Friday, September 28, 2012

Cookies and Horses

Tom stared at the pack of cookies on the fold down tray as the train came out of the tunnel. Seemed like a good time to open the little bundle of black cookies with the creamy white filling that had been tempting him. Shifting in his seat, Tom was just about to reach for them when the gentleman beside him leaned forward, carefully opened the cellophane and pulled out a cookie.

"Who does he think he is eating my cookie?" Tom made a point of being noticed as he tore the top off the tiny packet and snared 2 cookies. Without hesitation he stuffed them both in his mouth, and licked his fingers. The other fellow seemed unruffled, smiled and took 2 cookies, slowly eating one at a time as he looked out the window. Leaving one lone cookie in the pack. Tom let out an exaggerated sigh, snatched the last cookie, held it so the stranger could see, then devoured it in one bite.

Satisfied he'd bested the cookie thief, Tom settled back in his seat prepared to silently gloat in his victory, and picked up the magazine on the tray in front of him. Then he saw it. Another pack of cookies laying on the fold down tray. He must have laid the magazine on top of them as he took his seat. Tom realized in that instant he had been the cookie thief, not the stranger beside him. He'd been eating the other fellow's cookies all along!

With a smile he moved the tiny pack of cookies to the center of the tray, gently tore the pack open and offered them to the stranger … This is what is known as a "Paradigm Shift."

I think this is a great little story to help us understand others better, family, friends, co-workers … and our horses.

There's lots of talk in the horse industry nowadays about seeing things from your horse's point of view. I love that it has become fashionable to think of what your horse might need to understand, and what kind of brain your horse has, left, right, introvert, extravert … But how do you slow down enough to really see things from your horse's point of view?

I've long held the thought that horses want to co-operate, not obey. Of course they will, and do obey, but if that is how a person sees their horse, as something that must, "obey" … I don't think they can totally see the situation from the horse's point of view ... Would you rather obey, or co-operate?

Our friend, Tom on the train suddenly saw things from the stranger's point of view when he found his own pack of cookies hidden beneath the magazine. What a feeling of revelation, and perhaps embarrassment Tom must have felt in that instant. But now he could also see the first pack of cookies as the polite stranger had seen them, as something he'd been sharing. Not swiping as Tom thought he was doing when he viewed the situation from his own point of view.

It is not always easy to understand your horse's, spouse's, child's or friend's, point of view, but if we slow down and listen with our whole brain, we just might hear a hint or two. It's called a Paradigm Shift, and it really works.

No comments:

Post a Comment