This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Back to reality......

Well, it's back to reality! The play I directed for Holy Spirit School, "Alice In Wonderland," closed last night to rave reviews! The children were wonderful - I just can't say enough about how hard they worked to bring this story to the stage! Many of the kids are tone deaf and have 2 left feet but they poured their little hearts and souls into singing and dancing for this production and the results were just awesome! I think part of our success was due to the fact that I and the other directors (I had 6 other teachers helping me!) allowed the children to have input of their own. The 2 boys who played the Tweedles asked if they could say their lines with British accents. Well......why not? Ok, they were the WORST British accents we've ever heard but the boys had a ball and because we'd given them the go ahead to be goofy with the accents, they took the ball and ran with it and added lots of crazy gestures and moves to their dance routines. They had the audience falling on the floor laughing!!
At the end of every rehearsal we would ask the kids if they had any questions or suggestions for each other and quite often they would notice some things that had escaped the directors' notice! And sometimes the other kids would be more open to constructive criticism from their peers than from us old farts. LOL
Working with children is truly a humbling experience. And in order to have even a modicum of success, you have to become astute at reading body language, facial expressions, and at feeling energy levels. The youngest children that I work with (5-7 year olds) are blatantly honest and think nothing of coming up and asking, "What are those big plugs in your ears?" (My hearing aides!) Or they might say, "I'm tired. Do we HAVE to do this AGAIN?" at a rehearsal. The older kids, however, "know better." I have to be sensitive to the rolled eyes, the tired faces, the angry energy. Clicker training has truly made me MUCH BETTER at this and because of clicking, I believe I'm also a better director and teacher! And I'm not just talking about horses.............I think I'm much more patient with my fellow human beings. I'm much more open to listening to everyone's ideas and much more sensitive about including EVERYONE in decisions, and about the giving and taking of ideas. I admit, that was hard for me in the past.
Clicking is not just about the animal (I sound like a broken record)! For me, it's been a huge wake-up call and I wish I had learned about clicking long before now. But all things happen in their own time and for a reason and what I must focus on now is NOW.
So thank you to all who have brought the click into my life - Mary, Michelene, Mundi (or the "3M's" as I call them in my mind - LOL!), Alex Kurland, Laurel Gordon, Dolores Arste.......the list goes on and on. I hope I can pass along some of what you've taught me to others! I look forward to learning more from you all - and I mean YOU ALL! Everyone I come in contact with is my teacher in some way!

We leave you with this quote for today:

"Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers." --Josef Albers

Enjoy the day!

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