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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:56 pm 
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Hi Becky

Welcome here.
I think we will be able to learn a lot from you.
I for example am very interested in how you will change your rewards from to food to grooming and etc.

Regards

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Hi Becky,

Wonderful that you started off so quickly with pictures. And such a full description of what you are up to as a horse person.

My own path has been somewhat different than yours, but then again there are some strong similarities as well.

The main difference I think is that I am a returnee to the horseworld. Left as a twenty plus year professional (trainer, agent, instructor, coach, riding goods store owner, etc.) in the late sixties, and returned a year and a bit ago.

The reasons I left are reflected here in AND and its philosophy and the people of AND and what they are up to. It's were I wanted to be and could not manage to be because the horseworld in the sixties was a very different place. There was, except with children, little consciousness of a relationship with horses as we find in AND and similar philosophies.

I am an enthusiastic click trainer, and have also explored and am experimenting with SATS. Very similar but with some interesting approaches to the use of positive operant conditioning.

I too have an IR horse, an Andalusian x 1/4th Arabian mare you see in my atavar above, left. Here story is in pictures at my photo album, and of course here in folders-forums under her name in both the Training Diaries, and horse care and health. Altea's also in foal at this time and due pretty shortly.

You'll see various stages of construction in her album of her new home while she waits a mile or so from my home for me to complete it. We are almost at a point we can bring her home, but a heavy snowfall slowed things to a crawl. Maybe next week.

I do hope you'll show up soon in the training diary folder and keep us informed as to your three horse's progress and your goals for them.

I am of the same mind when it comes to exploring some of the things you too are exploring. Moving to more relationship and less control and coersion. Rather hard for an old professional from the old horseworld, but I'll keep at it.

My album link is below. Note the password you'll need to enter, and that if you wish to view the 'Altea' album you'll have to find it on the left side panel of the page and click it.

My main album shows a few more historical photos from my professional career:

Donald Redux
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If you are curious, you can see both my current and my historic photo and video albums at - (guest password is 'haumea')

http://photobucket.com/guestlogin?albumUrl=http://s236.photobucket.com/albums/ff51/donald_redux/

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Tlove wrote:
I am very interested how you will change your reward from treats to grooming. I would like to do this too.
Gorgeous horses you have!
Regards


Thanks for the welcome! And of course I love compliments on my horses!

In regards to the grooming as reward, I have already started that with the baby, Zz. If she stands still, she gets the grooming she really likes. If she moves, the grooming stops. This reinforces that I need her to stand still while we are at the hitching rack (but she is not tied).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Dw3PhHeDY

However, being a baby Zz loves being with humans (perhaps a bit too much at times ;) ) so this type of reward comes very easily to her.

With pony, with exercises she already does well, I have extended the time before I will click. For example, she may start walking beside me with her shoulder at my thigh - in the beginning I would click for one step, then three, now she is up to walking about 20 steps before I CT.

Another thing I am experimenting with is that I food reward two times and the third might be a "good girl" and scratch. The next time I might food reward five times before I subsitute with a "good girl" and scratch. I am trying to make it more unpredictable when the food reward comes but there will be a danger that she will grow bored and say "hey! no food!?" and leave! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Donald Redux wrote:
Hi Becky,

Wonderful that you started off so quickly with pictures. And such a full description of what you are up to as a horse person.

My own path has been somewhat different than yours, but then again there are some strong similarities as well.


Donald thank you for your welcome and post. With interest, I have seen and read your posts on many of the threads. You have much wisdom to give, especially coming from your age and history. Sometimes it can be too easy to forget what the horse world was like 20-30 years ago (or more) - and even today the resistance those who seek a different path get from the more "traditional" trainers.

What your post has made me think of is that we are seekers. We can be a Seeker who is open and listening - and learning... or we can be closed off and a know-it-all and learn nothing. It is sad really how many people are hostile to being shown a different path, and though once I might have wanted to change or convince them, now I know we each have to come to the path on our own.

I feel very lucky to find AND and to asborb some of the wisdom that all of you are imparting along your own unique paths.

I am going through the Diaries now - there is a lot to catch up on so I try to read through one and asborb (maybe like Sue's horses - I need to percolate :D ) and then commenting or asking.

