As a teenager, I used to love ballroom dancing classes. It was great fun and a real laugh. All the girls would sit on one side of the room and the boys on the other. The dance instructor would say “Okay boys, pick your partner” and off we would go. Twenty odd boys flat out trying to beat anyone else to the girl you wanted to dance with. They used to put powder on the floor to make it slippery so the boys would come to a sliding halt in front of the girl you wanted, sometimes 2 or 3 boys going for the same girl. It must have been a sight and a laugh for the girls too.

The best part was we could hold the girls in our arms, and at the same time turning into bumbling idiots trying not to stand on the girls toes. It was real fun and gradually, step by step we all learnt to dance the Quickstep, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Pride of Erin, Tango and so on. Going to the dance was just awesome fun for they had progressive dances where you had the opportunity to dance with every female in the hall. Which is a great thing for socialising and briefly dancing with the girl you fancied.

I used to go to the 60/40 barn dances around the country. Whole families would attend the dance all bringing plates of food and a pent up excitement to let loose and have a great time. Especially in the progressive dances.

Of course rock n roll was raging as I got older, however, I liked the Barn dances to do something different and to be with country people. I grew up in a rough and tough place. A coal mining town and from a young age, every night after school and Saturdays after football, I worked in a coal miners pub. It was an aggressive violent environment. My friends were bikers and the local toughs. Covered in tattoos, I was everyone’s little brother. I thrived and loved my life and friends but I was also a mountain man. I loved my hunting, trout fishing, riding horses and going to the occasional dance. Something I kept separate from my brothers at the pub. That was nearly completely impossible though. One night, a few of the boys at the pub found out that I went to a ballroom dancing class. For a laugh and with a few beers under their belts, they decided to come and stir me up. These guys, were not the type you wanted coming to your dance or party. They were fearless and could be dangerous at times.

So, here I was dancing away with a pretty young woman, when all of sudden, the front doors of the hall came bursting open and falling into a pile of bodies on the floor, all laughing, yelling and carrying on were my mates.

Everyone in the hall freaked out. Especially the gently instructor. I couldn’t help but smile at their antics. Then they saw me and they started yelling out my nick name (I can’t tell you that). I thought I better kick them out. So I went over trying not to laugh and ushered them out. Amazingly, some of the boys wanted to join the next weeks class when they realised that all the girls were on one side of the room and you actally got to hold them, they wanted to give it a shot

So some of my mates started to come to the dances as well. At least when the other guys accepted them, they felt protected by their presence, and they were.

I started to take some of the boys with me hunting and fishing in the mountains. Something different for them than pubs, poolrooms and the streets. It was funny though going hunting in street cars, hot EH Holdens and on bikes. These guys were older than me, most covered in tattoos. They were the guys that the Government was sending to Vietnam. Some wanted to go, but you know they had a strong influence on me when I was young which I feel strongly about even today. They prepared me well for the life that was ahead of me. They were fiercely loyal people, brave and fearless. They didn’t fear pain. They would stand by your side against all odds. They would die you you. They don’t let fear run their lives.

It may seem I have gone off track again from dancing to bikies and what’s this got to do with being a horseman and a horse trainer?

Dancing brings all people together to have an experience where we all learn together and progress together. People learn to touch and hold each other and to use their energies in a fun, creative way. Dancing creates community.

To be a good horseman and trainer, we have to be brave and strong and at times fearless. Sometimes, it may seem all odds are stacked against us. We have to know how to control our fears and emotions and not let fear run our lives.

Horses are from a Warrior Society. If we step into their world, we need to raise our warrior spirit to our forefront.

Be fearless, have that warrior spirit and learn to live your life, don’t let fear run your live.

To learn more about my training method and how the dance with your horse works, please see the video and link below, there you’ll also find my Vimeo ‘videos on demand’, there you can rent or buy them, also, I offer my series on DVD’s in high definition for sale on my new updated website which will be available soon, or you can buy them now on ebay…  if you wish the purchase the DVD’s earlier, then I have a special offer, just reply to this post and I’ll send you the special offer. I’ll let you know when my new website is available.

As always, I wish you all safe and happy riding, Shane

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