Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tri-State (IA, WI, IL) area
I don't particularly have an opinion on it. I've patted my horses before, yeah, but I generally do more stroking. If I did pat my horse and they took it as a signal to move over, I can't say I'd complain about it... I mean, the horse did what I asked, after all. But when I want my horses to move over, I push on their shoulder or hip and say "scoot", and any praise I give is usually backed up with my talking to them in a whole 'nother tone of voice, so it's not real often they get a "praise pat" mixed with a signal for something.
For instance, with Magic, when we're heading out of the arena after a good run, I'll ruffle up her mane and pat her shoulders and say something like "Atta girl, Mags! We did awesome today!"