Now back in Australia, I'd checked the important things off the list - got the children settled and happy, enjoying a lovely herd of horses, meeting lots of wonderful riders on my training travels and successfully divorced husband #2. Things were looking up!
But something was nagging at me - we didn't seem to really understand much about the horse's emotional level during training. I used to find myself saying "I think/believe/feel/find the horse is more relaxed and less anxious when I ...XYZ" Perhaps I was right and perhaps I wasn't but I wanted answers and so my search began.
A client told me about the work being done by Paul McGreevy and Andrew Mclean and I dove head first into their work. Unfortunately, much of the published material was not publically available, except at great cost, to those without university library access. Ooh, I had a daughter at university.....
If the UNSW librarian ever wondered why Ms Penn, a Architectural Computing student, was downloading all of this horse related literature, then they didn't mention it. Yes, yes, I know it's very naughty - but it's just between you and me!
It was as addictive as polo, honestly! Each paper led to six others and all of them there at the touch of a button. Back in the last century when I studied psychology for a few years, we had to actually GO TO THE LIBRARY and look through the microfiche. I went to the same library last month and didn't even see a book (I may have been in the wrong section, it's a big place)!
Of course, I didn't agree with everything I read and it was those "hey, wait a minute that's not what I see" moments that led me, about 6 months after the initial law breaking episode, to head back to university myself.
What have you read or who have you found that has peaked your interest in some aspect of riding or horses? Leave me a comment below and let me know.
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