Re: What's your top 3 pet hates in the Equine World?
3. "Show him who's boss"
Frankly, I want a partner, not a slave. I don't use whips or spurs (never needed them). I use patience instead. Works much better. So what if I have to repeat something two hundred times before my horse grasps that it's not dangerous? Surely that's better than enforcing dislike/fear with pain?
I absolutely detest people who tell me "Show him who's boss." I don't want a scared horse, thank you very much. Why would I apply fear and pain, when patience, calmness and understanding work so much better?
The old "if you get off, you've lost" is complete nonsense. I'd rather get off and lead, than enter into a fight I can't possibly win. Especially if the horse is scared. Sometimes all it takes is get off and step toward the scary thing, talking to your horse, reassuring your horse. But alas, that only works if your horse is your partner and it trusts you not to lead it into danger.
I do a lot of ground work. A LOT. People tell me all the time that I'm wasting my time. But you know what? My horse is very anxious at the moment. New yard, new owner, new surroundings. Everything is very scary. But because I'm taking my time, he's slowly calming down and things that petrified him a week ago aren't as scary anymore. Instead of taking off -- acting on that old "Flight" instinct -- he will stand there, shaking, trembling, clearly terrified -- and check with me if it's okay. Whether I'm on, or off.
Had someone tell me to "Give him something to calm him down". Why???
If I can't get my horse to calm down without drugs, then I shouldn't own a horse.