In life we look for patterns. They make us feel safe. When we become aware of the patterns we have created, we become aware of the limitations that we have placed on our existence. This awareness can open up horizons of amazingness for us to experience.
When two are together and have created patterns together, it can be challenging to shift from predictable patterns to these amazing horizons.
When a trainer works with an animal, we are in relationship. So there is a strong chance that we can create these structured patterns. These cause expectation, and as we all know, expectation is not being in the moment and in joy. It is imperative that we provide a sense of safety – some patterns, but at the same time, we need to steer away from being predictable to the point where we wrap these incredible beings up in cotton wool and prevent them from experiencing anything new. We need to provide our loves with sufficient stimulation – opportunities to experience new things. Allow them to be desensitised to all sorts of scenarios, and basically become stable and well adjusted. So that they are not stressed by the unexpected.
For trainers that work with the same animals for long periods of time, a particular sensitivity to this concept needs to occur. With some species, trainers work more than one training session every day. And the relationship can go on for lifetimes.
With these relationships we are required to be super-aware of our own patterns and fears. It takes a special person to be that aware. To be that brave and consistently in tune with where they may be limiting the potential of the animal and its experience in our care.
I know a number of trainers who have been working with the same animals for sometimes more than 20 years. A commitment not only in terms of the concept outlined above, but also because of the emotional investment in the relationship.
This blog is dedicated to all those who are fortunate enough to share these special relationships with animals over these extended periods of time. Thank you for your day to day commitment. It is not always easy. Your family does not understand why the animals are sometimes more important than they are. Don’t worry. There are many people in our industry who do understand.
Here is to hoping that the lesson of providing them with the most enriched existence possible is a lesson that is not only there for them, but also there for you. For this is a gift. When we can become that conscious of ourselves, we will life a much more unlimited life. Another amazing lesson that we get from the animals with whom we interface.
Be brave. Play. Commit to the moment. This is where we thrive. Nothing beats the moments where we are just in love.