I am still dealing with the loss of my mare from Cushings. This last year has been a hard one and the last two with several tragedies and challenges. The AND forum has gotten me re-enthused to work again as well as providing some ideas and answers on where I can go with all three of the horses that are in my care.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:13 pm 
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Fascinating Becky, isn't it, that there are those that resist change, even considering change, and steel themselves against change, but if I understand it correctly, the universe offers nothing else but change.

Lack of change being entropy; death. I'd think the prospect would be enough to prod them up off their mental butts (bum to some), and into looking for the new.

It's sad to think of the loss of your mare so recently.

It takes time, as you know. Lots of time. And laying to rest some questions. The ones we all have, I think, about our part in their lives and deaths.

Lots of us here have been through this. Myself, as well.

And I've come to be thankful for all the horses that have passed through my life, and for letting me be in theirs; to learn.

And look who you have now. Your three can't fail to be there for you in this loss.

Donald

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:27 pm 
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Donald Redux wrote:
Fascinating Becky, isn't it, that there are those that resist change, even considering change, and steel themselves against change, but if I understand it correctly, the universe offers nothing else but change.


The more angry people get, the more I know they feel threatened by a story they cannot comprehend and their fear of losing control. People are interesting in their behaviors but I will spend my time with horses instead. :D

Yes, the loss of my mare is still very much on my mind even though it has been over a year. I have not done much with my three this past summer because of the wound; it has been a struggle that is getting a bit easier now.

Here is a picture, taken a few days before she crossed over. My husband and I were sitting with her, he was propping her up to eat as she was too weak at this time to do it on her own. My TB, Tris, is sharing time with her. I was lucky that she passed on her own, at her own time.

Image

and my favorite photo of her:

Image

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~ Becky ~ http://horseideology.wordpress.com/


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Pandora wrote:
Donald Redux wrote:
Fascinating Becky, isn't it, that there are those that resist change, even considering change, and steel themselves against change, but if I understand it correctly, the universe offers nothing else but change.


The more angry people get, the more I know they feel threatened by a story they cannot comprehend and their fear of losing control. People are interesting in their behaviors but I will spend my time with horses instead. :D



While as complicated at humans, or possibly more, they seem more genuine and transparent. More easily lived with. More tolerant of us than we seem to be of each other, generally.

Pandora wrote:

Yes, the loss of my mare is still very much on my mind even though it has been over a year.

[.quote]

A short time indeed. And more to go. Be patient with yourself.

Pandora wrote:


I have not done much with my three this past summer because of the wound; it has been a struggle that is getting a bit easier now.



The nature of grief. To revisit the settings, and other familiar things, and people (your horses), involved is to revisit the event.

Would you be surprised to see me say that this is a good thing, and what I meant when I said you have them to go through this with you?

I believe, that in many cases, grief processes more slowly, if we stay too far from the event and circumstances. But each day we revisit it in some way the easier we bear the burden, and grow ever stronger.

Pandora wrote:
Here is a picture, taken a few days before she crossed over. My husband and I were sitting with her, he was propping her up to eat as she was too weak at this time to do it on her own.



Well, he's a keeper then, isn't he, to share that time with you, and to be there for another that you love?

Pandora wrote:

My TB, Tris, is sharing time with her. I was lucky that she passed on her own, at her own time.



As was she -- to be with those that loved and supported her and kept their promises to her. Think how often humans who own horses leave this time to the veterinarian, alone with the horse, or worse, to the knacker or kill buyer.

Your heart couldn't let her go until it was time for her to go.

Pandora wrote:

Image

and my favorite photo of her:

Image


Do I see trust and good humor? How wise such a horse, or person, must be.

She's a happy horse. Still.

If there is a heaven, there, in another form we shall carry them, at least for a time. Thank you for sharing her. You shall always miss her, and you shall always have your sweet memories of her.

Donald

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:58 am 
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Beautiful photos Becky! So much love and grace.

:f: Don't worry, you won't step on any toes!! :D I'm just thinking and sharing my experiences, not really from a philosophical viewpoint, but from a practical viewpoint.. ie... if I want my horses to do X and be like Y.. then does Z move them more towards that or not? (As opposed to "I refuse to do Z because I believe in X and Y" ... if you see what I mean. :green: Although I'm possibly just complicating things more.)

:f: Anyway, didn't at all mean to say that you shouldn't be doing go trot! :) Or that it is not an ethical thing to do! Not at all! Just curious to find out how it works for you and yours as you are perhaps changing the way that you do some things.

