Monday, May 25, 2015

The Name Game

You know what?  I've always hated the name Licorice.  I let my previous trainer talk me into keeping it because she believed you don't change their names once they have them.  Having worked a LOT with rescue animals, I'm all about starting a new life with a new name.

Also, Licorice just doesn't roll off the tongue.  There aren't good nick names.  It feels trite.  His original owner was a young girl, so it's probably like my first dog who got the moniker "Holly Jolly Christmas".  At least it had a decent nickname with Holly!

So...I've decided to change Licorice's name.  I have a front runner that I'm trying out this week, but if anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.  I love the big Italian names (Valerio!) but they were too fancy for Licorice.  His personality reminds me most of (get ready for corny here...) Black Beauty, but I can't name him that...because, no.  But he deserves a different name.  He's a kind hearted gentleman with a lot of try and a bit of a sensitive soul.

Anyone with experience with this, let me know how you let the rest of the world know (like your barn, friends etc.).

What name goes with this face??

We've completed a week of training with a new trainer (J) and had a lesson with the other trainer (E).  I'm getting such good stuff.  As we were walking around the property with Licorice on a gorgeous sunny day, I laughed and said "Are you ever surprised people pay you to do this?"

E smiled and said "I'm more of a relationship counselor than I am a riding instructor."

And she is.  She's expensive, but worth every penny.

My big take away for this week, that I got from both E and J separately, is about energy management.

E describes it this way:

You and your horse get to have a combined energy score of 10 at any given time.  You need to not go over 10 or under 10.  If it's a windy day or your horse is distracted, his energy may be at an 8.  So, you need to go in with an energy level of 2.  (note, this is not saying that you would be a lump, but that you would be very grounded and level with your energy and be pulling your energy down and not out).  Then, as your horse calms down, his energy may go down to 5 and you may need to bring your energy up to 5 to meet him.

On a hot day, when he's tired, your horse may only have a 3 so you may need to bring your energy up to a 6 to get him listening to you.  Sometimes, if he's really checked out, you may need your energy to be a 9 if he's only at a 1.  However, if you go up to 9, he's likely to switch from 1-5 pretty quickly, so you must adjust your energy.

For some reason, this totally clicked with me and we've been having major success with just staying calm, cool and focused.  I even (with the help of a friend) got him in the wash rack and got his tail washed without tying him.

1 comment:

  1. Rich, or Richie. Sounds like the end of his name - good to have a familiar sound. Nice, sensible name for a nice, sensible horse.

    I've changed two horse names. Our Lily came to us as Lulu - no, no, no. Lily sounded about the same and it stuck. Red's original name was Drifter - which I never liked - and when he got what we call the "personality transplant" during his intensive training, I changed his name to reflect that. And we tried to change the name of Norman-the-pony but he was indisputably Norman, so that was that.

    The energy balance you describe is so powerful. Many people, as their horse ramps up, ramp up themselves - bad idea.