I watched Horse Boy yesterday & had a ah ha connection with Rowan’s parents who have experienced the judgement of others who in their observation of challenging behavior would say “just discipline the child”. I get the same judgments about Benny “he is spoiled, you just need to discipline him” or “hit him show him who is boss” which if those who are judging could witness what happens to Benny when disciplined they would be in for a shock. The same as the boy Rowan in Horse Boy is the same behavior Benny displays when any attempt at discipline or constraint – ESCALATION of behavior, screaming, dangerous tantrums and try that with a 1000 lb animal!
Benny is unlike a “normal” horse, he has Autistic behaviors identified on the Autistic Spectrum by an Autistic Specialist from a local school district who recognized similar behaviors in Benny in her many pupils. Also a Behavioral Specialist with a PhD observed Benny identifying Autistic behaviors similarly identified in people. Each of these specialists came up with these observations to my surprise as I had only identified “Orphan Syndrome” behaviors.
Benny does not respond to training or discipline no matter what kind, type or style. Like an Autistic child, discipline results in an escalation of behaviors creating a frantic sweating horse who is paniced, trying to run me over, rearing and striking while attempting to bite. Benny was gelded at 6 months old so No he is not a stallion.
Once I simply let go of “horse training” and “horse behavior” and began to play allowing him to have fun, he allowed me to be a part of his world. I respect Benny’s world and he now respects mine. Play, dance and allowing him to socialize on his terms has created a dream relationship with an otherwise unreachable horse. Benny is low man in the herd and follows Paco close on his tail which at times drives Paco nuts, but at least Paco is no longer trying to kill Benny which at one time he did attempt which was ugly and frightening needless to say.
So for the naysayers I say thank you for sharing your judgments and opinions, we all learn from one another which is how I develop myself everyday as a work in progress. To those of you who support Benny I humbly accept your gracious love, understanding and encouragement.
ALL are welcome in Benny’s life – much love, peace and happiness to each and every one of you
Visit http://www.site.missywryn.com/Benny_the_Autistic_Horse.html to read Benny’s story.