© 2022 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-9000
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Looking Past Troubling Perceptions

katie_andraski.jpg

My perceptions are tinctured with fear, so let me tell you a story about a horse that scared me. Morgen arrived between snowstorms that were so bad I didn’t meet her. She was a coming yearling we bought to keep our other mare company.

 
It wasn’t long before I started thinking, “This horse could hurt me.”

The third week I rode her, she bucked me off. I tried positive reinforcement, which challenges a trainer to reward bits of behavior. I wound up with a horse that snapped every time I lifted the lead, or, she’d look off, then wheel and buck.

“This horse could hurt me.”

I found Jake and asked him to train her and help us sell her if we weren’t a good match. That first day he declared, “This horse loves you.”

Soon I saw that all she needed was a job as a driving pony, but I was still afraid. The next spring I took her to Klaus, who said how deeply suitable she was.

We practiced driving so much, when I brought her home, I hitched her, and drove her down our road. Now Morgen trots up with soft eyes when we bring out the harness. She listens when I ask her to walk on.

I have seen how deeply fear can skew my perception, and how it sometimes takes outside help to set it straight.

I’mKatie Andraski, and this is my perspective.