Illusion of Control

“I am not interested in control. For control of another thinking being is an illusion. What I seek is the cooperation that makes the pursuit of control unnecessary.

To this end, rather than control a horse, I try to teach self control.
Rather than restrain, I try to teach self restraint.
And rather than discipline, I try to teach self-discipline.

I am not always successful.But rest assured that whenever I fail, I realise it is because I have failed to set the example.”
– unknown
We often confuse successful training with complete control. What is control of an animal, exactly? Does it mean we have to have so much of it, that we turn them into robots? Does it mean that they have no mind and spirit of their own?
In the animal-training world, sometimes it can be perceived as bad training or lack of “control” if your animal does something unexpected. To me the most important aspect is the relationship, after that comes communication. Communication can be perfected and practiced to such an extent, that it looks as though one has complete “control” over an animal.
Any good animal trainer will know that it isn’t control, but rather a great communication and harmony. When there is respect and a mutual drive to communicate together, we are unstoppable! Control truly is an illusion, because our animas are living beings. They have a mind of their own and the ability to do as they please. The art is in showing them that it can be a great thing to be and do things with us.
If we can replace the word control with other, more realistic, words, we will start to notice our entire mindset begin to shift.
How do you see the whole situation with controlling an animal? Have you attempted to have complete control? What do you think caused it not to work?

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