:f: As I'm still trying to figure out what things can still fit and what things I need to discard.. and it's different for every horse I think. I have one Tb who has been trad trained too, and she's managing to incorporate still being told that she must lunge every day for twenty minutes (which we do in a very CR sort of way) for her healths sake, and still be open for initiating training. Whereas my horse Sunrise goes on strike if I tell her she "must" do pretty much anything. But if I give her free choice and provide the right motivation, she's up for just about anything. :f:

Quote:
In pony's case she is so strong willed though that resistance "leaks" out at every turn.


Love this image! And oh how I can relate to it! Do you call your pony "Pony" too.. my two have names but more often than not they are "Pony" or "Little Po" and "Big Po". And their resistance leaks! :D :D :D Humble apologies for giving the impression that I was censoring! I just can't stop asking questions. And if you look in my diary the last couple of pages, you'll see I've been thinking a lot about CR's methods again lately and trying to figure out how I can apply them to our situations.. so you're a prime target for my over busy mind! :D :kiss: . :blush: :blush:

:) Sue

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,
But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:00 am 
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Hi Becky, and a big welcome to you!

I'm delighted that you've joined us -- I've been around about 10 months and still am marveling at the kindness and grace of this community. It's so rare -- especially in the horse world! And I'm finding, in my obsession, that I'm extrapolating all sorts of things about the rest of my life from conversations and thoughts here, and how this lovely group engages with each other.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your crew -- so sorry you lost your exquisite girl. Grief is a strange thing, isn't it? Takes a while for the holes to fill up in places we don't always expect.

This caught my eye:
Quote:
I think there's a balance inside of ourselves that we must shift too - from perhaps being too over reactive and forceful to too passive and submissive. What do you think


I think this is really true -- and am finding it's something of a pendulum for me between the two. I am finding that as pendulums tend to do, the swings out are getting smaller as we're finding our center, but I think that this is an ongoing process, and am guessing that it will always be a part of my thinking...

And Sue, I'm so glad you wrote what you did about the "go away" cue -- this has been mystifying me, too! I've just gotten my guys to the point where they happily come to be with me and it feels so counter-intuitive to then send them away...not that I don't think it's something anyone else shouldn't do -- not at all! But I've not been able to make sense of it! And when I run up against head scratching like this, I'm reminded of how differently we all work, how we are all finding the solutions that make sense for us and our own horses...

Becky, you wrote:
Quote:
I also like that Carolyn states that many methods can work at some time and others. Because I am tired of trainers who want to state their method is the only way and all other methods or paths are the work of the devil


Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes! :yes: :yes: :yes:

I am SO tired of that energy -- it's so frustrating! In part because it's the equine equivalent of fundamentalism, and that makes me bonkers, and in part because then there is no real exploration or learning -- people are being "trained" as much as horses...I keep babbling on about how I see this as co-learning, not "training" (which originally means something along the lines of "shaping into a particular form" -- like a shrub!).

It's a huge part of what I'm basking in here -- there is such a commitment to share ideas, ask questions, and sometimes proffer advice, but all in a "this is what works for me, here's a thought" way...never "it is THIS way only..." So delicious...

And I'm with you on loving the non-constructed/non-constructive time thing -- that alone was a huge light bulb that has made enormous changes in our lives with me and my horses. :) I just love it. Meditation a la ponies...

Anyway, welcome, welcome...look forward to hearing more about your beloveds!

All the best,
Leigh

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:08 am 
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windhorsesue wrote:
Beautiful photos Becky! So much love and grace. :f: Don't worry, you won't step on any toes!! :D I'm just thinking and sharing my experiences, not really from a philosophical viewpoint, but from a practical viewpoint..


windhorsesue wrote:
I have one Tb who has been trad trained too, and she's managing to incorporate still being told that she must lunge every day for twenty minutes (which we do in a very CR sort of way) for her healths sake, and still be open for initiating training.


Hey Sue - really you didn't upset me at all! So don't think it - I was just curious what you were thinking on the Waterhole Rituals yourself and how it fitted or didn't with your own philsophy.

To me it's a wonderful thing when we actually *think* and analyze what we are doing and how it fits ethically and intellectually or doesn't with how our heart and horses feel about it. Unfortunately, there are too many trainers out there who feel uncomfortable with their proteges actually using their brain! :D

Yes my TB, Tristan, goes on what I call "auto-pilot" hunter stance and around and around and around we go forever! Evolving him will be my biggest challenge.

