turn towards him completely...when they finished working a side on the longe line or in the round pen. He told me that this showed that they were listening and you had their attention.
If they stand at attention, or move when & how you ask them, in whatever position, they're obviously paying attention to you, not just when they are facing you.
It's not any more 'aggressive' IMO than it is 'disobedient' for a horse not to turn & face you when you request. Like thinking of a horse walking either beside or behind you(take your pick, depending on who you've listened to... or a dog walking through a door before it's owner
) is 'disrespectful'. It's just what they've learned - or not. IMO the horse may well be 'disrespectful', 'aggressive', whatever, but it's got nothing to do with that particular behaviour.
Another girl who works at the ranch was helping me to longe different horses and she said that turning in was a 'Western thing' and stopping in place was an 'English' thing.
I think that's more accurate. So maybe my approach of teaching the horse to go/do/stop however I ask, be that facing me, out on the circle or otherwise is an Australian thing??
I teach lunging as an extension of other basic training - it's about teaching/reinforcing responses at a distance. Just as I want my horse to 'face up' & approach me when I come to the paddock or when I signal it, but I want him to stand squarely side-on when I want to mount, I teach this when lunging too.
I also don't have a problem with the idea of a horse turning away from me on a circle *assuming I cue it & the horse isn't trying to escape or some such*. I want them to learn to move in whatever direction, regardless where I am in relation to them. I also drive horses, do lots of bush riding & walking and frequently lead more than one horse, sometimes on narrow, windy trails, where one's in front & one's behind, so I do find lots of 'purpose' for that principle.