The Oscars ceremony on Sunday night reminded us all that it takes teamwork to create a masterpiece. It seldom happens alone. It is also true on the farm that every major accomplishment is a result of a team effort.
Jakie visited us again this week from New Orleans, bringing her expertise with the Tellington T-touch team approach to training horses. Gogol, our yearling colt, who has responded so well to Manuel's training, received a large dose of team effort this week. As a result, we have all become more comfortable with the colt and he more comfortable with us.
On Sunday, I drove Gogol from the rear with ropes tied around his chest while Jakie and Jens held lead ropes extending from each side of his halter. He responded well to our instructions, and when we were finished Kristianne rewarded him with a little extra grain.
Through all of this experience, Gogol not only refined his ability to "Walk" and "Ho!" on command, but also became comfortable with people being on every side of him. Since he is still young and unpredictable, everything was carried out with the people at a safe distance. We approached only one-at-a-time to praise him or give him treats, so he would not feel threatened. The team approach is such a satisfying way for novices and experts alike to participate in horse training!
Our experiences with Gogol exemplify how teamwork pervades our farm life.
Irma and Juliana brought their new friends, Su Jin, Ha Li, and Yu Ra, to help in the garden. Juliana and Ha Li, who are fifth graders in Walnut Creek, are doing their Rite of Passage Experience (ROPES) project at our garden. As a result, the moms and children have become a support team for the garden. Gary is guiding the girls in raising their own crop of spring lettuce from seed, and in turn, we have gained some eager weed-pullers.
Angie, our dear nonagenarian, was hospitalized as a result of a fall. Her room has become a magnet for her many farm friends. These people support Angie out of love, not duty. Her sincere good spirits and genuine interest in others have drawn people to her over the years, and they love to spend time with her. As a result, her biological family doesn't bear the burden for tending to her needs all alone. She has a "farm family" whose friendship she has cultivated over many years. As these friends visit with her, patients that share a room with her at the hospital also benefit from their attention.
Meanwhile, back on the farm, we work together as a team to carry out the multitude of daily tasks that are associated with caring for people and maintaining a property.
We share the preparation of meals, the feeding of animals, the watering of plants, and the fixing of faucets. Because of this team approach, an atmosphere of caring is maintained in which people enjoy making their contribution to the community effort.