Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
It depends on the horse, personally. I think the idea of allowing a horse who likes to look the courtesy of doing so as being somehow disrespect is incorrect. I don't WANT a bombproof horse who never thinks for himself. I depend on my horse's ability to alert me to danger and work with me through it. As such, my Arab is allowed to look. She is an approacher, if something is curious or startling to her, she will fairly boldly walk up to it to investigate. Denying her that ability convinces her that I must be scared of the object as well and there is reason to avoid it. By encouraging her instincts and familiarization of things around her, I find it only strengthens the trust she has in me to the point where she will traverse any terrain at my request. She is not a balker or a refuser, on a loose rein, she will approach the object in alert readiness, examine it and continue on our way. Due to this, I see no issue in permitting her this luxury. I have attempted in the past to take a more dominant role with her and it simply doesn't work - Zierra is a horse that works much better in a partnership as opposed to me trying to dominant her.
Jynx is opposite, Jynx needs a firm hand and my leadership. If Jynx is afraid of an object and I can feel her tension, I must immediately take steps to drive her forward in a confident manner. If she feels my hesitation, she will lose her momentum and balk or even attempt to spin in some cases. Allowing her to look at things only loses her focus and doesn't help her learn whatsoever that they aren't to be feared. Only me ignoring them and riding her in a confident and forward manner will convince her she doesn't need to fear them.
I think the key to any good training is recognizing and understanding what works best for YOUR horse.
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.