CATS Confident Assertive Training System
Today has been a day of listening, learning and sharing. All accompanied with the plaintive meows of my ousted son’s cat, the sound coming consistently from the corner of the wall just inches away from my desk. Where she gets to in the crawl space under the house, squeezing in to plaintively announce to me how unfair it is that her rule of running, attacking, biting, and maneuvering every person living in this house or visiting within has now been brought to an end. Very much beneath her very dignity and her rights as queen, ruler and supreme spoiled brat, poor woe is me, there is nothing she did wrong that I and others here did not deserve. I find it fascinating that I fill her bowls twice a day, walking out and calling her to be fed, and find her totally silent, non-responsive. Though thirty minutes later when I check the bowls, they are empty, followed by her howls of how cruel I am. The few times she has come out when my son has called, she then hisses at him to then crawl deep under the house to sit next to my desk and complain. I hear her and think, you can’t have it both ways, your reign is over, you will figure this out, everyone here is now responsible for their choices and their behavior. All aggressive behavior has been changed, transformed, thought carefully through to become confident, assertive, and cooperative partnerships. All others have been asked to or directed to go elsewhere.
My entire day reflecting exactly the huge expanse of change taking place, as each of my lessons of the day so wonderfully unfolded along those very lines. My first owner is beginning to understand how much her confidence has grown as I helped her to understand the difference between the fear found in being aggressive with others, in lieu of the confidence found in being quietly assertive. Once she truly grasped how much easier things were flowing between her and her horse, discovering her breath comes easier and her body no longer hurting from being tense. The overall difference in relaxing and enjoying the progress of each little thing, when she now looks back and sees she has come so far up the mountain of progress, with each pebble of success she firmly placed there. So pleased she stuck it out, trusted herself in the importance of following this dream of hers.
My second lesson, this small child of five, fully praising herself at the end of the lesson, for each little step she now can get the big mare to do by herself. Pleased with all of the things she remembers, prevents, changes, and decisions she is allowed to make as she grins more by just being aware of what she is doing, how the horse is or isn’t listening. Fascinated with being allowed to choose to do just one or two new things each lesson, as she shows her ability to remember and repeat each cue when asked from the last time here. Showing me how I am so following my instinct to teach when asked, to encourage questions and try, and to praise each and every little step forward I see.
My final lesson, is so the icing on the cake, all of the previous lessons rolled into a star brightly shining, as she now learns in leaps and bounds, asking, absorbing, calling the shots of why this, can we do this, this is not working for me, actually reveling in having to ask again for another way to try, because the first three or four ideas are not comfortable for her. Ending the day with fits of laughter over the retelling of our experiences at supper, as we entice another deeper off the ledge of conversation, into the trap of “Ya’ll did what?” as we explain a process that has to be done, just because it’s necessary. Not gross, not disgusting, not nasty, just a part of horses and life. Life is so easy, when you just deal with it, letting the judgments go, doing what is necessary and living your life in the moment…because the moment is always now. Why wait for approval, just live, be, love, become!