Art of Interacting with Animals

Yesterday I went to watch a “horse whisperer,” Diane, work with her horses. Being a “dog and cat” person myself, she demonstrated to me how horses, even more than dogs, need an authority figure.
(Of course cats are their own authority figures.)

My experience with horses has not been intimate. I have ridden horses all my life but have never owned one. My cousin, Catherine, bought her first and only horse, Scarlett Moon, fifteen years ago, when she was forty-four years old. Here’s a photo of me introducing Catherine to her first ride at age three and yesterday, fifty years later, – a photo of me with her beautiful horse, Scarlett.

I learned that it’s not cute when horses “nudge” – it means they don’t respect your “space.” I love it when I get nudged by my dogs or cats and haven’t minded a gentle horse nudge, but strong horse nudges are dangerous. Horses are a lot bigger than people – and certainly than children. In addition to regular classes, Diane teaches autistic children. She must teach her horses a respect for “the spaces” of all of her students.

All animals, four- and two-legged, need their space to be respected. With great authority and kindness, Diane teaches the horse who is boss. And the horse teaches Diane about its stellar ability to perform with the right telepathy – to the point of blurring the equine/human distinction.

A talented elementary school instructor enables his or her students to perform in extraordinary ways. Look at what Lydia, a kindergartener, produced under the step-by-step direction of her art teacher, Sandra!

2 Responses to “Art of Interacting with Animals”

  1. Mary Metrione Says:

    Shouldn’t we co-own a horse??

  2. artaware Says:

    Yes! We could keep it in your backyard! đŸ™‚

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