Rusty already knows how to play basket ball. He and I in this video are old news and not the interesting part.
What’s going on in the background is very interesting though.
The children kept interrupting our work to ask for more cookies. As I played with Rusty I could hear them talking behind me. They are both in gymnastics and my daughter was carefully coaching her brother in the right way to work on the balance beam, eyes up, look straight ahead. She was giving him a great lesson. Each success rewarded with a horse cookie. Positive reinforcement at work in play.
They both watch me work with the horses and are both rewarded for good behavior, kindness as well as doing what is asked of them. They seldom work the horses with me and have never been coached through lessons in the how and why of it all.
They learned by watching, it is what they see around them all the time and what seems normal to them. In play they learn how to implement it, by experimenting, by doing.
As we go about our lives in the regular horse world, the world in general, we need to remember that. Nobody is convinced about anything by arguments or facts shoved down their throats. If people are convinced that feeding horses treats is going to teach the horse to bite, no one is going to change their minds by telling them otherwise. If someone says horses can not be trained with food even though your well trained horse is standing in front of them as evidence, facts and arguing isn’t going to change their mind.
Whether it is horses, politics, or any of the myriad other topics people love to argue about in this crazy world, NO ONE has ever changed their mind because someone argued with them. Facts are believed, or not, as they fall into a persons belief system.
Instead be the change you want to see. If you believe positive reinforcement works get out there and prove it. Quietly. Be great. Or mediocre. Be happy with your horse and show the world a horse who is happy to be with you. Be out there so people can see, over and over again, that there are other options. Repetition normalizes, for better or worse. The more we see something the more our brains accept that it must be true. Let the things people see be the good things, kindness and love. For people and animals. Those who are willing to look at options will. The ones who aren’t interested wouldn’t be anyway.
- Merry Christmas!
- Snow Stories