I do not think you are right BSMS, I agree that a rider should always look to themselves first when a direction os given and not obeyed but, just as there are dishonest people there are also dishonest horses...
definition ("An honest horse will clue you in when they aren’t much liking what you are doing...A dishonest horse holds it all in until BLAM!
"), which makes sense to me although I've heard people use "honest horse" to mean "obedient horse, does not resist
", then many horses are dishonest. Bandit was dishonest when he arrived.
My point was that we often teach horses to be dishonest without meaning to, while being dishonest ourselves. I have no trouble with telling a horse, "This is no time to argue! Just do it!" That can be very important at times. And when it is time to leave the arena and head out, I often point out to him that I'm not asking. He's happy enough once we are out, but the first few minutes of riding on pavement through a neighborhood, when there is grass growing a few hundred yards behind, doesn't thrill him.
But if you want honesty, as defined by Reiningcatsanddogs, then you must be willing to listen and willing to change things based on what your horse says. If he says his saddle hurts and you do nothing, he is likely to stop telling you at least until the pain is too much. Then he'll yell, suddenly, and we say he's been dishonest.
"When told his name was Whippy I thought it was probably appropriate in that he probably whipped around....He was what he was and was sent to the sales.
I was re-reading Littauer's Common Sense Horsemanship last night because I wanted to compare what he taught to something I wanted to try. While doing so, I read his account of taking a horse in for retraining. He had an argument with the owner, claimed he could retrain the horse, and ended up buying the horse so he could try. After 6 months and a lot of work, he got the horse to the level of a green horse on its first ride. Much later, he got the horse so it would USUALLY do OK, but would revert to old habits in a heartbeat with a different rider or different environment. He concluded that it was vastly easier to start right with a horse than try to train out bad habits firmly learned. He sold the horse.
Bandit arrived liking and mostly trusting people. He just didn't know he could ask me instead of demand! Interestingly, the only rider he has bucked very hard with is a friend who is about the same size as his original owner - who rode it out, but was caught by surprise. Bandit was caught by surprise too, when I gave him real choices. But once he realized I would listen, he started talking a lot. And I feel much safer on an honest horse who talks to me.
Cowboy was a bitter ex-lesson horse. But he had at least 6 previous owners, and the lady who gave him to me mentioned two in particular - a young boy on a ranch who outgrew him, and an old lady on a ranch who rode him at the end of her life. And we've noticed Cowboy adores young boys and older women. He treats them as if they are made of gold. He accepts me as a rider, but he seems to have fun with my wife.
There may also be horses who are dishonest because that is who they are, just as some people seem to be naturally mean. I have no idea. I haven't ridden many horses. But I have
seen what my youngest daughter claims: Lots of horses don't talk because lots of people don't listen
. I've also noticed that I can lie to my horse sometimes, but he/she will eventually read me like a book written in large crayons using very small words. After a while, they seem to know if I'm asking or demanding - and I do both, depending on the situation. I don't own unicorns and they don't always want to do what I want them to do, even if I know what is best.
But if I mentally add a "Please" or "thank you" on the end, they seem to feel it. If I mentally add, "Blast it, NOW!", they seem to feel it too. I think if the horse is not too far gone, we can teach them to be honest with us. And if we confuse honesty with obedience, then we can teach them dishonesty which we then blame on the horse.
All IMHO. But I've only got 8 years of experience with a handful of horses, so everyone is welcome to ignore MHO.