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Bitin’ Horses ‘N Bitin' Birds…

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She writes...

I wasnt going to email, and I am thinking about yer DVDs well I was readin yer website, and I have to admire you because you have the gumption of a person that I wish I had; and if that wasnt enough, you not only raise African Greys like I do (I only have 1 pair and they havnt been doing wel probly because I havnt kept them in top shape), but you raise eclectus and others too - just kool.

Actually we have not "raised" parrots for a long time. We have discovered that not everyone values them the way we think they should; too small of cages, tossing them away when things don't go well, etc. Now we just keep the parrots we have out of a sense of responsibility. It was not their fault the breeding operation didn't work out. At least with us, we know exactly how the birds are treated. We now actively discourage people who are not already bird people from getting into them and encourage those who are bird people to not get any more if their acquisitions encourage further breeding.

Now this 'bonder' thing you talk about seems like a device the way you describe it; but correct me if I am wrong this is a 'technique' , as in the final result would be that bonding has been accomplished between you and yer horse? I should know this and I know what bonding is; IE if someone I know has a parrot on their shoulder, dont touch it !

I am in my 40's and I just bought my first horse last year he's 1 and 1/2 TWH/MFT cross; he has turned into a bit of a biter, but we are working on space issues and a few other things to try to curb this problem.

Now the only thing is, with parrots, if they are not bonded and are more people friendly they might not be biters; is this the same with horses?? I want to bond with my horse, and want him to stop biting; if I accomplish this, will he bite other people?

I originally used the word "bonder" when I first put the procedure to print but it is actually a herd dynamics procedure that places the human in a herd leader position. I tried thinking of a name for it but slapped "Bonder" on it to get it going. The procedure quickly became so popular and in demand I couldn't change the name.

Lesser ranked horses do not bite higher ranked beings, crowd them or disrespect them. They may very well bite and kick beings they feel are lower ranked than they are. When a horse is in the leader / follower relationship, it usually lets the leader control the situations. It is doing what it should and it should let the leader deal with the other herd members. Is it foolproof? No. Each horse and human relationship requires the human become the herd leader or higher ranked horse. If the human doesn't take the leadership position the horse will.

My hope is that he will realize then that we are people and not horses; so do birds recognize as us people or birds? Maybe they see us as people because we hand feed them.

Parrots and horses operate on two totally different wave lengths. I'm not really sure how horses view people. The problem comes from how people view horses. When they treat them as horses they have few problems. When they treat them as people they very often have a LOT of problems. People often correct me and tell me that horses know I'm not a horse and therefore will not respond to me as a horse. I'm pretty sure the horse knows that I am not a horse. I'm not so sure that the horse knows what it is. Has it looked at itself in a mirror and said, "Yep, I look like the other guys so I am what they are?" But in the "bonder" it is not me they are reacting to, it is the actions I'm presenting that they are reacting to. I present them with the same actions the rest of the herd presents to them and therefore they react to me in the same manner they react to other herd members who are higher ranked than they are.

My parrot know 3 colors; can I teach my horse colors? I have read all about Alex and am familiar with association teaching.

I have no idea if you can teach a horse colors. I have had no desire or need to do so. African Greys are mind boggling animals. Alex had MANY, MANY hours of interaction with Irene. The one we have has a VERY extensive vocabulary of around 200 words, not counting sounds she can perfectly imitate to an annoying degree, most of which she picked up on her own. She is fully capable of putting sentences together to communicate her wishes. ("You! Yeah, you! Go get me some cheesecake!") She will eat anything I eat but she won't eat it until she sees me eating it. I think she thinks I might poison her. She also tells me she won't sniff the end of the shotgun barrel either.

We are great buds and I can teach her to say anything but I am not allowed to touch her unless she has ended up somewhere in the house away from her cage. When she is lost I extend my hand and she climbs on. As we approach her cage I can see her counting the inches before she reaches out with a foot to grab the cage and reaches out with her razor sharp beak to grab me. When I see one of her feet lift toward the cage I quickly push her against her cage and she squawks and grabs the cage with her beak to steady herself and I quickly pull my hand away.

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