IN MY OPINION
Originally Posted by Dumas'_Grrrl
Because humans ARE predators. People eat horses.
But a horse doesn't know that! How could he?
What we do is take a horse against it's natural instincts to trust a human. One of the many reasons imprinting is important on a new born foal. Once a horse trusts a human a bond is formed between predator and prey. A bond that we are responsible to treat with care. That bond IMO is not to be taken lightly.
Instinct aside - you can't have trust without familiarity. As a horse's familiarity with humans grows, so does its desire to trust them - or to avoid them - depending. Personally, I'm not a fan of imprinting...too many folks overdo it to the point the foal becomes dull. What is more important to me is that the dam and the foal bond. I agree that the bond between a horse and human isn't to be taken lightly, but that bond is between a human and a horse, not prey and predator. A horse is so much more complex than being just a prey animal.
Dumas has been abused in his past somewhere. I guarantee that he will NOT trust you should you come out and want to hop on him or even pet him. He does not view every human as a friend. You are a predator (possible source of harm or death) until you have proved otherwise to him...basically desensitizing him to your presence and mannerisms, even temperament.
I won't go into what I think because it would be a book, literally! But I will say that horses recognize leadership...they look for it. Horses don't like being fearful...no animal does, including you.
I'm not a NH'er. I do however believe in the laws of nature and that we are to be good stewards of relationships between all animals. I think that a dog is only as good as its owner and the same goes with horses. It takes understanding of the creature in the wild to understand it once domesticated.
I'm not sure I know what "laws of nature" you are referring to. Survival of the fittest, kill or be killed or something else. I wouldn't discount the impact that domestication has had on the horse or the dog, though. Centuries of selective breeding has made the horse what he is today, and that is as far removed from his wild ancestors as the dog is from the wolf.
There was a video on You tube not too long ago where a horse was in a circus with a tiger or lion riding on it's back. The horse has been desensitized to the presence of the tiger. That horse had obviously not been attacked by that tiger. Thus...the tiger was accepted by the horse. But I still wouldn't cross tigers off of a list of animals that would eat a horse. Tigers are predators.
There is no way to know how many horses didn't make the cut for the act, or how the horse was "desensitized". You're talking circus here...not normal.
I appreciate your taking the time to explain why you feel the way you do. Thank you.