Hey all, glad to be home, I noted there were lots of comments on my last post asking for a recap of the weekend and more specifically of Temple Grandin's presentation. I am not withholding, there was just so much to digest and it is hard to figure out just what points I can coherently share.
First and foremost it was awesome!!!!
I did not have an opportunity to speak to her at length or ,better said maybe did not take that opportunity. There were 200+ people there vying for attention, and her time was limited. Also I have to admit to being quite starstruck and shy , taking only a moment to thank her and tell her how very pleased I was to be there . Some folks were very able to approach her and speak freely and at length about what they wanted ,but for me ,I tend to feel that the presenters are there for all, not just me and would be overstepping somehow to do so(I guess my old shyness still creeps out ) . Had she had a booth there , as in other cases, I might have tried to find a moment to talk with her quietly, so many things I would have liked to ask!
That all said, I did get this !
On to her presentation;
What I got out of it first and foremost is ,anything you can lay your hands on be it papers ,books, or videos by this lady ,GET THEM!! She is wise beyond measure and serious in her research and studies. She quotes scientific data, to back up all of her findings that she can, and reminds us that those she is unable to back up scientifically would require her to do awful things to animals and she WILL NOT so her info then becomes anecdotal.
The presentation was on animal welfare and equine behavior specifically but she references several different animals and issues of human behavior as well .
Memorably the fact that she thinks in pictures and often as Alzheimer patients progress and lose language they are better able to communicate through art .What does this have to do with equine behavior??
I give you this excerpt;"
*A horse trainer once said to me "animals don't think they make associations " I responded by saying "if making associations is not thinking then I would have to conclude that I do not think" People with Autism and animals both think by making visual associations . These associations like snapshots tend to be very specific .
This statement and others pertaining to how a visual thinker might see things does certainly make sense with dementia and Alzheimer's in my experience pictures, albums, and simple drawings, as well as tactile items have been a far more helpful way of communicating with those who have lost or are losing language skills .
Back to the animal behavior though she discussed a few cases where she was able to help a horse owner with a difficult behavior ,by tracking back to the root of the issue , fear or seeking behavior, and how we must look at the whole picture . Not just "my horse freaks out" but my horse freaks out here in this situation with these variable s. Be specific! to see the actual issue.
Because of how she sees and thinks , she is better able to see the small detail that might cause an issue . a situation where a whole building was proposed to be moved due to cattle balking , she identified a simple flagpole as the issue suggested it be moved and the problem was solved . I could go on and on but as I said earlier , read any and all of the literature you can of hers!
The only other thing I will mention, from her presentation was a simple but powerful statement regarding animal welfare laws and guidelines . REMOVE VAGUENESS, have specific measurable guidelines to care . Remove words like SUITABLE and ADEQUATE , and replace with clear specific terminology and measurable outcomes.
As I said there is so much more from the talk I could touch on, but I suspect each person there took away some different info, not to say she wasn't clear, but there was so much info in a short time, I think each persons specific needs were different and if you spoke to 10 that attended each would have taken some thing different in depending on their current needs, level of expertise , past and personal experiences .
Excepting of course (forgive my little rant ) those who were there to challenge the professor and boost themselves by trying to talk down to her (yup had one of those) or others who felt it was a good time to chat . Sigh . That really irritates me ! visit over coffee, I am there to learn so please kindly hush up and let us hear the presentation. If you are bored or uninterested LEAVE.
I also attended a presentation by Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship , but I guess that will have to be the next post . I hope I did this recap justice so far, there is just so much to say but...
Anyhow if Opportunity ever emails you something like this , go !!!!
Stay safe my friends
Welcome to Fern Valley
Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .