Originally Posted by Oldhorselady
I am wondering if there is a happy medium between, the guy on the Budweiser commercial that sends his horse to Budweiser and hasn't seen him for three years, attends the parade the horse was being driven in, walks away thinking the horse would not remember him, only to have the horse run down the street to him....and.....the guy that treats his horse like a robot with no concern of the horse's well being, only to win the competitions he is in and never even cares to talk to his horse????
I do think there is a happy medium and I really don't think most people believe that there is absolutely no bond (in the original sense of the word) ever created between humans and horses - they may just call it something different to avoid those that equate bond with "my horsie luvs me and will do anything for me" type.
Horses are herd animals and as such do create bonds in order to hold their herds together. If you watch a herd you can many times see horses pair up with their preferred buddy, and even though they are a herd and live together sometimes you see 2 horses that will never pair up. They just tolerate each other. But these bonds are not static. Take out a horse or add one and it can change the dynamics - so their bonds are not life-long commitments like we humans think in, but rather temporary "safe havens" of sorts.
What I think is the issue is that some people want to equate love with bond. While love is a type of bond - not all bonds are a form of love, and I think its a type of bond that is not capable in horses. We can love them, but to expect that type of emotion in return is setting up for dissapointment and many times leads to a spoiled horse and possibly dangerous horse. But a bond based on trust, leadership, safety and companionship is possible and reasonable to expect after a time.
Horses are not humans, but they are also not robots. They need to be respected and understood for what they are as well as what they are not.