One of our most valued feelings is being comfortable. Comfort provides safety, security, a feeling of well being, and other emotions that make us feel good. For example, laying in a hammock after dinner swinging gently under the shade of a tree on a warm summer’s evening as the sun sets against a deep blue sky. Ahhh……
There is no motivation to move other than to make the slight effort to gently set the hammock into motion. This is bliss. You might as well just die now cause it can’t get better than this.
Being comfortable is like dying. You end up going nowhere without discovering better things in life. It is being comfortable that makes us settle for what we have even when we know, without a shadow of doubt, that there is something better out there. But to discover it requires effort, change and ………. becoming UN-comfortable.
There is an old story about a hound dog laying on the front porch howling away because he is being poked by a sharp nail that has worked its way out of the deck boards. But it is easier to just howl and moan than it is to actually make the effort to get up and move, let alone grab the blanket over there on the chair, pull it down, make a bed of it and lay on that.
Are you relating to this in some way?
Comfortable In Tennessee
Yesterday I showed up at 6:45 pm for my last horse of the day way up on top of a ridge of deep green mountains in Tennessee. The horse owner emerged from the large boarding stable of event horses smiling and saying, “Hey Dr Tucker! Are we ever glad to see you! My horse went so much better after you saw him 6 months ago. What a world of difference you made in him.”
This owner had made the effort to contact me because she knew she had a problem and it was not being corrected with the dentistry she was having. She is like so many other owners I meet every day who have “gotten off of the nail” so to speak. They took the risk of asking someone new to come into their life and work on their horse usually going against the grain of those around them.
Her barn was empty of people. There was a sign posted inviting people to come to the barn on a future day to witness another vet perform a vet procedure. There was no sign to come see me perform a vet procedure involving the magic of horsemanship in dentistry.
The big gray mare sized me up and briefly recognized me as the one who helped last time smoothing out the sharp edge formed from a chipped tooth that had dug into her right cheek. Her personality wouldn’t allow her to show her appreciation about the past. It was more in her person to express doubt and worry that the past couldn’t be repeated and that I was once again evil entering her stall to torment her life. But once again the owner laughed with uninhibited wonder as the horse magically released her worry softening her eye and lowering her head as the very mild points were once again removed from rubbing on her cheek and tongue. In the end the horse had her head pressed into my chest being held gently in my arms. When released and I left the stall, she just stood there for a minute totally relaxed then moved to her pile of hay and went to eating.
Once again, the owner and I were the only ones there. A barn full of horses with owners absent because they were comfortable with their horses being automatically sedated (without any medication for the pain!!!) and their heads immobilized and mouth’s jacked open. Not one other person was interested in learning another way or in seeing a possibility for another way. Even if they wanted to confront me and debate the merits of the different approaches to dentistry in horses, these people were comfortable in the way it was.
This owner had spent the time promoting my visit not just to the boarders but to the veterinarians. Not one was interested. We think that the professionals are afraid of becoming injured when working on a non-sedated horse. How sad is this? While Melissa and I prove each day on thousands of horses every year that it is possible to use horsemanship to overcome fear and anxiety in horses and quickly make a willing partner, most people are comfortable in just sedating the horse and having their way with them.
As the owner and I watched her horse comfortably chew her hay, pain free and drug free, I wondered why some horse owners and some horse professionals even show up at the barn if they aren’t willing to really connect with their horse and build an honest relationship with them. I’m guessing it’s because they are comfortable.