Sunday, July 7, 2013

Growing Up - All Over Again

Believe it or not, I grew up rather a shy person.  People are often a little shocked to hear this. I like the big smile on people's faces when I say that.  I used to hide behind my parents. Vividly, I remember when visitors would come for Christmas and I had to shake their hand or let them kiss my cheek.  I dreaded those incidents. 

I grew up in a small bilingual town just outside of Windsor, Ontario on a small rural property with horses.  Back in the 60's, most of the people were white and Christian. I used to ask my Dad when we went to town and saw someone, whether he/she was related to us.  Usually they were, though sometimes distant. It was amusing.

So you can see, I was a typical small town country gal who believed that everyone has the same values and beliefs and this opinion was reinforced in school, church and my environment. I believe it gave everyone strength and sense of community.

All is the same and then we grow up.  Oh, and did I mention that I was naïve.

You can imagine this small, shy, country girl going to university, and settling in Toronto.
Yonge Dundas Square, Toronto. Photo courtesy Google Maps.
Wow! That was a culture shock! I used to sit on some big steps at Yonge and Dundas, at a safe distance, and watch the 'people' go by. I must've looked like the typical tourist. If you were here now, I could tell you some funny stories about myself and the learning curve I had. I ended up feeling like a 'duck out of water' but it was a great experience.

What this did for me was realize how isolated I was growing up. What 'small town' thinking is all about. And now, of course, I know just how big the world is and how many different people and values and beliefs and ways of doing things there are. And it's great!

Growing Up- All Over Again

I'm coaching a student right now, April (not his real name) to start a 5yr. old horse under saddle. It's courageous and ambitious to do that.  I'll talk more about that in another article. What's interesting is that April uses the Clicker method of training. It's been quite interesting to convert my method and use my program with her method.

I've had to really think about my definition of words and explain terms as we go along. It's quite fascinating to me. I originally didn't think it would work. Our styles were very different. But so far, it's going well.

I've thought a lot about it and it reminded me just how different horse people are. It got me thinking again about my experience's so far.

Just like when I thought people generally grew up similar, believing in honesty, trustworthiness, integrity - I also thought people treated their horses the same. As a young rider, I knew there were 2 disciplines, english and western. Their tack was different and their riding outfits were different, but I naively thought the rest was the same.

Same philosophy, same handling, same beliefs, same values. Not even close! 

One thing that the last 5 years trying to run a horse training business has taught me, is that there are as many ideas and ways of doing any and all horse related things as there are horse people.

I honour this.  It's like growing up all over again.

Putting my spin on diversity!
@KISS Reiners

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