You know when someone asks you what a word means, and you think to yourself, well that depends… so you ask them “What is the context?” then they put the word in a sentence and the meaning becomes clear.
It’s the same with animal behaviour, when someone asks, “What does it mean when my horse/dog/cat does this? What should I do about it?” We have to be very careful because if the behaviour is taken out of context we could give unhelpful advice.
We need to look at that behaviour in the context of the other signals the animal is giving.
The same is true in reverse – we can look at the bigger picture and put meaning to it, but miss some of the smaller details which may change the meaning of the “whole sentence”.
The Trust Technique allows us to create a space where we can step back for a few moments and really listen to the way our animals communicate to us through their behaviour. We learn to look out for the small details that form the whole picture.
Just as in our human language each individual will have their own their nuances which may give their words (behaviours) very different meanings.
In this space we can get to know our animals own “language”, we can become a better listener and better understand how they respond to us, and then make better decisions about how we can help them.