The Power of Narrative

“We are Pan narrans, the storytelling ape.”
The Science of Discworld II: The Globe
by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen
[Elbury 2002] Narrativium

Milton is impatient. After one or two trips through a new exercise, his response is ‘Yeah, Yeah, I got this.’ Sometimes we change the exercise to keep him challenged. Sometimes we tell him that he’s not as clever as he thinks he is and that he must practice.

Does Milton experience the concept of impatience as I do? Not at all.

However, horses definitely have opinions. Two horses can have separate, even opposite, responses to the same situation. Working with horses requires taking the individual into account. Before I can work successfully with a horse, I have to discover his (or her) narrative. Sam needs to be treated as a fabulous show horse, especially deep into a long series of Academy classes. Natalie wants to be treated like a fairy princess. Is this true? No? Yes? I have no idea.

When I tell myself these stories, I behave in a way that causes the horses to react favorably.
Gratuitous Cat Photo
Ghost ladder 12 30 14

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