Okay. So I tried to understand what the cowboy was telling me about “leading” cows as opposed to “pushing” them…his symbolic way of trying to give me advice about how best to approach independent cowboys like him when you want them to do something like, oh I don’t know, marry you.
Here’s an email he sent after reading this post this morning.
Hi, love.You’re still not quite grasping this whole ‘lead vs. drive’ thing, babydoll. Let me see if I can explain it a little better. (No need to change your post, just for your personal edification.)It’s not about enticing, or luring. Most animals (and most cowboys) can figure out pretty quickly when they’re being lured. When you lead an animal, a horse for instance, you have a halter on them (kind of like a bridle, but no bit). Attached to the halter is a “lead rope”. While positioning yourself a little to the left of their head, you walk in the direction you want to go, and they follow next to you. Hence, you’re asking them to accompany you. You’re not pushing them into something from behind (driving), and you’re not facing them trying to lure or entice them…… …………………..again, you’re asking them to accompany you…….you’re going together.Hence, my phrase….”I ‘lead’ a lot better than I ‘drive’.”
Okay…thank you. Sorry I can’t seem to wrap my brain around this. I guess it just seems to me that being pulled by a halter is not a whole lot better than being shoved from behind…? Am I incorrect in thinking that in either leading or pushing, the animal is being controlled by the human, the human is in charge? I don’t think that’s quite how YOU work, making the analogy not quite perfect for us…seems you prefer to make your own decisions about where you go…?At any rate, we know I’m not much good at training animals. I prefer to be the cow in this equation. You be the cowboy.
Not ‘pulling’ dear……’leading’. It’s all about nuance. Remember what I said about things being more readily learned when you put an animal in a situation where he learns on his own rather than forcing it on him? Like Taz (ranch dog) figuring out that by jumping out of the pickup HE puts him in a bad position………rather than me forcing that knowledge on him. If you pull on a horse’s halter, he’s more likely to balk……if you just start walking (lead rope slack), most times he’ll follow on his own.‘Leading’ is asking………’pulling’, or ‘driving’ is in effect, telling.
I get it.Having never done it, this was a hard one to visualize.The key phrase? “Follow on his own.”Amazingly complex and nuanced concept, actually…and might belong on the list of Best Good Oxymorons, Ever.