Skippy, not all scared horses will look AT the thing that scares them. A horse that goes introverted when scared, for example, will shut down, and some horses that are afraid of something will be looking OUT.....because out is where safety is, out is where they can get away from the thing that is scaring them. In either case for the scared/unconfident horse, making them look at the thing they are scared of is not the best thing to do. A lot of times people will say "You must have two eyes!" but sometimes a horse CAN'T look at you because there is too much pressure. That is where retreating to build confidence comes in.
Now, if a horse looks away from you out of boredom, I still won't pull his face back. Why? Because it's MY job to be interesting for the horse and to get him to WANT to look at me. Sure if you pull his head back he might look at you, but more than likely it's going to be a look of "Uhg, what do you want?" And if the horse truly looks at the human as alpha and as someone worth listening to, he WILL look at you on his own. It's just our job to cause this to happen in a way that doesn't involve MAKING the horse do anything.
I would imagine that a horse (being a prey animal) would want to do more than just turn a blind eye away from what is scaring it. In the wild if a horse sees a cougar coming out of the bushes, they'll run and always keep ears on the threat.. being introverted will get 'em eaten! I've always assumed that when a horse spooks and jumps away from whats spooking (rather than just ho-hum looking away) it that it's his instincts at work. I guess the horse must be much more domesticated than I give them credit for.
More often than not when I see my horses out in the pasture spook at something, they may run two strides then stop and stare at it, puffing/rattling their nostrils. Or they will set back a bit and have their ears perked WAY forward and stare at whats scaring them. Today when I was working with Charity she always had her full attention on the object I was desensitizing her with, regardless of the level of "spook" she had at it. Anywhoo... i've found that the bulk of horses I have worked with are more apt to stare at what spooks them rather than away from. I didn't say that all horses stare at what scares them because hey, I can't prove that :p! Infact, in my post I said when my
horses are scared they look at whats scaring them ^^ I am very careful to not make generalizations =)
And as far as the boredom thing... I am no three ring circus for my horses :p Sure, I want the horses to want
to be with me, but some people choose to do this by keeping their mouths stuffed with treats or trying to treat their horse like a god. I'm not at all saying that's what you're implying, and I do understand the general concept of getting the horse to want to focus on you. The way I achieve interest from my horses is by keeping things different. I don't have the same routine or path to lead them around, I change it up. When they get stuck on auto pilot they get much more easily distracted (i find). I am very proud to say that all my horses are increadibly attentive to me and stick with me with no resistence on the lead rope. And I achieved this without ever using any tools or performing any mean acts. I've just stayed consistent with them, and I think they really respect me for it =)
But I think its great that we have differing views on training and how to achieve certain goals. That diversity gives people in the horse world quite a few paths to travel in order to get what they want out of their horse =)
Thanks for your reply! =) I hope my response wasn't too off topic =)