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Right brain, left brain and our approach to natural horsemanship

This is a discussion on Right brain, left brain and our approach to natural horsemanship within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Why we approach horses from the left
  • +What do the right brain and left brain signify?

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    01-06-2012, 11:41 PM
  #51
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesilverspear    
As this model has very little validity for people in current neurological and scientific circles, I imagine it has even less for horses.

One could suggest, perhaps, that horses, and other animals are even better than people at "linear" modes of thought and responding to cause and effect. What they lack are certain levels of abstraction.
I've heard the same thing about the left brain/right brain junk. Your theory about horses being linear thinkers and lacking abstraction makes a lot more sense than the Parelli crap.
     
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    01-07-2012, 01:03 AM
  #52
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste    
I don't think that we can assume the right-brain/left-brain concept is analogous to the sub-conscious/conscious mind concept. Also, everybody uses all of their brain. Some of us are more analytical and some are more creative. It takes both analysis and creativity to paint a picture. (You have to have a concept, but you also have to know how to use the paint.) It also takes both to create a new mathematical concept. Our sub-conscious minds are also running all the time. That is why we can drive a car while thinking about work.

Horses are much simpler than we are, but they are not children. An adult horse is an adult. He may not know algebra, but he is smarter than we are about how to get back home, what is safe footing, and such things as that.

By the way, when I looked at the dancer, she switched back and forth wildly from clockwise to counter-clockwise. I can't control it. She just does it. Really weird.
I agree with what you've said, but I'd like to clarify- I don't mean horses are children, I mean their intelligence level is about the same as a child.
     
    01-07-2012, 01:10 AM
  #53
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesilverspear    
I disagree with soernjer55 here, especially with regards to "labeling." I don't think people automatically -- or subconsciously as you put it -- label one another as "left" or "right" brained. If someone cries a lot at awkward moments in public, others may think, "What a weirdo" but I doubt they will be thinking, "Wow, that dude is so right-brained."

Just to be really nitpicky and annoying (sorry, the history and social construction of psychiatry/psychology is kind of my thing), the terms "subconscious" and "unconscious" came from psychoanalytic theory in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. It was not originally intended to signify learned actions that you perform without conscious thought, like walking, driving a car, riding a horse, or playing a musical instrument, but rather things (usually socially unacceptable desires and thoughts) in your mind which you are not aware of, but which cause you to behave in certain (dysfunctional) ways. Psychoanalytic theory and its Freudian cohort, psychodynamic theory, are no longer the dominant paradigms by which people construct behaviour and the brain, although you can still find psychoanalysts out there. These days the term is pretty much avoided in science and academia, unless people mean it in a specifically psychoanalytic way.

There is quite a lot of research (that I don't know offhand because that's not really my field, but could easily look up if someone really fancied it) on learning theory and how things like playing instruments or riding or what-have-you bypass the conscious thought process and become automatic. Your brain, left, right, whatever, is very well designed to do this. No one can consciously react and think fast enough to competently ride a horse over a jump, play a fast Irish reel, hunt a wildabeast, or walk across the room.
Please do! I'm really interested in this but have to go to bed in a bit, so if it's not too inconvenient...
     

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