Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Here is an example of what I think ought to be common sense, and may or may not be covered in a left brain/right brain analysis:
My mare had not been out of an arena. So when I started taking her out, I started by walking her on a lead line. We started at 100 yards max before a meltdown, and extended it. While doing that, it became apparent that she considers backing up a fair and reasonable way to be disciplined, but spinning in circles to be abusive. I don't know why she feels that way, but she would get pissy if I turned her in multiple tight circles. I could back her up 100 yards at a near run, and she would drop her head, lick her lips, and want to be near me.
So with Mia, when we started riding, a scary thing was responded to by backing up. We might then approach a few steps at a time, watching her for tension, or I might dismount and lead her. But I would not turn her in circles to try to convince her she was being bad and had to listen to me. That would have turned it into a fight. I gather the latter works for some horses and some people, but not for Mia & I.
Each horse is an individual. Back in the 70s, there was a popular book that tried to break humans into 4 basic types, and then had further breakdowns within those 4 types. I read it, but found it too simplistic to be useful. In the end, I found I had to treat each human as an individual. But I also found that certain principles - honesty, fairness, genuine concern, etc - worked well on about 95% of humans. So far, based on 4 horses, I'd say they have different personalities, but they don't fit into neat patterns, and the basic principles of training mentioned earlier work well.
"There goes Earl!"