Desensitization... what a long word for an awful way of torture. At least if it’s done in its traditional way, in which the horses get overwhelmed with a certain stimulus until they no longer react to it. Do humans really believe that by taking away the chance to flee, scaring us that long with something that freightens us until we’re numb, sweating and will- broken strengthens our relationship?
Put yourself in our shoes- let’s use your fear of spiders as an example.
One day your friend comes visiting and suddenly he locks you into the bathroom and throws buckets full of huge spiders on top of you! You’re screaming and trying to push him out the way to get to the door, but he grabs your arm and holds you tight. He seems to not hear you crying and screaming for help, he seems all serious and almost like you don’t exist.. you wondering what you did wrong to make him so mad at you. And still more and more spiders crawling all over your body. There’s just so many you have stopped looking at where they are crawling into and you are just trying to shut your eyes and imagine you would be some place nice and peaceful. You’re trying to ignore the spiders as there’s no way you could escape and you’re exhausted from screaming, crying and fighting...by the time you open your eyes again, your friend finally stopped throwing more spiders on and walks out the room all content. What just happened?! You promise yourself that you will either not let him into the house next time he visits or you will try to be as nice as possible and not upset him again! He’s unpredictable for sure.
Mummy says this is called “learned helplessness”.
There’s trustworthy, fair and more understandable ways to help you with your fear of spiders. Your friend could maybe bring a very small spider and instead of him putting the spider into your private zone, you could first touch it while it’s sitting on his arm. You would feel in control of your actions and of the spider! You have time to get to understand that animal and its characteristics. Next time your friend can bring a bigger spider along and you might be asking him for letting you hold the spider yourself. Your curiosity is taking over...
You get my drift I hope, as I am going back to munching on my hay now! Good night horsey humans!