The Tale of Two Laddies

Written by Robert J. McLardie

Continued from page 1
Laddie was about 200 lbs. overweight so I decided to put him on a diet of last year's hay and continue with a program of gradual conditioning inrepparttar round pen. Atrepparttar 136920 end of 8 weeks he continued to lose weight and had been trimmed a second time. His conditioning and training was now allowing me to ride him inrepparttar 136921 70 x 120 ft outdoor riding ring. I was pleased withrepparttar 136922 progress. He felt solid under saddle. Corresponding withrepparttar 136923 arrival of Laddie,repparttar 136924 second little laddie entered my life. His name was Joshua and he was a 4 year old autistic boy. (Autism is a disorder that causes delays in social and emotional development, language skills and behavior difficulties.) He visitedrepparttar 136925 farm quite frequently asrepparttar 136926 care and training of Laddie continued. Joshua loved to be outside andrepparttar 136927 farm offered a safe, secure and new environment for Josh to explore. I was able to establish a relationship with Josh very quickly and he was very willing to take instructions from me. Although many other people had great difficulty in communicating with him, I was able to create a special bond with him right away. Joshua functioned atrepparttar 136928 higher end ofrepparttar 136929 autism spectrum and he did have some verbal skills and was able to understand instructions that were short if he had time to processrepparttar 136930 information. Joshua always took everything that was said inrepparttar 136931 literal sense. Josh loved allrepparttar 136932 horses atrepparttar 136933 farm but he seemed to show special fondness of Laddie. Whenever I was working with Laddie Josh wanted to help. Many times he would bring his favourite toy, a Star Wars light saber and run aroundrepparttar 136934 riding ring waving it at Laddie who got his work out bye running away from Josh. One exercise with Laddie usingrepparttar 136935 lunge line was to teach Laddie to stand still and face me and then to come to me by giving him a hand signal. Josh would watch this process. Josh loved to makerepparttar 136936 lunge line whip up and down like a large green snake towards Laddie but wouldn't keep eye contact withrepparttar 136937 big gelding. (People with autism have difficulty making eye contact.) Being concerned that Josh should know whererepparttar 136938 horse was I would shout "Josh keep your eye onrepparttar 136939 horse!" Josh would still shout "Whoa Waddie!"" whiprepparttar 136940 lunge line and look down atrepparttar 136941 ground. On closer observation I noticed he would peek atrepparttar 136942 horse by slightly raising his head and indeed had one eye open and one eye closed. He had one eye onrepparttar 136943 horse!! Josh could not say Laddie, he used to call him Waddie. He got very confident working him inrepparttar 136944 round pen andrepparttar 136945 arena. He could lead him and give him instructions to whoa, and walk on. Their relationship progressed torepparttar 136946 level where Josh would walk alongside him going torepparttar 136947 left, Josh would say "Who Waddie" and lift up his right arm andrepparttar 136948 big horse would stop. Then Josh would lean his upper body forward and point his right arm and say "Waddie walk on." Laddie walked on. This is a unique example ofrepparttar 136949 bonding that is possible between a human being and a horse. School was especially trying for Joshua. He required constant supervision and they had not yet masteredrepparttar 136950 skills required to communicate with him. One dayrepparttar 136951 school called his mother to tell her that she would have to pick Josh up from school becauserepparttar 136952 did not want to take him on a field trip. Josh's mom could not believe that with all of their education and knowledge that they would refuse to try and take Josh onrepparttar 136953 outing with his class. Joshua was also upset so his mom brought him out torepparttar 136954 farm as a special trip. Joshua then asked if he could RIDE Laddie. "Bob, Bob, I Want to wide Waddie, prease, prease!!" I saddled uprepparttar 136955 big gelding and Joshua got up onrepparttar 136956 horse without any fear. I led them aroundrepparttar 136957 farm as Joshua gave Laddie and I directions to go right, go left, crossrepparttar 136958 bridge, walk here, walk there, whoa, walk on. Nearingrepparttar 136959 end ofrepparttar 136960 ride we crashed through brush and walked through an old creek bed. As we got closer torepparttar 136961 barn Joshua could see his mom. He shouted atrepparttar 136962 top of his lungs, "I Win!! I Win!!" His mother and I looked at each other in amazement. Where did that come from? When I helped Joshua down fromrepparttar 136963 horse he said to me "Thanks forrepparttar 136964 most beautiful horse wide!" We were both brought to tears. A day that had begun with frustration and hopelessness had ended in exhilaration and success! In retrospect, both this horse and this boy had many challenges and obstacles to overcome and yet each in their own unique way were doing their best and giving their all. We couldn't have asked for more. I know my role was that of teacher and trainer but I know I learned so much from Joshua and Laddie about facing life's challenges and obstacles that may be in our paths, on how to start a new life and to leaverepparttar 136965 past where it belongs, inrepparttar 136966 past. Live inrepparttar 136967 moment and live in hope of an ever unfolding future. For this I thank them both. p.s. I wintered Laddie on a strict diet. He continued to do well and inrepparttar 136968 spring a little girl and her mom came and took Laddie to his new home.

© 2000 Robert J. McLardie

You may contact Robert throughrepparttar 136969 following: Telephone: 1-250-413-3152 E-mail: URL:

For the last three decades Robert is a special horse trainer and clinician with expertises in a wide range of horse breeds, in the UK & North America. He is living on Vancouver Island BC, Canada. Robert travels to teach his own horse training method called: The Cornerstone Approach, this innovative way to foundational training program for all horse breeds. Check for details, and for the upcoming books.

Outdoor Gear For Your Favorite Activities

Written by Corby Morris

Continued from page 1

Canoeing and kayaking are other popular sports for those who enjoy nature. What should you have packed to take onrepparttar river or lake? Carrying yolks, boat cushions and chairs, pump, safety kit, floats and life vests are important. Need help choosing a canoe or kayak? Considerrepparttar 136886 type of water you will be paddling on (lake, river, or ocean) as well asrepparttar 136887 types of expeditions you will be venturing into.

The avid runner must be fit and in great physical shape. However, youíll need more than that to be successful at this activity. Good running shoes are an absolute must, along with specialty socks to help your feet. The right clothing will also help. As you try on running shoes, pay attention to comfort. You donít want to worry about blisters or sprains later on!

So skiing is your hobby? Maybe you prefer snowboarding. The list of gear for skiers and snowboarders include skis, boots, poles, avalanche safety equipment, helmets, bindings and goggles. Of course, what you dress in is vital. A warm, waterproof ski coat or parka is essential, as well as hats, waterproof gloves, socks, pants and earmuffs. What skis or snowboard you need can be determined by your style and skill. With so many fun things to do inrepparttar 136888 great outdoors, everyone can find something they will love. Just donít forget to pack all ofrepparttar 136889 right gear!

Author and writer for Adventure Racing Central.

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