OK, it probably seems a little crazy, but today was Day 1 of a six day Tellingon TTouch for Companion Animals workshop that I am taking at Robyn Hood’s place in Vernon, BC, Canada. This follows a three day Advanced TTouch Training, with Linda, Robyn and Mandy and a three day Connected Riding Clinic with Peggy Cummings, with a day off between each one. Boy! Was I tired tonight, I had an early dinner then came into my room and mentally connected with all my animals at home. As I was allowing my mind to drift a little (and no, I was not asleep!), I also started to review some of what I’ve been learning.
The Advanced Training had one day on TTouch for You, one on Companion Animals, and one on Horses. The people were all lovely and I was very glad to see that several of them stayed on and did the Connected Riding clinic as well. On the day off Linda wanted to get some photos of Robyn and Mandy for an English edition of a German book based on her Method of Starting Young Horses. It was really interesting listening to part of their discussion on what photos they wanted to best illustrate what they were demonstrating. Then the photo shoot began. Apart from happily being a bit of a go-fer, I was fascinated by the care and attention to detail every photo entailed. Checking the light and that no shadows were obscuring horse or handler, making sure the background was the beautiful mountain valley view, or the lovely trees in the garden but not showing any of the busy or untidy details around the farm. Stopping when the light was too bright and the contrast too difficult. It took all day and the there were still some shots needed the following morning. I can’t wait until the book comes out! For me watching it was a wonderful review of what I learned at Bitterroot two years ago.
I haven’t included any detail of what was covered in The Advanced Training, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning each component.
The Connected Riding was incredibly intense, we were all pooped at the end of each day. This area of Canada feels a lot like home, the weather is constantly changing and we went from needing extra coats and blankets in the mornings of the Advanced Training to starting earlier and riding first because it was soooo hot during the days of Connected Riding.
Today’s Companion Animal session with Lucy LeClerc, Christine Schwarz and Robyn Hood was really interesting. I have spent the last few years improving my skills in reading horse body language, but really didn’t know very much about reading what dogs are trying to tell us. Before our new puppy, Ellie, arrived I did reread the book on Calming Signals, but it is so much more impactful learning about it live with experienced people. So many of the dog’s subtle signals I have been totally oblivious to….. Not beating myself up on this, just observing what I didn’t know before. The challenge will be to not fall back into old habits, because it takes a focus and awareness for me to notice, but my goal is to keep at it so that it becomes just part of my everyday being with my animals.
I have lots of great exercises and concepts to share on our Practice Days when I get home and we will have to find some days on the weekends for those who can’t make the Monday sessions.
Looking forward to seeing some of you soon