|Mary Gallagher and student.|
That got me to thinking about consequences in nature. When action leads to reaction in nature, we can call it consequence or cause and effect, and we should notice that nature has no emotion attached to these events. It just is. Why is this important in horse training? Because we human predators are prone to reacting with emotion.
|Calm and collected.|
Emotions are tricky things between predators and prey. We predators tend to grab and attack, while horses tighten up and seek escape. Horses test escape routes all the time. Put them in a pen with a predator and you can see them work on plans to find a way out. Put an emotional rider on them, and you’ll see much the same, should the rider manage to ‘grab and attack’ on some level, triggering the horse’s anxiety.
Know it for certain that when the emotions of the predator come up, the prey animal takes notice.
|Grace Mitchell and Cysco, in conversation.|
So what can we do, given our nature as predators? We can take nature’s example, and learn to recognize and manage our emotional responses in horse training. Cultivating detachment and non-judgment in communication with our horses is a good thing, allowing us to stay in a good place, having a productive conversation with our horse. As a result, we will be better able to take advantage of Grace’s advice about degree and timing of consequences, far more likely experience the rewards of effective communication, and along with our horse, come out the other side feeling like winners.
|Practicing positive patterns.|