Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dr. Norton Weighs in on the Row Boat Incident

Dr. Norton, Oscar, and Marty
Dr. Norton, who runs Norton Veterinary Consulting & Education Resources, has been a friend of mine since we were both riding small pony hunters and studying for spelling tests on the bus to school.  She's a Tucker fan too, and did a great blog post today about The Umbrella Study, in response to the post I did yesterday about Tucker's encounter with a deadly row boat.  I found this study fascinating -- go check it out.  It's cold hard proof that our horses absolutely feed off of our emotions and our thoughts.
After reading about the Umbrella Study I thought back on the ride.  I think we all know that I must have been wondering if Tucker was going to behave himself on our walk around the lake.  I was probably feeling really comfortable while we took the path we always take, but as soon as we rounded the turn, making a right instead of a left (onto unfamiliar territory), I'm willing to bet my heart rate went up, sending all kinds of early warning signals to Tucker.  It's no coincidence he spotted the row boat/saber tooth lying in wait just after we rounded that turn.  And I bet my heart rate continued to increase with every spook and spin, and probably didn't go back to normal until we reached the row boat itself and Tucker didn't seem all that scared, which in turn signaled to Tucker that everything was indeed fine, cueing him in that it was okay to proceed around the lake.

In sum, I'm willing to admit that I started it.  Tucker is (once again) the brains of this operation.

Only as scary as you make it...


  1. I came off my horse last week too, and have warily returned to the saddle. The mind over matter aspect is challenging... you can't lie to horses, yet you must "fake it til you make it" with the positive attitude. Good post.

    This link to The Umbrella Study post works better. :)

  2. Wow! Hello, Dr. J.L. Norton! (And yes, we did review for our spelling tests on the bus, haha.) Interesting study. It seems to make intuitive sense to me; those who work with children in any capacity will say the same thing. You can create insecurity in kids -- particularly young children -- simply by feeling uncertain yourself.


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