That is what Marilla told Anne she would have to do in the film ‘Anne of Green Gables.’ when Anne accidentally got her friend, Diana, drunk off Marilla’s wine. Anne thought it a fruit drink. It was a funny scene, but none-the-less Anne needed to apologize to Diane’s mother.
Eating humble pie is not easy. I had to eat some this month when my niece came for a visit. She rode our big gelding, Webster, better than me—much better. It is hard and humbling to watch someone ride your horse better than you. We horseman tend to be a bit prideful, and rather full of ourselves. So when we are outdone on our OWN animal it is painful to our pride. However, this is not such a bad thing; pride comes before a fall. And fall I have done many times off this horse. So much so that my confidence level was lower than a snakes belly.
I knew I was going to learn something from this young, excellent horsewoman. I was not disappointed. It was a pleasure watching her interact with this spoiled horse. Yes, he is spoiled. He has always been more defiant than our buckskin mare, High Hope. He has tried himself and my authority much more. I have always been a bit nervous around him, and skeptical.
Esther, however, established herself immediately with him. She knew exactly what her goal was and what she expected of him. “You two are a team, Aunt Mitzy,” she told me, “but YOU are the team captain!”
This is her basic premise with horses, being a team, and she communicated it beautifully to Webster. She is generous in her praise and quiet with her reprimands. Sometimes it was difficult to tell between the two because she always smiles!
She is focused and knows exactly what she wants from the horse. She works patiently until she can tell the horse understands. This is called consistency. She works them until she sees the horse working towards the result she wants. This is called persistence. It did not take long for Webster to understand what was expected of him. That is how good Esther is. It was beautiful to watch.
Both her parents are excellent horseman, and have ridden all their lives. They have taught all their children well the art of horsemanship. To their credit, Esther sure has the best of both of them. She has worked, studied and ridden many long hours. It shows.
She had taught me much. She is a positive, consistent, quiet handler. She had a clear understanding of what behavior is acceptable and what is not. She is easy to learn from because of her positive, cheerful outlook. The horses like her as much as I do! In fact, I do not know who learned more, me or Webster. I do know this, things are better between me and my horse. Thank you, Esther!