Black and white thinking limits our perception.
Knowledge and theories play important roles regardless of our job and field. But as 'Intelligent' evolved beings we are also good at overdoing it, meaning we put more effort into our thoughts than into our actions. We often mean well, but lack the motivation, peers, teachers or environment to help us grow or change tactics.
So we keep sticking to our black-and-white perceptions, never taking a step outside the box. But the one thing horses often ask from us, is to step outside and destroy the box because this particular case and horse needs a whole other approach. But if we're only comfortable with doing what we've always done, our methods will start to atrophy. Comfort only takes you so far.
We become blind to the slivers of information that horses provide us in those moments in between: The Gray Area, the fundament of exchanging information.
'Before there's fear, there is distrust, then trust
Before there is anger, there is hurt, then peace
Before the storm came, there was silence and before that, there was play'
We often only notice the Black or White, the present or missing element. We let things escalate into a full blown storm, do nothing when there is play and often don't even notice a horse getting quiet. But it is in that silence that we find our answers, the truth we've been looking for that is only perceivable through an attuned mindset.To be aware of what our horse needs and if we can provide exactly that.
We not only need to be comfortable with finding and working in the Gray Area, we also need to be comfortable to revisit it frequently.
Don't be afraid to work on your fundamentals.
Zoë van Mourik: Equine Trauma Specialist, Behaviorist