Today, I would like to introduce an experiment, the straw experiment, that was conducted in Sydney, Australia, recently.
At Equitana in Sydney, 61 people took part in the ‘Lucky Straw Draw’ – experiencing how it feels to hold a plastic drink straw in their mouth like a bit, for as long as possible. Some barely managed 2 minutes, others did it for 20 minutes!
Here’s what they felt…..
17 found it ‘Uncomfortable’ – several ‘Really Uncomfortable’
11 found it ‘Annoying’
11 found they needed to ‘chew on it’ or ‘play with it continually’
10 said they were ‘Preoccupied’, ‘Couldn’t Concentrate’, ‘Distracted’, ‘Couldn’t focus’
7 said they felt ‘Restricted’ or ‘Blocked’
7 said they produced ‘Lots of Saliva’
7 found it ‘Hard to swallow’ or Couldn’t Swallow’
4 felt ‘Tension in their neck/head/face/jaw’
4 said they ‘Don’t like it’
3 said the ‘Corners of their mouth got sore’
3 ‘Wanted to get rid of it’
3 said they ‘felt numb/tingly’
2 said their ‘Tongue was restricted’
2 said it ‘Irritated their mouth’
2 said it was ‘Not Pleasant’
Other comments included:
Hard, Pain, Strange, Un-Natural, Couldn’t get used to it, Sore tongue muscles, Irritating, Sore jaw, Awkward, Stressed, Sick to my stomach, Felt stupid/ un-dignified/ embarrassed, Pulls lips, Can’t lick lips, Dry mouth, Tired mouth, Hitting teeth, Can’t breathe properly, Would make me cranky, Horrible/yucky, plastic better than a steel bit, Painful gums (where there was no teeth – just like in a horse!), Would kill if someone reefed on it!
A small group of high school students (non-horsey) also took part in this experience and made the following comments:
“Hard to swallow, annoying, more dribble, bad, can not chew, can not talk properly, hurts teeth, want to chew on it, want to spit it out.“
Time in = 5mins 44 sec.
“Difficult speech, more saliva, uncomfortable, annoying”
Time in = 3mins 42sec.
“Annoying, boring, don’t like it”
Time in = 1min 27sec.
“My throat feels kind of sore and painful and uncomfortable. I am making more saliva. My head keeps being pulled down and I can’t lift it up. My gums and teeth are painful I want to chew on it. My neck feels hard.”
Time in = 2min 2sec and 1min 5sec
Many thanks to all those who took part. If you haven’t yet tried this, next time you see a plastic straw give it a go.
You don’t need a bit in a horse’s mouth to control them. There are other, better, more subtle ways. It’s all about developing your relationship, bringing in natural trust by your actions and feelings.