[FoRK] Rép : Kazdin Method for Parenting

Aaron Burt aaron at bavariati.org
Sun May 26 16:09:12 PDT 2013

On Sun, May 26, 2013 at 12:46:36AM +0200, Dave Long wrote:
> >>Apparently interesting book using some classical human nature
> >>concepts.
> >>Has anyone read / used this / used the same principles?
> Well, my wife and I use them all the time with 500+ kg steel-shod
> animals (all of whom can move faster than Usain Bolt, and some of
> whom have put people in the hospital).  I have conversed with a
> fellow who trained and showed stallions in the circus during the
> summers, worked as a prison guard in winter, and made good use of
> these principles in both jobs.

Nice connection!

> However, I don't know how well it would work with kids, because of
> the following statement:
> >The hard part is staying rational, disaffected and patient.
> >Many folks don't want to relate to their pets or kids that way.
> Why not?  Wouldn't the world be better off when more of us were more
> rational, more disaffected, and more patient?

I could not possibly agree more, but for many folks, I think that
(perceived) distance can kill the emotional rewards that motivate them to
raise children or keep pets in the first place.  Maybe those folks
shouldn't be raising kids, but I wouldn't try to stop them. :)

> Disaffected doesn't mean emotionally distant.  I find exactly the
> same basic message in Buck Brannaman's 1997 book "Groundwork" as in
> Holly Dunn's 1986 song "Daddy's Hands".

And in the advice that my wife got from other trainers.  Even though she'd
cared for horses for a couple decades, it was a shock to her.

> Biggest problem I've seen with people and horses is when the people
> want to be loved, but not respected.  How people can expect to give
> an animal (two- or four-legged) a framework when they don't have one
> themselves is beyond my comprehension.

To many folks, "respect" implies fear, or at least a heirarchical power
relationship.  Many of those folks also believe that's incompatible with
love or even a good, caring relationship.  I don't agree with either
notion, since I've been around bikers, military folks and good bosses.

> >My wife had a terrible time accepting that she had to build an emotional
> >distance between her and her mare in order to train her.  Animals had
> >always been my wife's refuge from manipulative, unrtustworthy humans.
> Can you go into more detail?  I've known defiant animals, and
> animals who were very quick in attempting to fill (whatever they
> perceived as) a leadership vacuum, but even the difficult
> four-legged ones have been straightforward.  The manipulative ones
> have, in my experience, all been part of the two legged contingent.
> (four legs good.  two legs better!  baaaaa)

Heh.  Heather's current horse is Lucy, a ~800kg 22-year-old American
"Belgian" draft mare.  Drafts are usually aloof and smart, this one even
more so, and bossy to boot.  Her previous horse was a shy (and not terribly
bright) QH gelding, and before that, I guess the horses she worked with
were dead-broke.  I think she became so accustomed to a horse that
unquestioningly accepted her leadership and wanted constant reassurance,
she forgot that leadership was even a part of the relationship.

So when Lucy started exploring the bounds of their power relationship,
Heather was completely taken off-guard.  I don't think Lucy was
manipulative so much as she simply worked out what behaviours filled the
power vacuum and got her what she wanted (food, and to be left alone.)

But even that was a shock to Heather, and so it took a fair bit of guidance
from other trainers for her to accept that working with Lucy called for
more than just a little lovey-dovey and a "let's ride."

In exchange, she gets a horse who rides like a Rolls, can pull plows or
stumps, and will stare down even the most vicious cyclist or mailbox. :)

Horses are oversized deer with the personalities of cats.
 -- Paul F Austin

More information about the FoRK mailing list