Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Friday, August 6, 2010

Behavior as Information

It has, to be quite honest, been too bloody hot to do anything with the horses.  Even thinking about going outside makes me break out in a clammy sweat.

We have had record heat this summer.  With actual temperatures hovering between 98-105 degrees and humidity enough to create heat indices of 108-112, it really is too hot.

So I've been reading and thinking.

I started Mark Rashid's Whole Heart, Whole Horse.  I was browsing somewhere and a description for this book popped up.  Something about it intrigued me and I wanted to read more.  Mark Rashid is easy to read and he has a talent for telling stories and weaving lessons into the stories.

He has a chapter entitled, "Information" and in it he says the following:
A lot of folks look at unwanted behavior . . . as bad behavior.  But if we understand that horses can't separate the way they feel from the way they act, then we can start to see that unwanted behavior isn't bad behavior at all.  More times than not, it's just the horse expressing the way he feels at that particular moment in time.  He's just giving us information, that's all.  How we perceive that information dictates how we respond to it.
I don't know, but there's something about that passage that creates a paradigm shift in how I view everything my horses do.


Naturally Gaited said...

Great author. I really appreciate his thoughts about leadership & dominance - and that the true leader of a herd is often NOT the most overtly dominant one. Caused me to realize that is the case in my herd. How interesting..

Lisa said...

I want to read more! I finished the book and highly recommend it. Some wheels are turning in my brain . . . must process . . . .

steveandtania said...

I totally understand where you are coming from with the heat, we have those temps here every year but you learn to live with it. At least this year I actually have air con for the first time! Yipee!

I will have to look up that author. Thanks for the tip