One After Another
Thunderstorms have been rolling in all day. I do wonder if they are connected to Hurricane/now tropical storm Bill moving up the coast. If my little cat rain gauge is right, we have had nearly 3 inches of rain already.
On to the trees! You guys are good. But what could I expect from such an observant group. In my classes, at least 90% of the students selected brown for the tree trunk and green for the leaves.
Frankly, it's not the leaf color that matters at all, but what does matter is the color of the tree trunk. Every tree trunk I ever colored as a child--at least that I can remember--was brown. Burnt sienna in my crayola box was my favorite brown. It wasn't until I was an adult that a set designer at our theatre called my attention the the fact that tree trunks are not brown, but rather a gray or even black. As a matter of fact, ever since, I have really looked at trees here and the only browns I've ever seen were in the small shoots/branches of a few trees. Some trunks are greenish gray, olive greenish, but mostly gray. Look around you, if you have trees and you will probably see the same thing.
So where did the brown come in? Most wood furniture is brown, as is most the finished wood we see around us. So, naturally, since wood comes from trees, we think "brown." Then, to top it off, as we go through school our art teachers teach us "brown." My set designer remembers distinctly being corrected in class for coloring her tree trunk gray. Just like the turkeys, as children, we saw what is there and then, society teaches us to see what it believes we should see.
That is the price of formal education. Instead of learning to think for ourselves, we too often learn to think to suit some kind of standard instead. We "unlearn" the truth to suit society.
With that little lesson, I tried to get my students to understand that "thinking outside the box" was just fine in my class. If the solution solves the problem, then why not?
It's the same with training our horses. Surely there are books and methods and traditions long set in stone for training. And while we can all do well to keep those practices in mind, it does not mean one or even any of those methods will work with every horse we encounter.
The Natural Horsemanship people love to categorize horses by personality types. Linda Tellington Jones tTouch method likes to name all kinds of specialized handling tactics as the only way to sensitize a horse. The Germans have a strick training scale and have been known to say, "There is only one way to ride."
But while we can depend on certain defined animal behavior to help us along, why can we not see our horses as much as individuals as people are? I love a trainer who has the instincts to travel the side paths when needed. (Lockie Richards was a master of this.)
It is not an easy path to travel, for sure. In essence you have to throw away the GPS and guidebook and start to listen to the horse.
I still love Burnt Sienna, but use it to color my bay horses now.