I do wonder about that myself. But, I obviously would never say it out loud because they're not my kids.
One thing about the barn owners is that they aren't from Kentucky, whereas I am, and that's perfectly more than fine. But they talk a lot about loving KY and how they can't wait for it to "get back to its roots." From an Appalachian History perspective - there are lots of things to be proud of but lots of things not to be and a lot of hard times in rural Kentucky that were caused by companies who absolutely didn't care about Kentucky or its people as a whole. The coal industry for example, no matter how you feel about coal mining; that is an industry that has and still continues to this day to have a bad history of abusing their workers to varying degrees. Sorry, that's a bit serious for a Friday Night convo, but true to our situation and I think it's part of that mindset that leads them to homeschool. They think "their way" is something to go back to and they don't want them to be influenced by certain ideas and public school. They haven't explicitly admitted this, but I know that's part of what it is. There are great things about Kentucky as with any state. But I don't actually think some of the "roots" they talk about going back to are things to strive for.
Quite frankly, they have a lot of viewpoints I don't agree with. But I am glad they believe in rebuilding rural horsemanship activities, and I hope they succeed in that. KY used to have a lot more interest in recreational riding. Now, most people think of racehorses when they think about the horse industry in KY. A lot of our campground/park areas meant for horseback riding are showing major disrepair and disuse.
But as far as the going to the bathroom outdoors thing... I think maybe it is different out in the country? It's certainly not the norm to just go potty outside, but I have known grown men who insist on peeing off their own back porch. (Which I've always thought was gross because... I mean if you're outside for long periods hiking, camping, etc. yeah you can and must use the bathroom outdoors but if you're doing it in the same place over and over that's going to make a really really gross and unhealthy area.) KL doesn't seem to bat an eye if they pee outdoors but when she found out he did #2 outside the barn, she insisted he help clean it up, and dad had a talk with him about not doing that anymore.
But yes... I would have to say most children here are not quite
as feral in that regard. They are polite in other ways, saying please and thank you and excuse me, and the 6yo opening and closing gates for me, etc. I think there are lots of valuable things they are learning, but maybe some they aren't.