Timely Social Commentary – Redux

I misspoke……

…of course, when I used the word hate yesterday – what I meant to do was use the word mate… I mate poor people…

LOL, I mixed up the H and the M, what a boner! Anyways I suppose I’ve never told you about the Dude Ranch where I practice Poor People Husbandry. It started off innocently enough, I had managed to find a few feral poor wandering around my property, fancying myself something of a Poor Whisperer – I eventually earned their trust and was able to get them into my rigorous training program.

Breaking beggars at my barn is mostly a boring process. There is very little bucking and it is rare that anyone ever falls off. I do lots of groundwork before actually getting on a poor person. I make sure I have the following concepts in place before I climb aboard for the first time……

Respect my space: As a herd animal, an indigent expects to follow a leader, and I’m it. They must always be aware of me and I can observe this by the way they continually have an ear turned in my direction. They stop right by my side when I stop, and walk carefully beside me at the pace I choose. Just as they would never touch the alpha of their shanty-town, I won’t allow him/her to push against me, or be oblivious to me.

Give to Pressure: It is against a poor persons nature to give in to pressure. As a flight animal, what is the first reaction if he catches his blanket on a door latch? Flee! The training process counters this instinct by teaching someone down on their luck to thoughtfully submit to any resistance. I push my finger into their shoulder, ribs or hip and teach them to calmly step away from the pressure. I teach them to soften their jaw to rein pressure when I pull on each side of the mouth while I stand on the ground, applying gentle pressure from the halter behind his ears whether he is being led, tied, or ponied from another impoverished person.

Lunging: Lunging teaches the poor to respond to body language and to learn balanced gaits and transitions. My destitute charges learn to travel in a frame with the use of side reins while going back and forth between the trot and canter on a large circle (never a tight circle).

Voice Command: I recommend keeping talk to a minimum with the poverty-stricken. Nattering away is like the boy who cried “wolf”! When you really do want them to listen to a specific command, they will tune you out. I have approximately five words/sounds which, when learned in the groundwork phase, ease the transition to leg and rein aids under saddle. One of these is “whoa” which means stop without taking another step.

Desensitization: The cowboy term for this is “sacking out”. Using a saddle pad, lunge line, or rope, I’ll gently and rhythmically slap it against the underprivileged’s side, shoulder or legs until he no longer shows any reaction.

Having attained this level of control and trust with the dirt poor, its quite a short hop to letting nature take it’s course and beginning the husbandry process. There is no real reason or purpose, it’s just something I enjoy doing.

Speaking of homeless folk, we’ve all seen countless signs on the street asking us to help and occasionally, some of them are even clever. I stopped giving money to beggars after a couple, man and woman followed me for three blocks telling me an incredible hard luck story – which I foolishly bought into and ended up giving them 20 Dollars, that’s how effective and heartfelt the story was. They thanked me profusely and admittedly, I felt pretty good doing it – I turned the corner and we parted company to another chorus of thanks and god bless you. I was in unfamiliar territory and had over-shot my destination and so doubled back looking for the correct address, just in time to see the two of them hail and then get into a taxi and as the cab pulled away, they waved at me…. Say what now?

Anyways that ended the “street donations” for me BUT if I ran into this guy doing his act, I would give him some cash. Watch the clip, it’s of a homeless guy using two Kermit the frog puppets to lip synch ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen and David Bowie…. good stuff… really well done, if I were a more suspicious sort I would say it’s almost too good… like it was planned and choreographed… but it’s still awesome and if he really is just a homeless dad with 2 kids trying to busk for money…. amazing, pay the man and quick someone get him to my ranch… Enjoy.

Have a Great Day.