Originally Posted by Tianimalz
I cannot help it makes me frown a bit that most horses don't get to show their personality, instead it's trained out of them. Most are told that at all times under saddle they have to be quiet with their heads down and done exactly what their told and are not allowed to use their intelligence to question it. Like I've said, it shines to me more of ownership, than the friendship I've seen be allowed to shine in some horses when given a chance.
Like I've said, their is a difference between a good horse who does whet they're told, and one that doesn't ever have a chance to ask differently.
But that is my opinion, I can hardly change it, and it's only worth as much credit to someone else as other people are willing to give it
When I ask for a half-pass at X when dressaging around the arena, it means do it NOW. If you had a horse who was allowed to "question" every movement, you'd have a pretty lousy dressage horse. Same goes for trail rides. When I ask for a rein-back randomly while headed home on the trail, I don't give a hoot if she'd rather keep going forward, towards home. Halt and back-up NOW mean just that. I don't call that a dead horse who's had her personality trained out of her, I call it a trained horse who knows her job. In spite of all of that, and all that dressage training in pure, blind obedience, she is still very alert and aware on the trail, but not balky or spooky, and pretty handy at keeping you and her out of trouble.
Obviously you can train your horse however you want but characterising all of these horses who have been trained to be obedient, as Cherie described, as not being "allowed to show their personality" is, quite frankly, making a huge assumption.