Does anyone else dislike the word "disrespect" for horses? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DressageCowgirl View Post
Good question. Disobedience, I suppose. He is disobedient to my herd authority. I feel that horses can disobey, but I don't feel they can disrespect, because I think "respect" involves a level of self awareness that horses do not have. I just don't like to over personify them and let it lead to negative subconscious feelings because I put too many human characteristics on an animal like a horse.
Interesting thoughts, but way too much thinking for my head.

It is true that horses are not people, but as long as the person you are talking to about your horse understands what you are trying to say ... well there you go.
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post #12 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 12:38 PM
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I wouldn't really say the word disrespect bothers me. There simply is no special word for when a horse acts up against you. So we use what is closest in human terms, which is respect and disrespect. I would say is someone is calling you names, or talking behind your back, or anything of that nature does not respect you, or is showing disrespect. So when a horse does something against you, they are disrespecting you. I've had the disrespectful horse, and I love him to death. My gelding when I first got him was a fighting machine. If you got after him he got after you even harder. He was downright aggressive and disrespectful. I put the work in and now he's lovely, and it didn't make me harbor any ill will towards him. Nor did using the word disrespect.

On a side note since another poster mentioned stubborn:
There is NO such thing as a stubborn horse, only a horse that doesn't respect your authority enough to see a point in doing what you're asking.

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post #13 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 02:04 PM
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To me disrespect is when they know better but choose to ignore.

Respect only comes with fairness and consistency.
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post #14 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
Interesting thoughts, but way too much thinking for my head. .
LOL! Probably very true. I guess the reason I don't like it is when I associate my horse with "disrespect" I start to have a subconsciously negative feeling toward it like I would have toward a human being knowingly treating me badly.
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post #15 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 02:37 PM
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Words do not make a lot of difference to me. I know what I mean and all my horses know what I mean. They operate with a great deal of respect for the horses above them in their pecking order. They think in 'thoughts' while most people think in 'words'. I know that I am really just a part of their pecking order. So, as long as I am the 'head pecker' (no pun intended), I do not care what word I use or anyone around me is using.

That is like using the word 'break' to refer to starting or training a horse. I have used that word for over 50 years. I'm not going to change now. Does it mean that I literally 'break' a horse? Nope! But, to me a 'broke' horse will always denote a trained horse that does what is asked and 'breaking' one will always denote starting a green one. It has absolutely nothing to do with methods. It has absolutely nothing to do with 'forcing' a horse to do anything -- at least not when I am using it.

I do not think it pays to get hung up on words and names -- Just like natural horsemanship. There is little that is natural about riding and training a horse. The way many do it, it is not even horsemanship to many of us. It is just a couple of meaningless words. We would all do better to think more in actions, reactions, responses and consequences just like horses do.
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post #16 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 02:52 PM
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I don't think I ever use the word "disrespect" in terms of horses, but I dislike it's use in the human context when it is used to express someone disagreeing with another. Respect always has to earned whether it is the horse respecting you as a dominant creature or a person's respect by your acts and words.
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post #17 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 02:58 PM
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You obviously have never worked in the war zone known as "Public School," where disrespect is as common as rain drops. Of all of the words used to describe a horse's behavior "disrespect" is about as clear as they come. It is used to describe intentional behavior brought about by a lack of acknowledgment of you as the leader. Since horses natural behavior is to test limits and move up the pecking ladder, respect is a very important part of the horse's psyche. Thus respect and it's polar opposite, dis-respect, aptly describes how a horse behaves.
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 03:18 PM
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I agree that I don't really like the word as it's used WRT to horses. To me, it carries too many unpleasant human-context connotations, as though we always should be acting like drill instructors or prison guards. Even though I know, intellectually, that that's not what most people actually mean, the word still has that emotional baggage.
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post #19 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I presume I am in charge. I presume I get to tell the horse what to do, and that I need to train the horse to agree with my point of view. I see the horse as below me in the decision-making process. Mia sees the geldings in her corral - and she believes it is HER corral - the same way. She will not tolerate their 'disrespect'. I will not tolerate hers. When I set foot in the corral, it becomes MY corral.

Do I use the term 'disrespect' very often? No. Nor do I use it with humans very often. But Mia takes personal offense when the geldings don't listen to her, and I take it personally when she does not listen to me. However, I prefer to talk of "training" and "obedience" rather than "bond", "trust", "respect", and "disrespect".

Yesterday, Mia did something she had never done in the 5 1/2 years I've owned her: she flattened the farrier. I was holding her, the farrier & I were talking, and she gave him a shove with her hind leg that sent him sprawling. She then decided maybe she should make a run for it, and nearly knocked me down as she leaped forward. I kept one hand on the lead, managed to spin her around, and then charged into her face. She backed double-time across the corral, turn, and across it again. All the while, I was chewing her out. When I thought she understood my displeasure, we went over to the farrier, who wasn't hurt, and I held her as he guided her leg back on the hoof stand and finished the job.

I had not failed Mia. In 5.5 years, I had never seen her try to remove her foot from a farrier. Nor was I interested in what Mia thought of the farrier's qualifications. She doesn't get a vote. If I want her to stand still and get a shot or get a foot rasped, that is MY business, not hers. And yes, I was offended that she rejected MY will and decided to knock the farrier over...and nearly knock me over. And I can promise you, if one of the geldings acted that way toward her, she would respond with GREAT offense! If a gelding tried to run her over, she'd make him fear death.

The geldings are expected to respect Princess Mia. I expect Mia to respect King Bob...and the King's Farrier!
Totally agree with you. You've trained your horse to respond to your presence appropriately.
I kinda meant, people walking up to any old horse and presuming because humans are a higher species that they will gain respect purely from this fact alone. Horses don't automatically know this, you have to train it into them as you have and work with them :)
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post #20 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 05:18 PM
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The term doesn't bother me at all. I know what horse people mean when they say it, and I know how to deal with it with my own horses. The importance isn't in how you perceive the word- but how you act, or react to disrespect or disobedience from your horse. Your horse doesn't care what you call his misbehavior- he cares if he can get away with it again, or if it is nipped in the bud.

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