Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
When I saw the title, I thought of manners TO the horse. As in:
Don't walk up directly to their face and grab them.
Give a horse 5 seconds to smell you and accept you.
Don't just grab their feet to pick them, or drop them afterward.
Horses enjoy being treated with some measure of respect. In return, it is much easier to GET respect from a horse when you show them some. And yes, it is also important to demand respect from a horse, and to do it long before it gets to the biting or kicking stage.
Like sparklefox says, most owners screw it up because they don't understand that behavior X is rude - in either direction. StateLineTack used to have a big set of free videos by Chris Irwin. When I was starting, I found those invaluable for teaching me both how to show respect to a horse, and how a horse would START showing me disrespect.
I wish someone with a lot of experience would start a YouTube section on these sorts of things. Simply knowing how to get a horse, groom it and tack it without being rude to the horse, and knowing how to tell if the horse was being rude to you during that time, would be a great resource for a newbie. Simple things, like how to hold a horse's hoof while cleaning it, or what the horse is doing if it leans on you or moves into your space while cleaning a hoof. None of us are born knowing that.
... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)