Allow an animal to have their say without taking what they say personally.
When my farrier was here last week (28 Nov 22) Timmy gave us some real challenges. Interestingly Timmy is always the easy one for feet – a lot of the time I could just put his rope over his back and let the farrier get on with it.
This new event happened after our session where Timmy was showing a lot of high energy responses to increased energy in myself.
What Timmy was doing to the farrier was striking out with the front foot that we wanted to trim (right fore). The other feet were fine.
I let him show this behaviour a couple of times and asked the farrier to wait a bit while Timmy and I had a conversation. While I was regarding his leg in the moment, a feeling came to me of the leg being tied back. I acknowledged that. Timmy yawned. Then he yawned again and again and again. We then released him to process this release and change his response while we did another of the herd.
When we went back to him to trim this final foot, he was very pleasant about it all and back to offering his foot and being very easy to do.
Fascinating. I am going to have to try and start putting titles to the layers that keep coming out.
The important thing here for me is that each layer that Timmy releases gives him more confidence in himself. This enables him to state when he is unhappy, or when something triggers him, and he now trusts that I will listen and wait, and make others do the same.
All these behaviours we are seeing now are not him being bad, naughty or disrespectful. They are his way of allowing himself to be who he is. They are his way of saying No. They are his way of showing me that he is remembering something in the past that was caused by a human and he feels it is necessary to be angry for a moment. That is all okay.
When we sit with a friend and they start getting upset or angry about another human being that caused them a problem or harm in their lives we don’t say ‘hey what are you getting angry at me for – it wasn’t me!’, we say ‘Its okay, let it out’. We need to do the same with our cribbers.
Allow the animal to have their say and don’t take what they have to say personally. Regard is the most important part of any relationship.