Thursday, November 12, 2009

horses are buddhas, and so are folks

one thing that i have learned about animals, and that includes humans, is that there are no such things as perfect relationships. all are flawed and all have limited perfections because of our expectations and perspectives. non can live up to all of our hopes and some can be nothing but disappointments. but if you can get past that and recognize beings for what they are, imperfect in whatever way you perceive them, then they can become the teacher. they are the Buddha.

in working with horses it is a fact that they are wired for their survival. first and foremost. and to deal with that wiring we must understand that even tho they show affection to us at times, love has nothing to do with their wanting to avoid being potentially eaten by something. to this end they will run away, bite, kick, buck, rear, and do whatever needed to fulfill the defense mode. does this make them evil, flawed, or imperfect. no. they are here because one or more of their ancestors was perfect at self defense, thus passing on the gene pool that got this creature here. the problem comes in where this defense mode tends to get us riders hurt. i don't like that part. so it becomes our job as riders and trainers to understand this about them and to help them learn that all that is not familiar is not necessarily a threat and doesn't require that behavior to survive. it is also about purposely using the unfamiliar and scarey things to teach them to have trust in us and do what we say despite the scarey thing. and if they trust us and learn to bypass that survival behavior, then we judge them as "good" horses. a "bad" horse is one that has learned that these defense tactics for survival work to make ineffective riders scared and go away. oh do they quickly learn which buttons to push. we all do.
if we are close minded to the process of change and judge only from a moment of a behavior, an act perhaps made in fear, anger, or an emotional misunderstanding, then the relationship is doomed to not improve. relationships, between whatever the species, are ongoing processes. they require the openness to a difference of perspective, and a real sense of adventure and humor to learn to dance together. it is a journey, the learning to communicate, that makes the relationship become a partnership.

No comments:

Post a Comment