Did you like Mia when upon your own volition you chose from the smorgasbord of recommendations to smack her with double harness leather? Did that make her think you liked her?
Do you kick Bandit in the gut because you like him? Does that make him think you like him?.....
RE: I almost think the opposite.
Comment: Well, good for you. But with that, my comment is that you are mostly alone in the world on that one.
RE: Horses live with aversion training every day of their lives. Or they do if they live with other horses.
Comment: I would not call a horse's experience in the herd aversion training, but even if one chooses to call some of the herd experiences aversion training, that offers no support for the monkey on their back to resort to it...
Yes, early on, very early on, I followed advice concerning Mia and tried the "Get a Bigger Whip!" school. The harder I whipped her, the faster she went backwards, and she taught me an excellent lesson that day.
But no, she did NOT hold it against me or show any resentment towards me over it. Maybe that was because SHE would have no problem double-barreling a horse who questioned HER authority.
"Do you kick Bandit in the gut because you like him?"
We were running out of time to get home. Bandit was incapable of understanding something like my wife's work schedule. I wanted to take a short cut. Asked
. He said no. I gave a squeeze, upping my request to a higher priority. Tell
. He said, "No way in Hades!" But it WAS important, even if he was incapable of understanding, so I popped him hard in the gut and made it clear THIS TIME was no time for argument. Demand
Why? Because I do
know more about a lot of things than my horse does, and he doesn't always get to make the decisions. Like a kid, sometimes he has to be content with "Just because I say so." Not everything in life can be explained. Just as I will not accept bolting, bucking, biting or spinning and running away, I also sometimes reserve the right to DEMAND.
I didn't kick him in the gut because I liked him, but because it was needed at that time. It was IMPORTANT to me, and that needed to outweigh any of his feelings.
And no, it did NOT make Bandit resent me, hate me, reject me personally or as a species. He is a horse. He understands. He accepts. We remain friends. At my harshest, I've never made a mark on him. Right now, he has multiple bite marks on him. Hint: They didn't come from me!
I don't value "soft" because I want
my horse to feel free to talk back to me. He is free to express opinions, and we often act on them. But sometimes...sometimes I need to take charge. Done fairly, I've never seen a horse respond with fear or resentment. A trained horse, who understands the requests being made, will not get too upset at ask / tell / demand. They live it.
"my comment is that you are mostly alone in the world on that one."
I know. Almost no one seems to argue that humans can offer horses something they crave, something that has nothing to do with punishment or treats. Almost no one discusses the power of forming a team with a horse, or how being a valued teammate can motivate a horse.
Pity, because I am certain I am right. "...it loves to exercise its powers, and it possesses a great spirit of emulation; it likes variety of scene and amusement; and under a rider that understands how to indulge it in all this without overtaxing its powers, will work willingly to the last gasp, which is what entitles it to the name of a noble and generous animal...
Allow me to add: Three horses living on a small 2 acre dry lot do not display normal herd interactions and social life and no conclusions should be drawn or suggested from observations under those conditions.
You can draw any conclusion you wish. Or not. Like a huge number of other riders, I see a LOT of harsh treatment of horses BY horses. I see no sign it is limited to horses in my particular living conditions.
Are you hardened into the notion that it is just not possible to train a horse to be willingly compliant without coercion and or punishment?
, but I'll offer you my opinion: I do not believe you can train or interact with a horse and get willing compliance without EVER using coercion or punishment. Nor do I see any reason one would try.
But do and ride any way you want.
Me? Each month, I'm coming to value Bandit more and more as a solid horse. He acts VERY content to be with me. He is learning judgment and learning to also trust mine. He's nine now. I expect to have many years of fun riding with him.