Wednesday, 31 December 2014
So, feel it. And in that moment if you feel you are asking too much - then the choice is gone. Back off - and doing that your relationship with the animal will be strengthened because you will be pairing his control with you. And truly allowing him to choose.
Monday, 29 December 2014
Sunday, 28 December 2014
Much easier to go back a step and explain. But to do that, we have to put down our need to be right. Because it would mean that we have not communicated carefully in the first place - which is our own personal 'wrong'.
When we don't, more and more stress eventually creates an classically conditioned state of associating us with stress. Do we really want that. Stop, Look, Adjust and Move. Go back a step and explain again. Be nice - which means, be precise (in the original dictionaries). Be kind.
Imagine a world where we assumed that everyone was trying to do the right thing, rather than everyone was out to get us. It is the best lesson we can learn from animals. - when they fail to please us, look at what we are doing incorrectly
Sunday, 14 December 2014
If you wish to purchase my book for someone who you think may appreciate it for Christmas, here are some links. Happy Holidays to you all. May the animals in your life bless you.
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Monday, 10 November 2014
Sunday, 2 November 2014
Praise song to the Rhinoceros,
by Credo Mutwa (excerpt)
Ubbejane, you are the thunder of the valleys
You are the roar among the mountains
You are the noise upon the plains
And you are the horn that the moon loves to kiss!
You are the Rhinoceros
You are the invincible one
You are the weak eye that sees into years that are yet to come
You are the sharp ear that hears a lover’s whisper in the tall grass
You are the great foot that tramples everything into the ground
You are the delight of the woodcarvers
You are the joy of the painters
You are the song of those who cast in metal
You are Ubbujane, the Rhinoceros!
Together with the Elephant, Indlovu, many generations ago, you danced the world into existence, so that green things may grow upon this world…
…You are Ubbejane, the Rhinoceros
You are the darling of the waxing moon
You are the thunder of the mountains
You are the vibrations on the rocky ground
You are the hardworking one, the labourer who laboured so that the Earth Mother might plant green things upon this earth…
It was believed that your dung, Ubbejane, which no-one dares set on fire to make a fire, can bring peace and and take away enmity between people,
Ubbejane, long may you roar across the plains of Africa…..
….Ubbejane, animal of our forefathers
Pillar of the land of Africa
Post that supports the green world that we know
Long may you live Ubbejane!
May you have a thousand sons and a million daughters!
Oh beloved of the moon goddess, Bayete!
Thursday, 30 October 2014
I saw this on ScienceDaily:
Fish just want to have fun, according to a new study that finds even fish 'play'
Biologists have documented fish playing with a bottom-weighted thermometer and other objects. Play, like much of animals' psychology including emotions, motivations, perceptions and intellect, is part of their evolutionary history and not just random, meaningless behavior.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Monday, 27 October 2014
Saturday, 25 October 2014
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
It is crazy that we don't all think alike. For one Snowflake may be a pest. For another, pet reptile feed. For some there is no opinion, and for the lucky ones, Snowflake inspires love. Imagine living in my world - where there is just love. It must be hard for those of you who do not relate. Just as it is hard for me to imagine feeling the way you do. I recognise the macho snake handlers who pretend they don't really care. I have met real men who show that they do care. Who are respectful in relationship with their duties. I suppose it is a little like the story of our ancient ancestors who would thank the planet for her bounty. What happened to that respect. When did the functioning of the electrics in our appliances become more important than life. Big breath. I invite you into my bubble. Look closely at Snowflake. See her little paws. See how she sits on her haunches and eats delicately holding her food. See her little digits - the miracle of her tiny form. Her busy whiskers and alertness. Her light soft fur. The miracle.
Friday, 15 August 2014
Sunday, 10 August 2014
It is funny to think that there are so many of us that feel we have to demand respect. Most parents of teenagers will have become frustrated when they felt their child was 'disrespectful'. And needed 'discipline' to ensure it was taught to respect. But respect is a feeling. It cannot be forced. Fear can be forced. Do I want my teenager or an animal in relationship with me to 'fear' me - NO!
When an animal is learning, it is choosing. If it enters into flight, freeze of fight mode, it is reacting. At this point there is no choice. It may learn something, but the learning is a stress response and will continue to be a stress response in the presence of that 'punisher' which created the stress. So, if we wish to get our horses to respect us by submitting, then there is a strong chance we are punishing them into freeze. A difficult horse may be one who does not freeze - and become - bombproof, but one that reacts by fighting. A different response to the same stress.
