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.
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."