I just started reading your journal today (much to catch up on) and I can already tell we think alot about many things.

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Last edited by Pandora on Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:31 am 
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windhorsesue wrote:
" In pony's case she is so strong willed though that resistance "leaks" out at every turn."

Love this image! And oh how I can relate to it! Do you call your pony "Pony" too.. my two have names but more often than not they are "Pony" or "Little Po" and "Big Po". And their resistance leaks! :D :D :D


They all got a ton of nicknames :smile:

When Pandora was being used in lessons, the little girl that rode her the most would, at the end of the lesson, if she thought Pandora had been a good pony or devil pony.

Image

I think there is something in me that likes the devil in ponies... haha

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:40 am 
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Leigh wrote:
I'm delighted that you've joined us -- I've been around about 10 months and still am marveling at the kindness and grace of this community. It's so rare -- especially in the horse world!
....

I think this is really true -- and am finding it's something of a pendulum for me between the two. I am finding that as pendulums tend to do, the swings out are getting smaller as we're finding our center, but I think that this is an ongoing process, and am guessing that it will always be a part of my thinking...

But I've not been able to make sense of it! And when I run up against head scratching like this, I'm reminded of how differently we all work, how we are all finding the solutions that make sense for us and our own horses...

....

I am SO tired of that energy -- it's so frustrating! In part because it's the equine equivalent of fundamentalism, and that makes me bonkers, and in part because then there is no real exploration or learning -- people are being "trained" as much as horses...I keep babbling on about how I see this as co-learning, not "training" (which originally means something along the lines of "shaping into a particular form" -- like a shrub!).

Leigh


ROFL... yes, hmmm a shrub-mind being shaped....

Thanks Leigh for the welcome... Yes, I agree that this forum is very unusual. First, for the openness of sharing ideas that cause arguments and contention on other boards. Second, because the people providing the ideas are backing up their theory with actual work.

That is what I see as unusual myself. ;)

On pendulums, I also think they get way out of balanced when we have our paradigms challenged. Even if we have balanced, there is something as Donald wrote above that will change that state.

An interesting thought in Carolyn's book Naked Liberty is that Nature stays in balance; it is man who fights that balance. She has the parallel of a pond that has had a rock thrown in it which returns to it's still state.

On the Go-Trot and away that doesn't confuse me too much. For me, I see it as a natural progression of the herd leader (not the dominant horse, but the leader) shaping the movement of the group. If we were in survival mode, and I was herd leader I would need the other horses to move and move quickly when I told them too.

We had a funny incident at the barn a few weeks ago where hubby tripped and fell down. All the horses took off running away! I told him that they were hoping that his body would delay the invisible mountain lion from getting to them. :D Horses are about moving all the time but yet have a connection (Carolyn calls it magnetic) with each of us. Their group is web, sometimes we are farther away but always connected.

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~ Becky ~ http://horseideology.wordpress.com/


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:25 pm 
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Pandora wrote:

...

We had a funny incident at the barn a few weeks ago where hubby tripped and fell down. All the horses took off running away! I told him that they were hoping that his body would delay the invisible mountain lion from getting to them. :D Horses are about moving all the time but yet have a connection (Carolyn calls it magnetic) with each of us. Their group is web, sometimes we are farther away but always connected.


For the life of me I cannot remember where I learned this little tidbit. I think possibly I just figured it out watching how horses react at liberty.

I do know it came to mind when I was attacked by a stallion while I was on horseback, had my leg kicked and broken, and after dismounting fell flat on the ground when I tried to walk.

I had an elderly man with me riding on my own mare, well broken mare at that, but a bit flighty. Arabian x SB. He, out of concern for me rode up close to me and stepped down from her ... which I was telling him NOT to do.

Hoping I could get him to dismount a distance away, let me get partially to my feet so she'd recognize me again and could be brought to me to ride out of the pastures.

She of course, seeing an animal on the ground (me, of course) and no longer having a human in control on her back, wheeled and took off. She being my only transportation back to the barn over a mile away. The gelding I had been riding was long gone with the stallion chasing him.

