Tag Archives: pressure

Combining Pressure and Spirit

If we combine thoughts on pressure and spirit it may make some things easier to see, or as I have been discussing to “see it.”

I talked about how I like to keep the spirit in the horse while getting them to the highest level I can.  A mustang may have lots of spirit when you first adopt it, but if you are not very careful you kill all the life in them. It may seem like you have a real gentle horse, but really you have killed the life and the spirit of one of the greatest animals in nature.  They give up and quit trying.  To me this is sad.  

I feel the same way when I drive through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  We took the life and spirit out of so many of the proud people of the Oglala Sioux Nation much like the wild horse.

It is important to make sure we match the spirit with the pressure we or the environment we create is going to put on the animal.  If we don’t get things matched up this creates stress in the animal that could affect performance, cause sickness, vices, or even death.  Imagine trying to run a normal dairy operation with a herd of buffalo.  If you took a herd of dairy cows and dumped them in Yellowstone National Park that would be great for the wolves, but not so good for cows.

This is the challenge we have in range livestock production.  You must have livestock that can survive and prosper in wilderness conditions with the lowest inputs possible, but after they have “grown out” of the range stage, they must adapt to a much more confined setting.

Life is easier.  A highly nutritious and palatable diet on a regular basis and good fresh water any time they want is like a dream for an animal.

Life may be too easy.  A lack of exercise seems to be one of the real problems for livestock that don’t have to graze and travel to water, or have predators to stay away from.  We may need to take our dogs and our cattle for a walk.

This  becomes the challenge.  In the wilderness livestock want to know they can move away from danger.  In a small pasture or lot they feel like this is not possible.  If human interaction is done in a way that creates fear, the animal will always be hunting a way out and will actually put stress on itself even when there is no real threat.  As an example, picture an animal pacing back and forth in a cage or stall.

I go back to my young horses I am riding.  I want to get them productive, safe, and content with the world I have created for them and not take the life and spirit out of them in the process.  The more skill I develop to do this the better it is for them and for me.

From what I see it is of the utmost importance that we learn how to acclimate range animals to the good life we can provide them in the finishing stages of animal production.

You can look at it the same way you look at working with a wild horse.  Help them to understand how to take the pressure.  Don’t put the kind of pressure on that takes the life and try out of the animal.

All animals take pressure differently.  A stockman reads this and learns to put the pressure on in a way that controls the life but does not kill the spirit.

I thank Tom Dorrance for really getting me to want to explore the subject of spirit.

~ Curt Pate

See it

If pressure is the secret to life, it sure is worth some more time to analyze.

I mentioned quantum physics last week.  There is a movie titled What The Bleep that I watched several years ago which really gave my mind some things to try to figure out.

One part  talked about when Columbus came to the Americas. The natives knew something was there but could not process what they were because their brains could not translate what their eyes were seeing.  The ships were there but they could not see it.  The spiritual leader sat and studied until his mind could process what his eyes were seeing, until it became clear to him. Then he helped the others to “see it.”

This was an extremely difficult thing for me to understand. I am not sure if it happened just that way but it helped me to understand it is important to see things as they are.  To do this you really need to think about it.

This is the thing with pressure. Sometimes you can’t see it or understand its effects until it has created a problem. Then the focus becomes the problem, not the decision which created too much or too little of the wrong kind of pressure.

If you are trying to put cattle in a pen and they keep running back past you the thing you may think you should do is build a wing fence.  Then you can force the cattle to go in the pen.  But when you force them to go in the pen they may get exited, go on the fight, and become dangerous or very difficult to work.  The next time you try to put them in the pen they may anticipate this and you won’t even be able to get them to the wing fence.

If you have only ever put cattle in a pen with a wing fence, that would be all you knew.

But if we would of learned how to put the pressure on the cattle at a different angle and a different amount, the cattle may have went in the pen comfortably and not have had a bad experience at all. They would actually have gotten better to work because of the proper pressure.

Once someone demonstrated this to you, you would be able to “see it” and work on your application of pressure to cattle and maybe even take it even farther than you thought possible.

Another place I think pressure comes on the human level is borrowing money.  If you were to decide to go on vacation and borrow the money, you would have lots of fun on the trip for a short time, but then you would spend the next year sacrificing or having a hard time making ends meet because of it. The negative pressure may have made the trip not worth it.

But if you were to decide you wanted to go on a trip, made sacrifices, and saved your money for a year, you would get the satisfaction of saving, have that sense of pride, and you would get the good memory of the trip. Through this way you would not feel the pressure to have to pay for something.

This is why I feel it is so important to really understand the pressure we put on ourselves.  I have read that the subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between real and imagined. Bad news, negative people, negative thoughts all put pressure on us that we may not even be aware of.

The way we care for our animals and handle them put pressure on them and us.  Negative pressure creates stress, positive pressure creates contentment.

There is a book titled The Biology Of Belief by Bruce Lipton.  It helped me to understand what negative pressure or stress really did to our body and immune system.  It is real important to be able to “see it.”

Learn the difference between good pressure and bad pressure.  Don’t be like the sheep following the other sheep into a draw to pile up and suffocate from the pressure, be the sheep that goes through the gate to green pasture.

~ Curt Pate