I am so grateful that I have learned this information. Grateful too that there is a nicer way to work with all animals. When we force our hand - and sometimes we may do this unwittingly, we are dominating the animals. And this is not the relationship I choose to have with the animals that I know.
Sunday, 27 July 2014
Thursday, 10 July 2014
We are celebrating Gambit's 43rd year this weekend. What an honour to know this incredible gentleman. It is true to say that he has been one of the greatest inspirations in my life and I know I don't speak only for myself when I say this. Conservation action - as a result of the privilege of knowing him. Thank you Gambit!
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
THE CARING OWL.
More photos of the Spotted Eagle Owl
My owl feeding the injured owl that I told you about above. (2 broken legs and a damaged wing estimated to be 1 year old),
The owl bringing a mouse, and later on a bat to my wife while she is sleeping!
A young owlet that he helped raise and that we rehabilitated successfully.
What makes my owl so interesting to me is that it is free to come and go as it pleases and lives as close to a natural life as possible. I have in no way tried to train him or force myself onto him and everything that he does comes natural. I am not in favour of keeping birds, or any other animal for that matter, caged up and release all injured birds if at all possible.
Monday, 9 June 2014
Friday, 16 May 2014
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Sunday, 4 May 2014
Friday, 2 May 2014
Nellie passed away at 61 years old yesterday.
Thursday, 1 May 2014
-------- Original message --------
From: Gabby Harris <email@example.com>
Date: 02/05/2014 06:46 (GMT+02:00)
Subject: thinking horses - the only way!
Training methods for horses: habituation to a frightening stimulus
J.W.Christensen, M.Rundgren & K.Olsson
(Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences)
Equine Vet J. (2006) 38: 439-443
Reasons for performing study: Responses of horses in
frightening situations are important for both equine and
human safety. Considerable scientific interest has been
shown in development of reactivity tests, but little effort has
been dedicated to the development of appropriate training
methods for reducing fearfulness.
Objectives: To inestigate which of 3 different training methods
(habituation, desensitisation and counter-conditioning) was
most effective in teaching horses to react calmly in a
potentially frightening situation.
Hypotheses: 1) Horses are able to generalise about the test
stimulus such that, once familiar withe the test stimulus in one
situation, it appears less frightening and elicits a reduced
response even when the stimulus intensity is increased or the
stimulus is presented differently; and 2) alternative methods
such a desensitisation and counter-conditioning would be
more efficient that a classic habituation approach.
Methods: Twenty-seven naive 2-year-old Danish Warmblood
stallions were trained according to 3 different methods, based
on classical learning theory: 1) horses (n=9) were exposed to
the full stimulus (a moving, white nylon bag, 1.2 x 0.75 m) in 5
daily training sessions until they met a prededined habituation
criterion (habituation); 2) horses (n=9) were introduced
gradually to the stimulus and habituated to each step before
the full stimulus was applied (desensitisation); 3) horses (n=9)
were trained to associate the stimulus with a positive reward
before being exposed to the full stimulus (counter-
conditioning). Each horse received 5 training sessions of 3 min
per day. Heart rate and behavioural responses were recorded.
Results: Horses trained with the desensitisation method
showed fewer flight responses in total and needed fewe
training sessions to learn to react calmly to test stimuli.
Variations in heart rate persisted even when behavioural
responses had ceased. In addition, all horses on the
desensitisation method eventually habituated to the test
stimulus whereas some horses on the other methods did not.
Conclusions and potential relevance: Desensitisation appeared
to be the most effective training method for horses in
frightening situations. Further research is needed in order to
investigate the role of positive reinforcement, such as
offering food, in the training of horses.
Sunday, 20 April 2014
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Monday, 31 March 2014
Friday, 28 March 2014
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Friday, 31 January 2014
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!
Thursday, 30 January 2014
I am so fortunate that I was involved with a seal called Selso who was rescued and released after a 7 month rehabilitation at uShaka Sea World. We taught him to eat from us and her learned fast. When he arrived he was about 100kilograms underweight and only weighed 75kilograms. When he left he weighed nearly 200kilograms, and stolen all our hearts and been fitted with a satellite tag so we could monitor his progress on his way back to the sub-antarctic islands where these animals are found. We took him on a cruise ship to Port Elizabeth, and then released him off the continental shelf. He is already more than halfway to his destination and scientists believe he is presently fishing in a place in the ocean where food is plentiful. So amazing to watch his progress. I take my hat off to the management of Sea World for funding this exercise and doing it for the individual and the species and of course our oceans at large.