The story had a good ending, but not the point here, of course. Gelding safe, stallion safe, old man safe, my mare safe. No one got a scratch but me, and my saddle, which the stallion was biting all the way until the gelding was clear of the stallion's herd.

(Though nearly forty years later, I sit here feeling the ache in my leg and hip brought on by the weather and work, originating from that one powerful kick from the stallion).

I had trained my mare under saddle to be calm and handle fearful events. She trusted her rider. But I had not done much ground work with her on "demons that crawl through the grass and leap up and grab little horsies by the throat and kill them."

Of course, the fear of something alive, or that could come alive, crouched down low to the ground is innate in horses. Heck, humans watch for that too. We were also prey as well as predator ourselves.

But what is most peculiar is that the same object, to a horse, standing upright, is something entirely different when seen laying prone.

From that time on I trained, from the ground as well as mounted, every horse I worked with to deal with "potential sabertoothed tigers" more calmly and look to the human to protect them.

Of course the complication with this exercise came when I used myself as the "potential sabertoothed tiger," on the ground. I was something of a curiosity in the horse world around me because of the strange things I'd do in training and handling horses. As you might imagine this wasn't the only strange thing I chose to do.

And those came about because I did so much horse watching.

Your husband transformed, as surely as those kids toys, from human form into sabertoothed tiger when he hit the ground.

I fancy that one side of the horse brain processes upright animals, and the other side, prone ones, animals, that conform more to images of creeping predators in the horsey mind. And that ordinarily, without special training they are not well able to discriminate between.

It fit in with my later training objective of stopping and standing quietly if a rider fell from the horse. Many times when a rider falls he or she becomes the ancient beast from species memory that will rise and attack again I think.

We've all seen occasions of how the horse pulls back from the fallen rider and hangs back against the reins if the rider hasn't sense enough to let go.

Naturally I could not have lesson horses doing that, so I trained a lot of horses to not be afraid of the fallen rider. Or "husband on the ground." ;)

Donald, the loquacious, with too much coffee in him. :yes: :smile:

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:57 pm 
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Donald Redux wrote:
I had trained my mare under saddle to be calm and handle fearful events. She trusted her rider. But I had not done much ground work with her on "demons that crawl through the grass and leap up and grab little horsies by the throat and kill them."

...

But what is most peculiar is that the same object, to a horse, standing upright, is something entirely different when seen laying prone.


That's really interesting!

If you've been around cats they do this funny thing (to us). They walk through the room, completely cool, until they suddenly see something on the floor that wasn't there before (i.e. it's usually bath towels on the floor with us) and they do a startle in place, and then creep up hesitantly to the object even though a bath towel doesn't look like anything they haven't seen a million times before.

With the cats, with the same territory, I think they get a mind print of what is supposed to be in the room as well as it's arrangement. I've had the same thing happen with horses such as something new in the arena.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Pandora wrote:
Donald Redux wrote:
I had trained my mare under saddle to be calm and handle fearful events. She trusted her rider. But I had not done much ground work with her on "demons that crawl through the grass and leap up and grab little horsies by the throat and kill them."

...

But what is most peculiar is that the same object, to a horse, standing upright, is something entirely different when seen laying prone.


That's really interesting!

If you've been around cats they do this funny thing (to us). They walk through the room, completely cool, until they suddenly see something on the floor that wasn't there before (i.e. it's usually bath towels on the floor with us) and they do a startle in place, and then creep up hesitantly to the object even though a bath towel doesn't look like anything they haven't seen a million times before.

With the cats, with the same territory, I think they get a mind print of what is supposed to be in the room as well as it's arrangement. I've had the same thing happen with horses such as something new in the arena.


Of course. Pattern recognition is a major survival trait of all living creatures. Change the pattern and it get's our notice. Failure to notice can result in injury or death.

Think driving a car.

And of course pattern recognition is common in most of our activities. It goes to music, cooking, health matters, etc.

And we too sometimes over react to something quite common but presented to us in a different way than we usually see, and especially if the new "pattern" relates to a pattern we've known to be a danger before.

And of course we can quickly learn this new presentation isn't dangerous (or it is, accordingly) and deal with it.

That's all I did with horses to help them recognize the new pattern applied to an old object and pattern. Me, laying on the ground is no more dangerous than me standing up. At least to the horse.

In fact, the same object, in either pattern (laying down or standing up) is a source for goodies ... cookies. :D

Donald

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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