Walking in Tennessee
So, let's back up. Hubby and I boarded the poor puppers Thursday morning and off we went to Tullahoma, Tennessee. Hubby did all the driving, so I could knit. He didn't even mind driving my tiny car with all the knitting stickers. What a guy!
The drive was pretty unnoteworthy - except the portion through BFE, Georgia, when hubby started vocalizing "Dueling Banjos" from Deliverance.
He-he-he... Our little theme music... There were absolutely no other cars on this portion of the trip - and only a very few pickup trucks and SUVs. Go figure... So, while hubby drove and entertained me, I knitted and drank coffee. What more could you ask? ;-)
Can you see the knitted cuff on my paper cup? One of the men I knit with made it for me - thanks, Brett! Especially since I lost the first one Brett made for me, he knitted a replacement. (I had a blonde moment and threw the cuff away with the cup. DUH...)
We checked into a "classy" Hampton Inn, and met up with a co-worker, to go to the main attraction of Tullahoma, the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Hey - besides the horses, there is N O T H I N G to do there. And they actually have a pretty nice one there - OK, I admit I made three trips in total... But I didn't buy any yarn! Hubby couldn't be bothered and read a bunch while we were gone.
After an OK dinner at Applebee's - which is one of the better restaurants around there... - we went to the evening horse show. Man, you can see some wonderful horses at these shows.
Friday morning hubby and I went to my boss's horse farm, Waterfall Farms. They have a big breeding facility there and we sat through a breeding presentation from a prof from the University of Tennessee. It was very interesting - I didn't know that mares are pregnant for 11 months and 4 days - and sometimes a bit too graphic for my taste. I don't really need to know what the insides of female horse look like. ;-)
Then we watched the horse whisperer, Monty Roberts, which was really astounding. He worked with three horses and his presentation was over 2 hours long. Really jaw-dropping... I won't bore you with too many details, but if you want to read more about his work, go to his webpage.
Just real quick - when he works with the horses, he basically tries to become the horses's friend with a method called "Join-Up":
Join-Up training methods are most simply expressed in the process of starting raw horses. Without the use of pain or force, the trainer persuades a raw horse to accept a saddle, bridle and rider. Working in a round pen, one begins Join-Up by making large movements and noise as a predator would and begins driving the horse to run away. She then gives the horse the option to flee or Join-Up. Through body language, the trainer will ask, "Will you pay me the respect due to a herd leader and join and follow me?" The horse will respond with predictable herd behavior: by locking an ear on her, then by licking and chewing and dropping his head in a display of trust. The exchange concludes with the trainer adopting passive body language, turning her back on the horse, and without eye contact, invites him to come close. Join-Up occurs when the animal willingly chooses to be with the human and walks toward her accepting her leadership and protection. This process of communication through behavior and body language and mutual concern and respect, can be a valuable tool to strengthen all other work with horses.
It was really amazing how fast the horses responded to him.
You can find a ton of pictures on my Flickr.
And here are some of the beauties from Waterfall Farms:
Anyway, we had a blast. It was fun spending some time with just hubby and no furry kids. Of course - I missed them every once in while, especially when I didn't trip over a furball on the way to the bathroom during the night. They were happy when we picked them up on Sunday, even when I gave them baths as soon as we got home - they really stank from the kennel. Oh well... What bad parents - neglect the dogs and then baths to boot... So, this is the typical disapproving look you get from Hermione:
Stand by for a knitting related post!!! Coming up!!!