Equine Assisted Learning - Ricki and Jonah Realize They Have Choice

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By Kari Fulmek, Equine Connection

Two young boys came to our program. Ricki and Jonah had no desire to participate or even give the program a try. They clearly wanted nothing to do with the program or the horses.

One day, Jonah and Ricki were working with Buddy, a horse that does not budge if he doesn’t understand what is being asked of him. They were trying to move him through the bridge obstacle, but Buddy wouldn’t move a muscle.

Jonah, Ricki, and Buddy stood there for some time.

After allowing the team to have some time to work through it, I decided it was finally time to approach them and ask what was going on. After barely letting me finish my question, Jonah and Ricki had the answer. They replied, “It’s because of our attitudes. Our attitudes are so bad that Buddy will not move for us.”

Since they knew the answer, there was no need for me to continue standing there asking more questions. I had to step away and let it happen.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Buddy proceeded to step through the obstacle. I quickly walked over to them with great excitement, and asked them how they were able to get Buddy to move.

Jonah looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Kari, I have been listening to you this whole time about how attitude affects everything and we have complete control over it. So, I did what you taught me… I stepped away, took a deep breath and decided I needed to change my attitude. I came back with a changed attitude and Buddy listened to me.”

I looked over at Ricki and asked what he thought. Ricki explained that he realized that he had a bad attitude, but he was choosing not to change it. WOW!

This was remarkable to me because it was clear that both boys understood the importance of their attitudes and that they have choices. They had learned how their attitudes and the decisions they make affect everything around them, and had clearly communicated what they were feeling. Ricki chose not to change his attitude, but Jonah changed his attitude and became the leader within, and Buddy was with him. 

For more information, please visit Equine Connection.

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Main article photo: Shutterstock/Olga I

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Equine Connection: Ricki and Jonah Realize They Have Choice
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