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WiseAssWallace on Bad Methods and Habits

Published: 6/22/2016
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WiseAssWallace, the beloved BLM burro of the NickerNews & BestHorsePractices herd, continues his quest to improve the horse-human connection and make lives better for his fellow equines. Here, WAW discusses the many ways in which human behavior can interfere with good horse-human partnerships.

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WiseAssWallace on NaughtyHumans from Maddy Butcher on Vimeo.

Here's his narrative:

Hi! I’m WiseAssWallace and today I’m going to talk with you about the naughty ways in which you humans inflict pain and suffering on us equines. Part I had to do with naughty equipment. Part II has to do with naughty behavior and training methods. Your understanding and appreciation of both elements will make you a better partner for us.
I’m WiseAssWallace and I guarantee it.

Part II – Naughty Behavior, or, Ways in which Humans are Worse than Summer Flies.

In my WiseAss experience, naughty behavior often results from the mistaken belief that we are actually humans not horses. This despite the fact that we like to spend our days with our heads below our bodies and that we have no compunction about pooping in front of you.

Consider, for example, the Blame Game.
It’s funny how much of your talk has a way of implicating us innocents. “He bucked me off” or even “He stepped on my foot” In order to be guilty, folks, we’d have to be aware we were committing an offense.

But really who is the offender here?

When I see these compadres, I don’t see horses deliberately bucking off a rider. I see poor fellows wanting to get what’s on their backs off their backs. The riders, it seems, are bothering them and making them awfully uncomfortable. A bit like flies. Ahhh!

And guess what? We don’t go looking for feet to step on.

Nota bene: We are equines. For over 40 million years we have been prey animals. That means we fear being eaten. When we act, it is almost always in reaction to things around us. Or on us. We strive to survive and we like comfort.
Ulterior motives? We don’t even know what that means.
In short, blaming us is like blaming the car for running out of gas. It’s really the blamer who’s lame.

Consider: Agendas

Believe it or not, we do not wake up in the morning and think: “today is the day I finesse my flying change!” Or “today, I’m not going to stop until I nail that downward transition.”

Agendas. Goals. Milestones. That’s all bunk to us. None of it matters. What you think of as a milestone, we consider arbitrary. We can get frustrated, confused, and stressed when you strive to achieve something that has no consequence for us. Or even worse, ill consequence.

Try paying less attention to your To Do list and more attention to your To See list.

  • Do you see us licking our lips?
  • Do you see us swishing our tails or pinning our ears?
  • Do you see when we’re tuned in or turned off?
  • Do you see effects of pressure and then release?
  • Are we as pestered by you as we are by flies? Ahhh!
Sure, you can bully and drill, drill, drill. But the best progress is made when there’s an understanding between horse and rider. Remember: when it comes to training, we care about the journey, not the destination.

I’m WiseAssWallace and I guarantee it.

Next up, we’ll talk about your consistency and mindfulness.

Editor's Note:

NickerNews and BestHorsePractices wish to thank the outstanding audio services of Tom Yoder, program director at KSJD radio in Cortez, Colorado.

Thanks, Tom!

View Reader Comments:

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6/24/2016 Charley
Spot On, Wallace. How many times do you see a rider getting off the ground and saying, "I fell off."???? 9 times out of 10 it is, "My stupid horse threw me off." I follow the clinicians who always start their training sessions with the statement, "It is NEVER, EVER the horse's fault!" My trainer, yes, i said MY trainer, told me on the first day i showed up for lessons, "Your horse knows everything he needs to know. We are here today to begin YOUR training." From that day on i have learned a whole lot from my horse. He taught me about politeness, paying attention, being considerate, and listening. He taught me that just because i am human doesnt save me from being immensely stupid in another being's world. He taught me to think beyond my own needs and wants. He is a wonderful teacher.

"Want to end up with a million bucks in the horse business? Start out with five million." - Anonymous