The Tale of Two Laddies

Written by Robert J. McLardie

Continued from page 1
I bedded him in deep shavings inrepparttar barn. This was another first forrepparttar 136921 old gelding. After 3 days of rest I led him torepparttar 136922 60 foot round pen to trim his feet. All four feet were foundered and extensive abscesses and large amounts of torn tissue. The toes on all four feet were squared off and large amounts ofrepparttar 136923 flaring were removed. As much heel as possible was left on all four feet. These trimming techniques are used to aid in making a horse more comfortable and to removerepparttar 136924 stresses fromrepparttar 136925 tendons. It also allowsrepparttar 136926 horse to break overrepparttar 136927 toe ofrepparttar 136928 foot withrepparttar 136929 least amount of stress. (It took a year of trimming and dieting to get his feet to normal shape and condition.) Although I am familiar with heart bar shoes, it was decided that I would continue to trim his feet and work him inrepparttar 136930 soft ground inrepparttar 136931 round pen. After a couple more days of rest inrepparttar 136932 barn it was back torepparttar 136933 round pen to teach himrepparttar 136934 basics. Without being restrained he was saddled and bridled on this day and taught to go right and left, walk on, trot and canter. Laddie had a big soft kind eye. He was so full of try and his kindness showed as he always gave 100% in whatever I asked him to try. 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 136935 round pen. Atrepparttar 136936 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 136937 70 x 120 ft outdoor riding ring. I was pleased withrepparttar 136938 progress. He felt solid under saddle. Corresponding withrepparttar 136939 arrival of Laddie,repparttar 136940 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 136941 farm quite frequently asrepparttar 136942 care and training of Laddie continued. Joshua loved to be outside andrepparttar 136943 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 136944 higher end ofrepparttar 136945 autism spectrum and he did have some verbal skills and was able to understand instructions that were short if he had time to processrepparttar 136946 information. Joshua always took everything that was said inrepparttar 136947 literal sense. Josh loved allrepparttar 136948 horses atrepparttar 136949 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 136950 riding ring waving it at Laddie who got his work out bye running away from Josh. One exercise with Laddie usingrepparttar 136951 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 136952 lunge line whip up and down like a large green snake towards Laddie but wouldn't keep eye contact withrepparttar 136953 big gelding. (People with autism have difficulty making eye contact.) Being concerned that Josh should know whererepparttar 136954 horse was I would shout "Josh keep your eye onrepparttar 136955 horse!" Josh would still shout "Whoa Waddie!"" whiprepparttar 136956 lunge line and look down atrepparttar 136957 ground. On closer observation I noticed he would peek atrepparttar 136958 horse by slightly raising his head and indeed had one eye open and one eye closed. He had one eye onrepparttar 136959 horse!! Josh could not say Laddie, he used to call him Waddie. He got very confident working him inrepparttar 136960 round pen andrepparttar 136961 arena. He could lead him and give him instructions to whoa, and walk on. Their relationship progressed torepparttar 136962 level where Josh would walk alongside him going torepparttar 136963 left, Josh would say "Who Waddie" and lift up his right arm andrepparttar 136964 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 136965 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 136966 skills required to communicate with him. One dayrepparttar 136967 school called his mother to tell her that she would have to pick Josh up from school becauserepparttar 136968 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 136969 outing with his class. Joshua was also upset so his mom brought him out torepparttar 136970 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 136971 big gelding and Joshua got up onrepparttar 136972 horse without any fear. I led them aroundrepparttar 136973 farm as Joshua gave Laddie and I directions to go right, go left, crossrepparttar 136974 bridge, walk here, walk there, whoa, walk on. Nearingrepparttar 136975 end ofrepparttar 136976 ride we crashed through brush and walked through an old creek bed. As we got closer torepparttar 136977 barn Joshua could see his mom. He shouted atrepparttar 136978 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 136979 horse he said to me "Thanks forrepparttar 136980 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 136981 past where it belongs, inrepparttar 136982 past. Live inrepparttar 136983 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 136984 spring a little girl and her mom came and took Laddie to his new home. © 2000 Robert J. McLardie

You may contact Robert throughrepparttar 136985 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.

