Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
I don't see much difference between what she is saying and what others say. Her discussion on fear isn't really any different than how human minds work. Fear is the subconscious connection between something and a bad outcome, and the something may or may not actually be associated with the bad outcome. In Trooper's case, bad experiences on a ranch caused him to be afraid of cowboy hats...
The same is true in reverse of confidence. If we have been successful in the past, we have confidence, even if our success was totally due to good luck. Many mountaineering accidents are caused by people getting away with bad habits on gentle slopes, and then confidently trying them on difficult slopes.
I'd suggest a lot of problems between man and horse come from false confidence, built up by mental pictures rooted in movies instead of reality - the Black Stallion Syndrome. At the subconscious level, our brain doesn't differentiate between stored pictures of movies and stored pictures of the real world. According to the FBI, about half of the people shot with a gun will fall down not because of their injuries, but because the movies have taught them that shot people fall down.
In the movies, horses are animals that seek to bond with someone (the hero/heroine) and then will just magically understand what the hero wants and do it. One of the things I've learned from riding Mia is that a well-intentioned horse can become afraid or nervous because we are unintentionally and unknowingly sending conflicting signals (cues) that she must resolve without having the mental tools to do so.
But that never happens in the movies, so we think the horse is bad or rebellious when in reality we are incompetent (and I mean me). If we didn't grow up with horses, then the majority of our stored images come from movies, and those stored images create expectations the horse cannot match.