Monday, February 2, 2009

Looking a Horse in the Eye

Dear Friends,

Monty Roberts makes the argument that looking a horse in the eye drives him away, that it is interpreted by the horse as a challenge.

I don't want you to think you can never look your horse in the eye, so let me add my thoughts to this. I believe what Monty is talking about is a hard, focused stare. This could be read by the horse as assertive body language and could easily make him uncomfortable.

A soft gaze is a different matter and may even tend to calm your horse if it is also reflected in the rest of your body. This is especially true if you have established a strong relationship with the horse and he trusts you.

Remember, horses read our intentions by reading our bodies. Keep your thoughts positive and supportive and things will usually go better.
R

Gene Autry

Dear friends,
This week we air one of my favorite TV episodes, "Gene Autry and the Seven Champions."
I saw him live on stage when I was three years old, and like most Americans of my generation, I've been a fan ever since. But that was the public Gene. What I learned making this TV episode made me a fan of the private Gene.
He was not perfect, I know, and we don't sugarcoat anything in this piece. Still, I hope the audience can find as much to admire about the man as I did: his work ethic, his generosity, his loyalty, his patriotism, his business acumen, his musical talents.
At the same time, I hope the audience can forgive him his foibles, as I have. In one of his last conversations with his secretary, Maxine Hansen, Gene said of his life, "I tried to be good. I really tried." That's good enough for me.

Gene Autry died in 1998 at the age of 91. On February 8, 2009, he will receive a lifetime achievement award during the Grammy awards.
R