On Grammer (And Yes, I Know I Spelled Grammar Wrong)

Written by Joseph Devon

Continued from page 1
We can also take this notion inrepparttar exact opposite direction. If more rules produce a smaller audience, then fewer rules must produce a larger audience. This, as it turns out, is exactlyrepparttar 136440 case. As anyone who has ever found a bathroom in a foreign land by acting outrepparttar 136441 motion of pulling down their pants, as anyone who has been involved in a puppet show to figure out what is on a dinner menu, as anyone who has found a hotel room by tilting their head and pretending to sleep will tell you: there is an international language, but it’s not love or Esperanto, it’s mime. The more basic your method of communicating,repparttar 136442 easier you will be understood. I am not, of course, advocating some sort of grammatical free-for-all where we throw out all ofrepparttar 136443 rules at once and ignorerepparttar 136444 fact that I used “its” instead of “it’s” back inrepparttar 136445 first paragraph. These rules provide a much needed service because, while it may be true thatrepparttar 136446 more grunting you dorepparttar 136447 more you’ll be understood, it also happens to be true thatrepparttar 136448 more basic your method of communicatingrepparttar 136449 less complex your thoughts can be. There is no way I could mimerepparttar 136450 New York State Penal Code. All I’m saying is, we shouldn’t take it too farrepparttar 136451 other way. There is a reasonrepparttar 136452 Tower of Babble fell over. That being said, I suppose I should relent just a bit here about something I said earlier. Maybe I shouldn’t have threatenedrepparttar 136453 rules of grammar exactly. As a writer I need and depend upon those rules to get from abstract thoughts in my head to paragraphs of 12-point font. So I take back that threat, but I leave a warning in its place: Don’t stand too firm, you believers in grammar, don’t hold too fast. This is all just a phase andrepparttar 136454 assaults on your rules taking place every day are just language attempting to move forward. The next time you want to complain about high-schoolers text messaging each other while spellingrepparttar 136455 word “cool” as “kewl”, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is this pure stupidity and a sign ofrepparttar 136456 crumbling of our civilization? Or is it something else?” (It’s something else. On a standard cell-phone keypad,repparttar 136457 number 6 representsrepparttar 136458 letter “o”. To type “cool” with proper spelling during text-messaging on a cell phone requires you to hitrepparttar 136459 number 2 three times forrepparttar 136460 “c”, then to hitrepparttar 136461 6 three times forrepparttar 136462 first “o”, then (and here’srepparttar 136463 important part) to wait, and wait, and wait until that letter reads in before hittingrepparttar 136464 6 three times again forrepparttar 136465 second “o”, then on torepparttar 136466 5 three times forrepparttar 136467 “l”. The word “kewl” requires no such waiting; none ofrepparttar 136468 sequential letters are represented byrepparttar 136469 same number and all can be hit in succession with no pauses. Trust me. Try it.) Language changes for a reason. Sometimes, as inrepparttar 136470 coining of a phrase like “hogwash,” a saying becomes so popular that it automatically entersrepparttar 136471 mainstream lexicon. Sometimes, as withrepparttar 136472 mutation of a word or phrase into different meanings, like “holy grail,” it’s because verbal exchanges have broughtrepparttar 136473 word into use with a wholly different connotation. And sometimes, as withrepparttar 136474 word kewl, it’s just easier. Rules of grammar are just fine, but please don’t try to make them into laws. They will not hold. You might as well go back in time and try to tell Rembrant that he can sculpt anything he wants, just so long as he always uses Lego Building Set #6948B and his airplane always turns outrepparttar 136475 same way. Or you might as well tell Van Gogh to go ahead and paint, just so long as he paints by number. (Ironically, that’s pretty much what happened to Van Gogh, an inspired painter who did not followrepparttar 136476 strict rules of Dutch oil painting as they were atrepparttar 136477 time and thus only received scorn while he was alive. Of course, if that’s whatrepparttar 136478 man saw when he looked at a haystack, I’m willing to admit that there might have been some other issues at play. Plus there’srepparttar 136479 whole ear thing.) And you might as well tell me to stop interrupting my essay for parenthetical asides containing chatty writing. That’s how I’m most comfortable writing, and I’m not going to change it just to make you feel comfortable. But I suppose I really do have to back off a bit and repeat: that’s a warning, not a threat. Grammar freaks, you had better learn how to bend because language is most certainly going to change throughout time, and if you will not yield for its passage it is going to leave you broken in its path.

Joseph Devon is the author of "The Letter" and is a freelance writer living in New York City. To read more about him, please visit

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use