Lesson Ten – Growth vs Protection?

Rasping the trimmed hoof level

Farrier rasping a hoof

Perception is a tricky thing! I had a new farrier come out to trim Nootka’s hooves and put new shoes on. My usual farrier didn’t return my calls and missed an appointment so I had to find someone else on the fly.

The new farrier (let’s call him ‘Bill”) reminded me of how much as a child I hated when the farrier would come to do my horse’s hooves.  I hated that if my horse didn’t do exactly what the farrier wanted, he would grab a tool and smack him real hard and yell. I never understood the yelling and hitting before even trying something else.

So fast forward to ‘Bill’. Nootka swatted her tail and hit him in the eyes. He automatically assumed that Nootka wanted to hit him. He decided that there weren’t flies on her and that he needed to show her who was boss. This all happened in seconds. He hit and screamed at her.

Does this make sense to you? Horses don’t think, “Oh, I’m a bad girl for hitting the human in the face- I better be good.”  All that happened was Nootka went on high alert because she thought she might get hit again.

It made me wonder why people can automatically jump to a conclusion that someone is out to get them?

I think there are two states that people function in. One is growth and the other protection. If you are in protection, you wack the horse and assume it was out to get you. If you are in growth, you think okay I can do something different. You think about tying the horse’s tail in a loose knot or putting on some more organic fly-spray.

With my iPad application, I feel like I’m in growth most of the time but I do have moments of protection. This weekend I thought our artist was falling down on the job. My first reaction (one of protection) was to write a demanding sharply worded email. I scrapped that idea and thought I needed to give her more detail and direction. She sent much better work today and I felt nothing but good vibes.

Lesson: Don’t ‘wack’ the horse…stop and try something different. 

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