NATURAL HORSE - Natural Horsemanship Equipment and Equine Relationship Training
NATURAL HORSE BLOG

RESPECT


I see and hear about poor horses all over the country, who are being scolded and chastised by riders who incorrectly believe they are being disrespectful.So what is respect?

Firstly you would need to have a long standing relationship with the individual horse to earn their respect over time, just like they earn your respect by how they behave towards you.......so you're not going to get respect from a new horse until you've proved you are worthy of receiving it by your actions towards that horse....though you can set it up for success from the start.

Therefore if you have ever kicked the horse to go, or pulled on his mouth to stop, even by accident, or shoved him over harder than he thinks is needed when on the ground etc...all those behaviours go towards his disrespect of you.

Now I don't want you to think that horses stand there in their paddocks plotting to be disrespectful.....as they are rarely the instigator of disrespect....they only act that way as a direct response to the handler and how the handler is, or has treated them....and most cases of rudeness towards horses are done innocently as shown below.

Classic examples of RUDENESS or DISRESPECTFULNESS are :

*Barreling on in to touch a new horses head and face at the first meeting....how rude...can you imagine a complete stranger stroking your face...we would be appalled by this invasiveness ....so allow the horse to sniff you and get to know him a little bit before doing this...he will like you for it.

*Walking upto a horse in a straight line...its predatory and rude.....learn how to mosey up to him instead just like you were another horse.*Getting your horse, tacking up and riding off....hang out with him for a bit first, give him a scratch and re connect ...again he will respect you for taking his needs into account.

*Picking up feet without priming your horse that you are going to do so...the polite way to do this is to place your hand at the hip or shoulder and work down the legs to the feet....and dropping the feet afterwards is a big no no too.....place the foot down carefully on the ground*Holding the horse too tight is another sin in the horses eyes as it makes him feel claustrophobic, so give him more room and hold his lead rope a meter away from his head , using a longer line when leading him etc...he will be happier for it.

*Patting or slapping your horse shows him you don't understand him......as horses like to be stroked ..rhythmically like being groomed by their mothers when they were foals.*Kissing, tutting or clicking with your tongue ...this one sound, like any vocal instructions you use with your horse should be saved to mean one thing and one thing only for your horse, such as go forward...yet we see it being used for everything.... to mean twenty different things for the poor horse, which is confusing, such as come here, back up, hello boy, good boy etc....

*Tight reins when riding is another offence to the horse....relax and trust him to do his job. ...its a compliment to him and trust is built on trust.

* And the list goes on....

But the MOST DISRESPECTFUL behaviour any human can have to any horse is -:NOT PROVIDING THE RELEASE, OR QUITTING TO OFFER COMFORT AND REWARD THE MILLI SECOND THE HORSE RESPONDS TO ANY FORM OF REQUEST.

Another thing to think over is Obedience is not respect...nor is fear of consequences from the horses point of view...in other words if i don't move forward i get jabbed in the ribs or tapped on the shoulder with the whip etc...as this is certainly not respect towards the horse from the human.....and dishing out corporal punishment like that is very disrespectful and will lead to a very unhappy and frightened horse.

So before we accuse the horse of being " disrespectful" perhaps checking out our behaviour towards him would be the best way to improve our mutual respect of each other