So here is the report that I promised.
It was a rather small meeting this year. Except for Lidia we all had already met last year, so contrary to last year we already knew a lot about how the others were working with horses in general, we had seen each other play with the horses and so all the urgent questions already seemed to be answered. In that way this time we could talk things through in more detail, but we also spent much more time just fooling around with the horses instead of working on specific things. This year I think I did not do anything new or difficult with Impie, but it was so lovely to just be with her. So whereas I liked last yearâ€™s big meeting with a rather work-and-learn-like atmosphere a lot, I also very much enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of this year.
One of the things I really loved was going for walks with the two Spanish ladies. I had the privilege of walking with Impie the little angel and we mainly worked on getting and keeping each otherâ€™s attention. This was because I really donâ€™t feel safe when I am outside with a horse and not have a chance of getting his attention in a dangerous situation. But also for non-dangerous situations itâ€™s nice to look at the horse or slightly change the way you move and have him attend to you or mimic you. So what I did was rewarding her for being attentive and she was so good at it. I never thought she would be able to stay focused (or constantly refocus) for so long, but she did. What a wonderful horse!
I also thought it was very interesting to see Bianca interact with Evita outside. What I liked most was that whenever she had a disagreement with Evita, it never seemed like she was clarifying the roles but only the rules: I never got the impression that she was trying to â€œbecome the leaderâ€ but really only tell Evita that this was not the way things were being done.
And I so loved to see how when Bianca relaxed, Evita suddenly became much more relaxed as well.
Another very interesting thing was watching Lidia play with Evita and Impie, and how the change in her behavior towards them influenced their reaction. It seemed like the more she let go of her expectations, the more playful the horses got and in the end they were enjoying themselves very much and it was so much fun to watch. Great job, Lidia!
The great thing about small meetings is that you have much more time to talk. Last year there were lots of small conversations, but this year I finally had some more time with Bianca, which I enjoyed very, very much. I am so in awe of her ability to take the other oneâ€™s perspective and listen to what he is saying even when he is coming from a different point. I am ever so thankful for her trust in me to let me play with Imperia and I have no idea how I deserved such a friend.
On Sunday we were visiting Josepha and it was raining all day, so we could not play with the horses. But it was very nice to see the Don again and even though we did not play, I sneaked out now and then and gave him some cookies from the table.
I had way too little time to talk to Josepha, so I am especially happy that we will have more time in September.
Thank you all ever so much for this wonderful meeting, as you already know you are invited to come to my place any time and I am already looking forward to next yearâ€™s summer meeting!