A New Perspective on Comfort Zones

We have been taught to focus on creating comfort zones & "sweet spots" for our horses to help them become comfortable & more relaxed in their environments. We are told that if our horse has an issue with a particular spot in the arena, for example, that practicing one of a number of techniques to work with this scary area or item will solve the problem. These various steps may very well work to solve these single issues & that's wonderful but what about the next issue & the next issue? There always seems to be a next issue waiting around the corner.


These techniques give the illusion that a puzzle solving mindset is necessary to solve the complicated facets of working with horses. What if the problems weren't multifaceted or complicated? What if we make them complicated because this is what we've been conditioned to believe? Change takes time & it isn't easy. We believe we understand this from an equine perspective where it's been drilled into us that horses have to repeat, repeat & repeat in order to respond to our requests. We also expect issues to arise every time we ask our horses to do something new. This is common knowledge, right? What if it's us who need to repeat new understandings in order to change our methods & views about horses instead? Horses are simple, it's people who make them complex.


For those who follow m articles, there is a common theme which revolves around teaching the opposite of everything we've learned about horses. This is what the Fearless Process is all about. I frequently discuss how we have been conditioned to always look to external sources for causes & solutions. The answers are much closer to home than many are willing to explore. 


If we analyze these beliefs about comfort zones/sweet spots, what would we have to conclude? Like so many other things, they all revolve around external sources for causes & solutions. Common statements are often heard like, teaching horses to have a sweet spot in the middle of the arena instead of at the gate. These types of statements are automatically taken as undeniable truth because we hear them from multiple sources & the worlds top horse trainers. What makes something a truth or fact? Nothing other than if you choose to believe it is so or not. 


The single root cause of these issues with horses has nothing to do with external sources but a lack of confidence, trust & connection with us, not their environment. Instead of creating comfort zones/sweet spots with other places & things, once we alone become the comfort zone, all of the issues will melt away like they never existed. This is why I state repeatedly, that unwanted behaviour will just disappear without having to address it individually or directly. These horses will not hesitate to plow right through new experiences, for the very first time, with a trusting & willing attitude. Does this sound too simple to be true? It's time to change the rules & return to simplicity.