In the last discourse we covered how herd dynamics really involved a simple tenet - take what rights you are capable of taking and honor those that are taken. We also said that when confronted you comply or you challenge. Simple enough. No value judgments, just the law of nature that in the end builds herd harmony. Every horse understands that principle and accepts it. Every horse knows it can comply with it. Every horse is 100% comfortable with it.
Since we have said that confidence is knowing what is expected of you and knowing that you can comply with it, the simple herd dynamics law builds confidence or removes fear by allowing the horse to be part of a group that greatly increases its chances of survival. Membership in a herd means more eyes to watch for danger, more ears to listen for danger thus providing a degree of safety by allowing longer periods for sleep, eating and drinking and when fleeing danger he only has to run slightly faster than the slowest herd member. When a horse is a contributing complying member of the herd it has greater security. Basically, others are protecting you.
Now then we are at the point where the horse is operating most of the time in a relatively fear-free environment - a herd situation.
What is fear?
Fear is the emotion created by impending (or anticipated) danger, pain or other undesired consequence.
ALL aggression is motivated by fear but fear does not ALWAYS promote aggression. Many times fear promotes flight or spooking. While fear promotes either flight or aggression it ALWAYS promotes one of these actions. Where there is no fear, there is no spooking, there is no aggression.
To remove fear AND its effects one can resort to herd dynamics - You tell the horse, "I am taking the right to decide what you are going to do and how you are going to do it." This in effect is saying "*I* will take the responsibility of assessing danger." Since you are telling the horse to do something he INSTINCTIVELY knows how to do, the herd dynamic banishes fear.
Now then it is not enough to verbally tell him with human words because he has no concept or understanding of human words and human thought processes. You must demonstrate to him that you have the ability to take whatever rights you want. You have to present him with the ACTIONS a rights-taking horse (leader) would present him with AND give him the opportunity to honor or challenge those actions. If he cannot successfully challenge those actions he MUST honor them.
The procedure I use that has come to be known to so many people around the world as Marv Walker's Bonder is not a horse and a human in a round pen. It is the presenting of the ACTIONS a lead horse would use to take rights to another horse who is instinctively programmed to REACT to those actions in one of two ways... challenge or comply.
Since we are humans, we can use our greater reasoning power to eliminate the horse's ability to effectively challenge our taking leaving him with no other option but to comply.
Since the horse is genetically pre-programmed to respond to the ACTIONS it really doesn't matter whether the ACTIONS are presented by a human or (being facetious here) a goat.
Once he complies, he looks to this being for guidance. As lead horse we determine when and where to eat, where he stands and for how long, whether we go somewhere or we stay, we decide how much energy to devote to fleeing danger, not him. As long as we continue to demonstrate we are capable of taking those rights, he will honor those rights.
In a herd situation the leader of the herd determines the herd's reaction to the fear. We see this demonstrated when one or more of horses in a herd spooks and flees. If the leader of the herd does not flee, the spooked horse or horses usually circles and comes back to the herd in short order. If the leader flees, the entire herd flees and flees as long as the leader flees. The leader determines the danger. The fear assessment of the leader can be clear across the board. If a flighty individual is leader, you have a flighty herd. If the leader is not flighty, the herd will not be flighty.
Assessing fear is one of the rights we take as leader.
Of course, it is our responsibility to exercise those rights in a leader-like manner. we cannot ask him to do anything he is physically unable to do and we cannot inflict pain on him since pain is a "go away!" signal to another horse. True leaders do not want compliant followers to leave because the protection in numbers applies to us as well.
When I deal with an aggressive horse, I put it through the bonder and control its every action. Since I'm performing the actions of a lead horse and it cannot defuse those actions, it honors them. At that point it knows what to do (honor my rights) and that it can do it (follow its instincts).
I do pretty much the same thing with a spooky horse. By exhibiting leader ACTIONS to the horse it becomes my job to lead in all circumstances. It is my job to evaluate the fear. It is his job to accept my evaluation.
This establishes confidence. "I now longer have to be responsible for fear." Where there is confidence there is no fear.
Next discourse...true leadership allows choice. And a product of choice is fear. The word dynamic means continual movement.
Marv "Ten seconds after Killer lunged at me he was known as KeyLar." Walker
The Last Page Was#1 ~ Herd Dynamics: Take Rights Or Honor Them
This page is# 2 ~ Herd Dynamics: Effect On Fear
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