I'm quite offended by people who say the reason that they're not being caught is because they're worked too hard and that they are "slaves." That is an over generalization.
I'm confused. You don't seem to have participated in this discussion(unless you have another alias), so I don't get your offense in the first place??
I can't speak for others(tho many seem to be on the same page) but my opinion about 'working' horses & comparing 'slavery' is not about 'too much' work, but that it's *perceived by the animal as work* at all, and it seems to surprise & offend people(they complain of 'lack of respect' from the horse, talk about 'naughtiness', etc) that the horse doesn't want to work. They also expect that he *should* ('respectfully') submit to work, even in the absence of payment, which is the bit that can be compared to slavery IMO. I mean, how many humans would be happy & willing to work at something unpleasant & unnecessary without reward?? Of course if it were the easier option in order to avoid punishment(slavery) we may submit(but how many would respect the slave driver??). Why on earth do we expect horses to do that willingly then??
I just believe in ensuring there are *worthwhile* rewards for any 'work' or unpleasantness, and striving to make what I see as fun for me with horses as fun for them too - I make a point of it being *play* not *work* for my horses, so they *want* to do what I ask them.
I spent four years chasing my horse in the field. ...I would have to run her until she were literally dripping sweat before she'd even consider letting herself be caught.
Have you considered that perhaps it was *because* you were always chasing her that she was always running away? Have you considered that perhaps that method was not very effective, that's why you were still doing it for 4 years? I personally would have changed tack, probably after 4 days or weeks at most, tried a different approach if that one wasn't working. ...Altho bet you & she both got fit in the process!
I work her for 20, Maybe 30 minutes. 3, Maybe 4 days a week. - She certainly was not worked hard or Ever treated badly. She just simply chose not to come to me.
You miss the point it seems. It's not about how 'hard' or long you may work them, it's that you Work them. It's not that you treat them bad in your
eyes, it's *their* perception of what's going on that's important. If she chose not to come, it may not even be that she thought you were treating her bad, just that hanging out with you maybe just wasn't that good. And to be fair, these aloof prey animals can indeed be hard to please sometimes. The point is that if you want your horse to come choose to be with you *willingly*, you have to make yourself more attractive than hanging out with mates, eating, relaxing, etc.