separate pile off to the side for LB, but then haltered her up after not much time at it, so there were a few left.

We proceeded to start our lesson, a review of the 7 games etc, and mostly focus on games 5, 6, and 7, since both Phoebe and LB need help there. Things were going extremely well. LB is a VERY smart little LBE, and she picks up on things super quickly. But, she's also got a naughty streak, so I decided in order to set the situation up for success in the circling game, I'd plant myself near enough the pile o' carrots that she could stop and eat them when the time was right.

Boy, did that backfire on me. I always forget, food motivation only truly works with LBIs. Sure, she likes her carrots, but her main source of incentive is play (and naughty thoughts!)So...I send LB out in a circle--Buck,squeal, buck, squeal, buck--and then she comes to the pile of carrots, screeches to a halt, lies down, and starts rolling on them, then leaps up and takes off bucking and squealing again. She repeats this cycle 5 times, each time, stopping at the carrots, dropping, and rolling on them. So I pass her off to Phoebe, and the same thing happens.

By this time, all 3 of us (Phoebe, her mom, and I) are gaping in disbelief, and Phoebe's mom says in a baby-talk voice (personifying LB): "You guys, these are MY carrots! MINE! And I like how they smell!"...indeed. My little snot was being possessive of her carrots!

Anyway, the rest of the lesson went well. At the end, I sent Phoebe and LB into the playground and told them "use your 7 games, and go play with the obstacles."...that was a treat to watch, the imagination of a 10 yr old at work partnered with a young mischievous Miniature horse. They did some really fantastic stuff, and they both appeared to just be having a ball. I have to bring my camera sometime. They're just fantastic.

So anyway, I just wanted to share that little story. That little partnership is coming along so nicely, and it's truly a treat to guide it :)

Savvy on!

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