Pat Parelli once said (just kidding – Pat can’t just tell a story once) to imagine a mother watching you work with your animal. I say “a” mother, because it could be your mother, the animal’s mother, or both? Mommy party! He said, imagine your horse’s (or dog’s and so on…) mother is watching you work with her child… Would there be a smile on her face? Would she be furious with how badly you’re treating her baby? I hope not. But if you feel like you might be too tough (unfair) with your animal, keep that in mind.
A good mother is not against discipline and obedience. She would be mad with you if she saw unfair training. You getting mad or frustrated and letting it out on your animal. Then she would not be smiling. How would your own mother react? Would she say, “Yes, that’s the amazing child I raised!!”?
I like imagining the animal’s mother watching, especially in those moments where you feel so proud with what you’ve done. Where the animal finally gets what you’ve been working on for so long. Or that moment where you’re just hanging out and snuggling. I like to think that my animal’s mothers are happy with what I’ve taught their youngsters, but they are definitely big paws and hooves to fill!