Monday, July 28, 2008


Last friday I was fortunate enough to work with Paul and his two steers Bronze and Chrome, some of my favorite animals here at Sterling. Working with them is similar foundationally as working with the horses, things like haw and gee still mean left and right, and whoa means stop. However unlike working with Pete and Rex where you use your voice and your direct contact through the lines, Bronze and Chrome's behaviour relies on voice only, and usage of the whip when needed. It is pretty impressive to see how well they obey if you are clear and firm. I find one of the most important things when working with animals is the ability to establish dominance without feeling overly harsh or mean, but to the point where you are still firm and obviously in charge. At first Bronze and Chrome, especially Chrome, tried to test me by heading to the nearest patch of grass, it didn't take long though for me to gain the confidence to properly command them to listen to me, and the rest of the evening went rather smoothly. As with the steers and the horses, and pretty much everything else I do in life I need to: slow down, breath, don't have too much slack on my outside line, and smile.- advice given to me by many different people throughout my life, most recently given by Rick last Thursday morning. It is true, and infact I attribute the progess I have made in this department throughout the years, to horses, and now many of the animals here at Sterling, and just the overall pace of life here in Craftsbury.

This summer has been a really interesting one for me, but I have learned a lot, and am sure I will continue to do so over the next three weeks. Part of my wanting to get home in a hurry, is really just that there are so many things this place has taught me how to do and motivated me to do them, that I am itching to apply them to my life back in California,

Vegetable Brianni for dinner in a half hour, I'm pretty stoked. See ya all there

1 comment:

Rick said...


Thanks so much for your insightful comments, I believe strongly in the power of the human-animal connection. I am happy to learn that you look forward to applying the skills and knowledge you have learned here this summer; I look forward to seeing photos of the wonderful edibles you will grow in California.

Thanks for all the positive energy you brought to our program.