It has been a tough time for everyone. But tough times eventually end. Tough times are easier when we help each other. This photo was taken many years ago when I was working at a large farm. I arrived early to work to find that a mare with a young foal that had recently arrived to be bred had died overnight. Her foal was understandably confused and hungry. I had been up most of the night at another facility foaling a mare. This foal needed some comfort. I tried to convey a sense of safety, comfort and calm. The owners were on their way to pick up the foal and had a nurse mare at the ready. But for the moment, it seemed like the end of the world. But it passed. Things got better. There is a change in the air, things are opening up and there is more hope. There is a lot of anger and frustration as well, but we really need to hold on to the hope. We will get through this. We ARE getting through this.
WITH ALL OF THE UNCERTAINLY IN THE WORLD, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT FOR THE HORSES, NOTHING HAS CHANGED, NOTHING IS DIFFERENT IN THEIR WORLD. WE WILL ADAPT, WE WILL FIND A NEW PATH THROUGH THIS CRAZY WORLD. MEANWHILE, THE PROMISE OF A NEW LIFE BEGINS.....
I love teaching conformation analysis. It is great when the light bulb goes off. You will be explaining some sort of conformation point and BOOM! It happens!! The eyes of the participants go from slightly glazed to bright pinpoints. They got it!! A great example of creating a light bulb moment is teaching people how to evaluate the slope of the shoulder.
Most people do not accurately gauge the correct slope of the shoulder because of an optical illusion. There are two muscles that lie on the shoulder blade. There is a ridge running along the top third of the shoulder blade or "scapula". It is called the "spine of the scapula". One muscle sits on one side of the spine and another muscle sits on the other side.
Right in-between those muscles--the actual spine of the scapula creates the angle of the shoulder. The spine is thickened because it not only has muscles attached to it, but it is where the force comes through the shoulder and then goes through the leg down to the ground.
Showing people how to find the spine of the scapula with their fingers and then extend a line along that spine creates the lightbulb moment! Wow! is the most common response. Once someone learns how to "read" a shoulder angle, the skill only gets better with time and experience. The more accurate you are evaluating the shoulder, the better you will be at selecting a horse that has the right construction for the job you want done!!
My job is to do a better one at keeping the website current! I had a WOW! moment today myself! I said, Wow, my website is sure out of date!!! But at least I said WOW!!!
I am finally going to start a blog and there is no better excuse than to talk about the fantastic weekend I just had teaching a conformation evaluation seminar to the most enthusiastic group of horsemen and women ever!!!! We had classroom sessions, judged live horses and the best part of all was the involvement of the youth, who will be our future!!! The fact that these youth are so eager to learn gives me great hope. The more we all learn--breeders, owners, trainers, youth--the better we all will be. A high tide raises all boats!!!!!!