We as a human race have subjugated horses for a long as we can remember. Many years ago it was to make our daily lives easier as they were used for transport and farm work. We have taken them to war. Wars that make absolutely no sense to horses who are a peaceful animal. Today we don’t need them in the same way, yet we still yearn for our horses to do what we say and meet our needs.
A room full of trophies, a trainer with many clever techniques to get the horse doing what they want, a problem horse starter that can subdue a reactive horse, these might indicate some good technical skill but does this really indicate that person is a great horse person? Personally, I don’t think so.
We are surrounded by people who actually know little of the true nature and psychology of the horses they are riding and working with. Yes they know how to dominate them but they are a long long way from being a inspiring leader.
When such a person encounters a problem with their horse, such as the horse balking at jumps, horses that are not listening, horses that are running off, horses that are spooking at shadows, horses that are bucking or rearing, and horses that don’t want to move forward, their normal response is to attempt to take a firmer hand with the horse and push, force or somehow coerce the horse to submit and behave the way the person wants. If the poor horse does not give in to the force, punishment is then provided to this horse often in the form of phases of pressure for its misdeeds. After all, isn’t it justified to punish bad individuals? Isn’t it appropriate to force submission from this animal to its master, the powerful human?
I think that this is a very sad commentary on how humans frequently relate to the horse. Many think it is our right to dominate animals, nature and the earth. Does this subjugation make us great people? NO
The old methods of training animals by controlling them through domination with desire for obedience foster an attitude of human superiority and justified violence, rather than kinship and mutual respect. I believe it is harmful for all of us, and especially for children, to observe and take part in those forms of training.
The way to find unity with your horse is to let go of control and to trust.
What are you trying to control?