– by Cynthia Cooper
When I discovered horses (and all other animals) could ‘hear’ me or telepathically read my mind, I felt bad for ‘saying’ (thinking) not so nice thoughts about them.
I asked myself – “Would I greet a good friend with ‘hello fattie’ or say ‘Get going you lazy slob’?
I was embarrassed at some of the derogatory thoughts or messages I was sending my horses and decided I would be more polite.
Now I address them with respect – adding a Miss, Mrs or Mr to their names seems to help.
And I watch my thoughts, taking special note of the negative ones that creep into my mind through exposure to so much negative media on television, radio and in newspapers that seems to perpetuate negative.
Just the other day, I was reminded to change my negative thought to a positive – or it would be self-fulfilling!
My young Arabian gelding used to get excited about getting his feed delivered and as I walked over to the feed tub, he would sometimes lash out with excitement.
When I focused on thinking about him walking calmly to the feed bin and used my tongue click to mark good behaviour (followed by the food delivery), he stopped kicking out.
But the other day, he was walking quite close to me and I came into line with his hip, and found myself thinking ‘you’re a good boy for not kicking at me’ and then he leapt forward and threw two hind feet at me!
I then remembered reading somewhere that animals don’t hear the ‘not, don’t, can’t etc.’ ahead of a word – and think you want them to do that action (nip, kick etc), so are actually complying with your request!
It reminded me that if we think of something in the negative tense, we can fix that by turning it around into the positive.
For example, if I’d followed my negative thought ‘…for not kicking me’ with ‘…so please keep walking quietly to the feed bin’, I’m sure that would have happened.
Here are some more examples of how to change a negative thought into a positive:
– ‘Don’t you nip me’ to ‘keep your nose to yourself’
– ‘I hope he doesn’t buck’ to ‘Lets see if we can canter and maintain forward’
– That looks scary – hope he doesn’t shy’ to ‘It’s only a wheelie bin so be brave and walk right by’.
Thinking in the negative is not always a bad thing – it can help us see a potential problem (or manufacture one!), which won’t become a reality if we follow up those thoughts with a positive solution.
So watch you thoughts!