Anger Management 

Charlie Araujo, who worked with and rode the famous cutting horse, Poco Tivio, once said “Yeah, he’s a whale of a cutting horse, but about once a year he’ll develop an attitude. Then you have to take him out behind the haystacks! And you’d better take a lunch because you’re gonna be there a while!” I’ve concluded that the human brain involved anger as a mechanism for dealing with overwhelmingly scary situations. I guess the problem is that some of us whelm more easily than others. With horses, you’re dealing with a big powerful quick-reacting animal. You can’t afford for him to be the leader. So you create the illusion that you are his commanding officer. Sometimes this requires the use of controlled anger. Maybe only once a year, but when the time comes, I follow John Lyons’ advice, and, just like a horse would do, I allow myself three seconds to make him think I’m gonna kill him. Then I make myself quit and immediately go back to caressing and educating. A friend was in the barn one day a long time ago, when, while working with a raunchy colt, the colt attempted to kick me. I reflexively reared back and threatened to kick back at him. He of course, jumped, I missed, slipped, and landed on my back under him. My friend said, “I guess you showed him ,huh?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *