Friday, May 14, 2010

Ducks on a mission

The other day I was walking Brecht down the road. We were on our way back from our two mile walk. There is a certain place where ducks choose to reside. I say choose because they are free to waddle where they may. There is three of them. One is a Malard, the other two are females and it is funny because that Malard corrals his girls. It had rained pretty good that day so the roadside was full of puddles. Well, when we were coming back by their residence, I saw those three ducks satcheting as fast as they could toward the road. I mean they were moving as fast as their webbed cushions could move them. Kinda reminded me of someone whereing flippers at the beach trying to run. It is a funny sight to see. Well these three were moving so fast, I knew they were making a bee-line for only one place, the puddle.
Now when I was a kid, puddles were my thing too. I never let a puddle pass where I didn't think it deserved a good waddin'. Reminds me of the time a girl pushed me in a puddle one morning on the way to school. Surely, I wasn't doin nuthin' to her, she just hauled off and pushed me from behind and I landed face first in the dirty water. Well, I couldn't go to school like that so I thought it was my way out of school. Grandma would have none of it nor my explanation. She knew I wasn't a puddle jumper by no stretch of the imagination. To my recollection I got a good scolding and still had to go to school.
Back to the ducks. I just had to stop Brecht, as I chuckled to myself, and watch and see which puddle they were going to and if my thinkin' was right. Sure enough, they went directly to the biggest puddle and started waddin' and slurpin' muddy water. No here's the thing. I thought surely they would sit down and have a bath of sorts, kinda spend some time in the duck spa. But no, that Malard drove them, or led those two girls up and out of that puddle and over the edge of the road like they were on a mission. Reminds me of another male proclivity. That is we men have to get where we are goin'. No stops for pleasure and sight seein'. We gotta get there. Short potty breaks only, right? Well, I guess he had somewhere he was a goin' because they didn't even hardly stop to enjoy the water.
After that, I prompted Brecht it was time to continue, enough of a rest stop, we gotta get going and accomplish our mission.
Sometimes I can be like that with horses. I gotta get where I want to go in the training agenda. I am on a mission and I refuse to let anything get in my way, even a thousand pound horse. Trouble is, that is when things start to go awry. So just as when I am on a trip with Sharon, I have to stop and let her have a potty break, in horse lingo that means I have to take a step back and slow down. Give them and me a chance to process the task at hand what is being accomplished and what isn't. With horses, slower is faster, accomplishing one step in a movement and then taking a break is better than trying to ask for 5 or 6 steps or even as little as 2 steps. It might be that I only look for a try, a muscle movement in the right direction before releasing the pressure and giving them a break. It all depends on the place we are at in the training as well as their attitude at the time.  Come to think of it that is the way it is with Sharon and I. I stop when she tells me too and I better have the right attitude about it or else. In fact, here she comes now wanting to go somewhere so I better get off here and hurry her to the next watering hole.

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