Like any good trainer, Linda wanted to convey to the client the on-going progress her horse was making while in Linda's training program.
In the emails (below), Linda takes on the persona of young Dee Dee. The notes begin with Nancy, Dee Dee's owner, leaving for a business trip. Dee Dee has come to camp in her absence. The first note is from Dee Dee as she begins writing to 'Mom.'
In all the notes, Linda channels Dee Dee's thoughts about how she feels about the various training techniques she has learned and socialization skills she has acquired. On occasion, Linda will also correct Dee Dee on certain facts, grammar or language usage.
Take the time to read the following, enjoy the story, and come to understand Linda's approach to the care and training of horses:
I hope that you had a good flight and that things are going well with the work. I was suppose to write to you last night however Linda opened a new bale of hay for us. I promised Linda that I would only eat for fifteen minutes and then I would go to the computer room and write you. Needless to say, I got involved with the eating. When I realized what time it was, the computer room was already locked.
I have a question for you. I thought that I was going to one of those camps for weight loss where they talk about my issues surrounding the reasons why I overeat. How come I ended up at Outward Bound? I just thought Mistress Linda was shipping me to the posh camp. I didn't realize until it was too late that Mistress Linda was going to be the headmaster at this place. We aren't, talking we're DOING!!!!! And I mean lots of it.
Sunday morning I met my roommate. Actually I met him Saturday night over the fence. His name is Evening Star. Star is an Irish Draught horse. He is friendly and kind. Plus, he loves to eat as well. Later, Linda rode me. She had me walk, trot and canter. Then, you're not going to believe this, Linda had me pony Star. First we worked in the arena and then we went on a little trail ride around her place. I got a little scared. I kept repeating the mantra "Stallions, steers and logs Oh my!" I overheard Linda say to Star that I was certainly my mother's daughter. What do you think that she meant? You should have seen what we had to ride by. First, we had to go by this stallion. And I mean right by his paddock. He was running the fence and screaming. This guy thought he was God's gift to the horse world. He was trying to convince me to come to his paddock for the night. I told him that I was not that kind of mare.
Next we had to ride past THAT steer. I had forgotten about him from the camp we did last year. He was lying down and staring at me. I hate that. About the time we got past the steer, there was this log. You know how logs can be scary. Linda was very pleased with my reactions. I tried to be brave because after all I was leading Star. Linda told me that I had to be brave for him.
I have so much more to tell you but I'm so tired. Today Linda expected me to be nice to other people's kids but more about that later. What is she thinking? Actually I ask myself that question a lot about Linda.
Lots of nuzzles, Dee Dee
Linda took me on a trail ride around the neighborhood today. I was pretty ouchy on the rocks. Can she get a pair of hoof boots for me so we can continue riding out? I promise I won't ask for another thing. Well maybe a chiropractic adjustment but that's it. You will be able to use them, the boots, anytime we go where the footing is rough. I know, you're thinking "Oh God, not more trail rides when I get back. And what do you mean 'where the footing is rough'?" I think that she said they would be under $150 for a pair for my front feet.
Thanks Mom. You're the best. (Dee Dee you're mother hasn't said yes yet.) Oh by the way, my mail gets screened and anytime you see things in parenthesis it's an insert from Mistress Linda. She had to start screening the mail after some incident with a camper last year. Apparently he was on the Internet trying to find a way to build a bomb to blow up the steer. Seems they really hated each other. The steer, Tex, is also a resident here.
(Dee Dee time for bed. I want to lock up the computer room.) Dodger, another camper, well actually I think that he is a "lifer" here, boy he must be bad to end up having to spend life here. (Dee Dee, Dodger lives here as a resident not a "lifer.") Oops I got off track. Anyway Dodger told me that he could get me into the computer after hours. (Dee Dee, Dodger says a lot of things. Don't believe most of what you hear from him.) It's like Linda has instant messaging or something. She keeps sticking her two cents worth in every time I barely get a sentence finished.
I'm off to finish another bale of hay. (Dee Dee I think that you have had enough food for the night.) She doesn't know that Star and I have snacks hidden under bushes. (Yes I do and no you don't anymore. Don't think that anything you do young lady gets past me!! And don't even think about smoking cigarettes in the woods with the boys. I told your parents that I would hold you to a high moral standard. After all, you are a Hanoverian.)
Enough already. Good Night. Dee Dee
I'll try to catch you up to date on things. On Monday after I did my arena work, I ponied Star out around the neighborhood. That's when my feet starting hurting because of the rocks. Linda picked up the Easy Boot today. She said that if she could find a mate to that it should work ok. She said that sometimes those particular boots were hard to keep on. She thought with the type of riding we were doing it would be fine.
Ok so back to my Monday. I thought I would be done when we got home. Oh no!!! Next she wanted me to lead some other parent's brat around. (Now Dee Dee, those kids were very well mannered.) God she's back again ease dropping. (DEE DEE!) Sorry. Of course these kids didn't know how to lead much from another horse. I didn't think that they were ever going to get it. (Dee, it didn't take them long at all.) Then, you're not going to believe this, she wanted me to put my head over their backs. She gave me some story about how that was soothing to them. Sort of like something their mother would do. Doesn't she get it? I am not their mother! I tried to express my displeasure about this but Mistress Linda was not hearing it. (Dee was not unreasonable, just put out.) Finally I figured that if I ever wanted to see my hay, I mean paddock, again I had better get with the program.
Today, Tuesday, I ponied Star again and did my arena work. Then, she had me go over to where the stallion was tied from the high line and move him around. She actually had me get close to him and she moved him with the flag. He wanted to be fresh but he didn't dare cross the line with her. I felt really powerful moving him.
It didn't end there. Next Linda had a client come to work with the foals. She took this opportunity to tie me to the fence and let me hang out not far from the stallion. You should have heard the things that he said to me. It made me blush. Just who does he think he is? He is still trying to talk me into coming to his paddock at night. Linda told him to watch his mouth and not to try and lead me astray.
Linda was pleased with how well I stood tied. I was told that because I was so good that I wouldn't have to spend much time tied. I see some other campers have to spend a lot of time in "time out" especially the stallion.
Oh, oh, tonight we got together as a group to watch a movie. We watched Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I guess that this was suppose to be some educational thing for us because after we had to discuss issues. All it made me do was want to eat some more. I cracked up watching Augusta Glup in the movie. He was the chubby kid who stuffed his face constantly. He reminded me of Star. Star is just like that. He is always wanting to eat and is whiny. When we were out ponying today and trotting up the hills, he kept whining about how hard is was and could we walk. He also wanted to know when lunch was going to be. It never ended.
Linda wants to go to bed so I need to sign off. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Oh yay! (Dee, the rolling of the eyes was unnecessary.)
Nuzzles, Dee Dee