Which roughly translates as – keep your thermals on until the may (hawthorn) blossoms. Although many people think it is the month of May the saying refers to, as the hawthorn is known as “May Blossom”, for the month it usually flowers in.
Well, the month of May has been and gone, but the may is only now in blossom on my farm. It makes a lovely flower arch for this month’s Horse Agility course, don’t you think? The spring was late, the may is late and so is this website. Everything that should have happened in May is now happening in June. And I’m sure if you bought an Early Bird ticket for the Conference, you’ve been wondering why you’ve had no communication from us since. Here’s the reason…we’ve been working on the new, dedicated website, and like all IT projects, it has taken twice as long as we expected.
Mind you, time is a weird human construct. Earlier humans, had they invented computers AND kept their native wit (probably an incompatible expectation, but indulge me, please) they would not have thought this was late at all. Things happen when they happen and that is just how it is. They would see that we are in tune with our world, matching our pace of growth and blossoming with the world outside. (If only I had thought of this excuse in the days of late homework!)
Yesterday I met my friend Justine’s foal, Hawthorne. Born in May and named for the may blossom, he is indeed born in time. A good time to be a horse born into the human family he belongs to. Already, he finds humans to be a great source of interest and fun, safely peeping round from behind his Mum. He has discovered he can make them do what he wants by rewarding them with the pleasure of giving him a scratch if he stands in front of them. It’s almost like he’s in control of their hands! He is a +R foal, born into a +R family, where the children are learning to work with their ponies and ride, using clicker training and looking at things from the pony’s perspective.
And this is possible because you, me, everyone involved in developing reward-based training, are changing the world for horses for the better. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true if all domestic foals were born into human families such as Hawthorne’s? That’s what this Conference is all about. To pool ideas, share practise and to meet and support each other so that we become a force to be reckoned with. The website is finally here and is designed to support this growth…and just like our may blossom, which supports so much too, better late than never, eh?