What does "honesty" mean when used in reference to a horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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What does "honesty" mean when used in reference to a horse?

English is my second language so apologies.

I mean, my mare "honestly" wants to go back to her box whenever I ride her but I doubt that's it :)
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post #2 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 02:04 PM
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When I say a horse is honest it's in the sense that they are not going to take advantage of their rider. They will do what the rider wants without being being sour about it, you dont need to ask a million times, nor do you have to be perfect in the aids. They don't do dirty stops or run out when jumping.
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post #3 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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So, would you say that a horse which, for example, drags a child to the gate but is fine with a decent rider to be dishonest?

Sorry, just trying to calibrate where on a scale "dishonest" starts.
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post #4 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Or, another example, doesn't want to canter without a little crop incentive?
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post #5 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 02:11 PM
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Yes, my trainer uses this term a lot during lessons, like when asking my mare to stretch down into the contact. She says to "make sure she's giving you an honest stretch and just not using it to get out of the contact". Which, of course, is something she does all the time! She will stretch down and I give her more rein to stretch down with and as soon as she realizes she has a good length, she will pop up, head high, and off the contact.

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post #6 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 02:45 PM
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I call most of my horses honest because at any time, iI can go out, get them, ride or drive them without any ",refresher courses" or "warm up lunging". I guess tgey " honstly" remember their training!
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post #7 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
When I say a horse is honest it's in the sense that they are not going to take advantage of their rider. They will do what the rider wants without being being sour about it, you dont need to ask a million times, nor do you have to be perfect in the aids. They don't do dirty stops or run out when jumping.
^^^^^This is my interpretation of an honest horse.

The horse in my avatar was a consistently honest horse for his entire 27 years. He was my strong alpha leader in the pasture.

If I asked him to do something, he trusted my judgement.

Likewise, if I wasn't sure and asked him for advice, he spoke the truth. He was always the lead horse on local trail rides, thru cut hay fields, as he was an expert at spotting wood chuck holes - it was an uncanny and consistent ability).

He was strictly a trail horse and never let me down in any situation.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #8 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 03:18 PM
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I agree that honest means that the horse makes a good faith effort to obey a request. they are also pretty reliable in their responses, from ride to ride, so if they DO act 'off' you know there is some physical issue, not just the horse feeling emotionally sour.
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post #9 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 03:21 PM
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To me honest horses are the one's that never surprise you by doing something mean or out of character
A truly honest horse shouldn't take advantage of a beginner by, for example, going back home because they knew they could regardless of what the rider wanted. They also wouldn't buck or rear because they thought they could get away with it
As long as they're given the right cues they'll always obey but they shouldn't do anything dangerous if the newbie rider does get a bit muddled.
Sometimes a horse is 'honest' as far as having an experienced rider goes - my mare Flo (RIP) was a perfect example of that because in my eyes she was perfect but with anyone on board that used too much leg or got in her face too much she would have a complete meltdown.

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post #10 of 35 Old 10-17-2016, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all, I think my mare firmly classifies as dishonest :) Ah, well, at least she's safe :)
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