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Old 11-11-2012, 08:11 PM   #103
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Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 917
Re: The Fear of Power

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
You "make" a horse do something every time you work on its hoof. Ever see a horse stand on three legs with its fourth one lifted and bent? Do they do that naturally? So, when you make the horse lift it's foot, you are, in essence, exerting a power over the horse to behave in a manner that is not natural to its being. It only takes that position because you make it do so. That is power. You accomplished the task (no matter how you did it) of getting that horse in a position it naturally does not use. (Yes, the natural function of the leg is such that it can be put into that posture, but the horse does not naturally stand on three legs with one bent back, upwards.) That is winning.

So, you are successful in your outcomes. Why is that? Did the horse stand on four legs and not let you do anything to it? You were successful in the outcome that you desired. That's the definition of winning. And you got the horse to do something which it does not naturally do (hold one leg bent with hoof upwards). That's power. Your successful outcome over the natural nature of the horse.

Now, *how* you accomplish that, as you stated, can make a world of difference.
If that is how you choose to see it I can't really help that. I however having 25+ years of hands on experience with the subject have a different point of view.

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
So, you see horses in this position all the time and its natural?

They stand like that for hours and there are millions of pictures of horses being in that posture naturally?

Or does the horse put its leg back down on the ground when you let go of its leg? Why does anyone have to find ways of keeping a horses leg like they do to work on the hoof if its all natural to the horse?
For a horse to lift his foot due to some stimulus is not unnatural for it. Putting it down when the stimulus goes away is also natural. And on average a trim takes about 15-20 minutes and a horse never stand in these positions for more than 2-3 minutes at a time. Which I agree is still not natural, but nothing that we humans do with animals is really natural. However an animal can learn to accept and be comfortable with those things without having had to experience conflict and thus give in to power. Once again... coming from the point of view of having had many years of hands on experience working with these animals. Trying to use my power to "make" a horse lift his foot once in a moment of impatience very nearly got me killed. Interestingly aikido has helped me to find ways of accomplishing the job without the need to use power or to bend a horse to my will.

We must agree to disagree I guess... unless you prefer not.

At any rate I don't believe I have anything further insight that I wish to add to this discussion.
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