What Makes FEARLESS Different?
What Makes FEARLESS Different?
Many people would be quick to make statements like "no method will work for every horse". But what if I were to say that Fearless will work for every horse? We must understand the basis of common methods in order to understand what Fearless is not.
Method Training -
According to Google dictionary, "the action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behaviour". "Undertake a course of exercise & diet in order to reach or maintain a high level of physical fitness, typically in preparation for participating in a specific sport or event".
On the Seaworld Parks & Entertainment website, under "animal behaviour & learning" the definition of behaviour is as follows; "behaviour is anything an animal does involving action &/or a response to a stimulus. Blinking, eating, walking, flying, vocalizing & huddling are all examples of behaviour".
They also list the "definition of a stimulus" as follows; "a stimulus is a change in the environment that produces a behavioural (physical) response. It may be an object or event perceived through the animal's senses. Stimuli may include the sight of food, the sound of a potential predator, or the smell of a mate. They may also include such daily events as nightfall & seasonal events such as decreasing temperatures. Animals respond to stimuli. Each of these stimuli elicits specific behaviours from animals.
Process Teaching -
Fearless is not a method, it's a process of changing our own habits of thoughts & beliefs & learning how to shift roles, where horses become the teachers & humans become the students. This new process focuses on understanding that there are 3 separate components that make up behaviour, not just focusing on the physical attributes & the physical aspect is the third component.
These common & widespread beliefs shown in the quotes above are the perfect example of why we focus only on physical attributes of behaviour & look to external sources for cause & effect. Nowhere is there any mention or consideration of the mental or emotional aspects of behaviour, which are component 1 & 2. The Fearless process shows you how to understand that stimuli is no longer a factor once the first two components are brought into balance.
Method Dictation -
We are always telling horses what to do & the only choice or opinion we allow are to answer yes or no to our requests.
Process Dictation -
You are learning how to have mutual discussions with your horse & allowing choices & opinions to be expressed without judgement. You are leaning how o allow your horse to lead these discussions, so you will be able to ask the right questions. You are also learning how to look without linking & creating magnetic projection.
Method Action -
We are taught that we must always be doing something with our horses. There must always be an agenda with a goal at the end.
Process Action -
Initially you will learn to do nothing & see how behaviour disappears all on its own, without having to be addressed individually or directly. This is to show you how to create a magnetic connection & begin to listen to what you horse is trying to teach you. You are learning to settle & balance your own thoughts & emotions which will allow you to communicate with your horse through a more subtle & sophisticated language of non-verbal sensory awareness. You are learning how to recognize mental & emotional imbalances in your horse & how to allow expressions so they can be brought to the surface & released. You will go back to teaching your horse specific actions eventually, but it will happen in a much different way.
Method Mental Boxes -
Being serious in the arena but relaxed on a trail ride & spending all of your time in thought processes of the future & past. Step-by-step plans of action & deeply held beliefs. These plans & normal thought processes eliminate your ability to see what's really happening & severely limits communication.
Process Mental Boxes -
You are learning how to understand & eliminate all of these boxes in order to be in the flow of the moment with your horse.
Method Drilling -
Repeating single behaviours until they are executed perfectly.
Process Drilling -
Working on an assembly line day after day really sucks! You will receive new concepts & tools to shift these habits & beliefs. Drilling will be replaced with Variables, which will allow you to teach many more things in a shorter period of time & eliminate the accumulation of stress & anxiety.
Method Force -
Making horses do things without choices, opinions or discussions doesn't allow the growth of a partnership. Many have been conditioned to believe that gadgets are a necessary & normal part of "training" horses. Some even go so far as to believe these things are beneficial.
Process Force -
Once you can have discussions with your horse, know what they're thinking & feeling in every moment & you understand the root causes of all unwanted behaviour, you will understand that these things are not necessary.
Method Micromanagement -
Dictating every thought & movement. Believing we have to think for our horses, like where they place their feet during trail rides. It's common to see people yanking on their horse's halter constantly while standing & having conversations with other people. It's such a habit, that you aren't even aware you're doing it unless it's pointed out.
Process Micromanagement -
You will learn how to share the responsibility in the relationship, to help your horse develop reasoning skills, relaxation, self-control & problem solving skills. Your horse will watch their own foot placement to keep you safe.
Method Fear -
Pushing horses to do things too early & before they're ready, & becoming angry when they ask for help or a minute to think. Lack of exposure.
Process Fear -
You will know when to ask for more & when to provide guidance. Emotional balancing will eliminate all worries & fears.
Method Gadgets -
Many methods encourage the use of bigger bits, whips, crops, tie-downs, draw reins, circingles, spurs & all other forms of force & control.
Process Gadgets -
You will learn why none of these things are necessary & how balancing the 3 components will eliminate the need for them all together. Some things, such as spurs can be implemented for higher communication but most people don't understand how to use them correctly & instead use them to force horses to do things they're otherwise unwilling to do.
Method Time Limits -
Expecting perfection & compliance on a schedule we dictate.
Process Time Limits -
Allowing your horse to set the schedule in the beginning will open new doors & speed up results. When you know what your horse is thinking & feeling, it dissolves all questions about behaviour & creates & babysitter horse.
Method Perceptions -
Choosing to believe behaviour is lazy, defiant, stubborn & a personal attack. Believing behaviour must be addressed individually & directly. Looking to external sources for blame, sources, cause & effect.
Process Perceptions -
You will learn to understand the root causes of all unwanted behaviour & how simply it can be redirected instead of corrected. Having this wisdom will lead to the understanding of how to be pro-active & prevent unwanted behaviour completely.
Method Planning -
Creating a list of what you want to teach & the steps to accomplish these goals.
Process Planning -
Replacing these habits & beliefs to be in the flow of the moment with your horse.
Method Habits & Beliefs -
Thinking we know the answers & not leaving room for expansion & growth. Making excuses for our failure to do what's necessary.
Process Habits & Beliefs -
Allowing our horses to become our teachers & opening our minds to learn something brand new.
Method Correction -
Telling horses they've done something wrong or unacceptable.
Process Correction -
Understanding & redirecting behaviour as thoughts, before they escalate & become actions & learning how to prevent unwanted behaviour completely. When you know what your horse is thinking & feeling in every moment, it eliminates the need to ask others for potentially unhelpful information & allows you to have discussions with your horse to create immediate & lasting solutions.
Fearless is the opposite of everything you've ever learned about horses & is the next step in the evolution of working with animals.
"Mastery is not found in the pursuit of becoming, but in the realization of unbecoming" - Tracy Courtney