David was withdrawn. He resisted communicating with anyone, and when he did, he was aggressive. After learning about how to handle the horses, David was asked to start brushing a horse. The task usually takes 15 minutes, but David kept at it for nearly an hour. We realized the miracle began, that magical moment when the kids and horses start connecting.
David began to realize the affect of his aggressive behavior on other people. When he changed his approach with the horse, he saw how the horse listened. We finally coaxed him away with another project and brought him to a round pen where we train difficult and anxious horses. We showed David some training steps. But he immediately reverted to his communication style – aggressive. He shouted at the horse to get him to respond. It didn’t work. We asked David, “If we wanted you to take out the trash, what would be a better approach – yell at you or ask you?” “Ask,” he admitted. “It’s the same with the horse,” we explained.
It seems David got it. “I treat people that way, don’t I?” David began to realize the affect of his aggressive behavior on other people. When he changed his approach with the horse, he saw how the horse listened. By the end of the day David was smiling. His case worker said he had never seen him smile. David said he wanted to come back. Here he can begin to build relationships. Even if it’s just with a horse at first, David will soon learn how to build healthier human relationships.
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