The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
I suppose if by "training" you mean it's something the horse has learned from repeated behaviour, then sure, call it training. My gelding would follow me until I turned around, looked at him a certain way, & said, "Stay there, Simes". I could then walk into the tackroom or walk away from the cross ties (he was never tied in, he just stood in them) or whatever, & I'd know that I could come back & he'd still be there. If I left him standing in grass, maybe he'd lean down to have a nibble, but he wouldn't wander off. He didn't do it because I'd specifically spent time"training" him to do it, he did it because I was "mom" or "alpha mare" or whatever you want to call it, & he wanted to please me. He wouldn't do this for me until we'd formed a bond, and he'd never do it for other people, because he did not have that level of respect for what they wanted. I never once hit him or threatened him with a whip in the 7 years that I had him. If you think you need a whip or some other "training aid" to get a point across to a horse, then you are very mistaken.

And you asked how far love and respect get you in a show arena - I'll tell you, they get you VERY far. Look at a pair where the horse & rider do not have any sort of connection or respect for one another, & then look at another pair that are obviously a TEAM. There's a difference. I'm not saying respect & love always bring in the ribbons, but I am saying they'll make a world of a difference in the way your horse will act for you.
Yeah, not sure how much I agree with this statement. There is a lot of romantacism on this forum, I notice. I don't believe horses understand the concept of "love and respect", I think that what they do understand is boundaries and training. Top international equestrian competitors often travel to different countries without their horses. It is not unusual for a rider to meet the horse he/she is competing on one or two days before the comp. These top riders then go out and perform amazing equestrian feats on a horse they barely know. The reason they can do this is because THEY are highly trained and generally so is the horse they ride. It has nothing to do with love and respect and everything to do with training.

My neighbour has a heap of horses. It is not unusual for any one of them to not get ridden more than two or three times a year, basically these horses are on permanent turn out until they are needed. This guy spends NO extra time with his horses, he does all his training and schooling when he is at work on them. He will bring in a horse (with dogs!) catch it, give it a very light lick with a brush, saddle on, and off to work - and boy do these horses have to work. The crazy thing is every one of his horses know to follow him around if he is off their back, unless he has specifically ordered them to stay. Do they follow him because they "love and respect" him. No it's because he trains them to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
I understand what you all mean about the bond between a horse and rider, I like to think that my horse and I are pretty close and connected (either that or I look like a feed bucket LOL). However I think that I have come by that bond through training and the fact that my horse follows me around in the paddock without a lead is not indicative of said bond. My horse also follows my four year old daughter around when she sneaks off to play in Phoenny's paddock. My horse is insatiably curious so she follows my daughter because it is fun and interesting (and she may smell like cookies!).

I guess I am just trying to point out that a horses natural curiosity, need for companionship, sense of fun etc are more valid reasons for a horse to follow a person around in a paddock than love and respect. Once you have that horse saddled and ready for work, that is when you really find out how much of a connection you have with your horse. When you are out on a ride among other horses does your horse still follow you or stand as you direct. Can you get off your horse to open a gate and stand at the gate while your horse walks through by itself and stops to wait while you latch the gate. My horse does because she has been trained to. I would like to believe though that the training I have done has established a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. My opinion is that you don't know if you have your horses trust and respect until you end up being held accountable as the leader by the horse. If a horse will follow you (with or without a lead) through an obstacle that the horse would naturally go out of its way to avoid, that to me, is a better indication of love and respect.

I would just like to say that a friend of mine has a horse she absolutely adores and my friend thinks it is so wonderful because her horse follows her around the paddock and yard like a puppy dog. That is until she tries to approach it with a halter - and then it won't let her catch it! Funny eh!
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top