Real World Conversations with Horse- Tolerance vs Curiosity


These four pictures from top left to right show a Conversation of Pardner practicing thinking through "supporting me" while I'm cleaning up debris. This is a desert horse who hadn't been around trees and wild animals. The deer and wild turkeys have made it their mission to "help" him... 

He is a common example of a horse who had been taught to tolerate uncomfortable situations. So he has a great "poker face" for when he is bothered, he doesn't act like the horse who expresses every emotion they are experiencing in a physically scary way.

The problem is this creates a pressure cooker of emotions in him until it becomes too much and "all of a sudden" he gets dramatic. So to change this pattern of obedient and tolerant behavior, I have to break everything down into very short, specific segments to help him learn to think through and sort out how to process in real-time what is being presented, and then to let go of anticipation.

This is not about making him tolerate the chaos, noise, dragging, etc. but rather for him to sort through his anticipation and concerns to learn how to just be aware of his surroundings and hang out with me.

He went from tolerant, to avoiding to eventually becoming curious about what was actually happening nearby. I had to help him go through his "checklist" including trying to leave, being mentally checked-out and avoiding, to becoming watchful, breathing, and finally getting interested in what I was doing. This comes down to clear Conversations that always offer a release- spatially and mentally.  

When there's curiosity, there is a willingness for a horse to try things outside their comfort zone.

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3 comments:

  1. Ok, so the first three pictures of him, first one is being obedient, second and third wanting to be somewhere else, and fourth, finally getting some curiousness about what you are doing. So am I correct in my thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok, first picture, being obedient, second and third, showing no interest, looking for a way out, and fourth ok what are you doing? Am I on track?

    ReplyDelete

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