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Do you agree with the article?


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Pearlsasinger

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I agree, somtimes it is impossible to know the cause of a particular behaviour but as an owner, you still have to deal with it. Often, but not always, the horse is simply reacting to the handler's behaviour, dealing with the horse's behaviour forces the handler to change their own.
 

Brightbay

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The difference between "horse won't stand to be mounted" and "horse stands at mounting block" is observable, quantifiable and even someone who doesn't know about horses will be able to spot the change.

The difference between "horse doesn't respect me" and "horse respects me" is idiosyncratic, difficult to measure and you may find that an observer fails to see what you think you do :D
 

fburton

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An important additional point, Brightbay - thanks for that.

Are there any killer arguments against this point of view?
 
Joined
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This links very nicely with the post the other day, where the owner of a horse punished the horse for not accepting her dominance over him by putting him in a field on his own, which caused him to fence walk.
 

Aarrghimpossiblepony

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23 February 2013
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The difference between "horse won't stand to be mounted" and "horse stands at mounting block" is observable, quantifiable and even someone who doesn't know about horses will be able to spot the change.

The difference between "horse doesn't respect me" and "horse respects me" is idiosyncratic, difficult to measure and you may find that an observer fails to see what you think you do :D
I find myself automatically beginning to disrespect anybody who uses the word "respect" when dealing with horses.:D
 

fburton

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I find myself automatically beginning to disrespect anybody who uses the word "respect" when dealing with horses.:D
The problem with the word "respect" is pinning down what it actually means.

When someone says or writes "he respects my space", we all know what they mean, don't we? Certainly this can refer to a horse's behaviour around a person, and I have no issue with it being used in that sense - as a shorthand description that everyone understands. However, it can also be interpreted as the horse behaving in that well-mannered way because he respects the person, not simply because he has learned a set of behaviours that gives him an easy time, that may be rewarded, and will not be punished. Because the word can denote two different things at the same time, one is never completely sure if the speaker means one or other (or both). Indeed, it makes it all too easy to blur the distinction.

To see examples of the various ways the word "respect" (and "respectful" etc.) are used, take a look at the recent thread on the BARGY BU#GER!...
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=613955

When JillA writes "After about 4 or 5 times he will get the idea and stay respectfully behind you." does she mean that the staying behind is behaviour seen as respectful from the handler's point of view or is the horse in a respectful state of mind (or both)? It's not easy to tell from just that statement, is it?

When Marydoll writes "I love the way Richard Maxwell teaches bargy horses to be respectful" is she referring to the behaviour, the attitude (state of mind) or both?

However, when LaurenBay writes "you need to get him to respect your personal space and respect you as a leader." it's much more obvious that a state of mind is being talked about. (To me, at least - I could be wrong of course. :))

Even AengusOg, whose advice I admire for its straightforward commonsense, used the word in that thread. In the sentence, "A chifney is certainly going to stop your horse from doing certain things, but it won't address the gaps in your horse's training which have allowed him to become disrespectful and bargy." he could have left out "disrespectful" and not lost any meaning, in my opinion.

Is the respect that a horse has for a chifney (or space) the same as the respect he has for a person? In what ways is the respectfulness different?

So although I do not automatically disrespect anyone who uses the word "respect" in relation to horses, seeing the word always creates misgivings and puts me on my guard. It isn't "just semantics" or over-analyzing, because how the word is interpreted has very real and practical consequences. It can mean the difference between teaching a horse the behaviours that are wanted on one hand, and doing something else to a horse to instill "respect" in the hope that the desired behaviours are shown "out of respect" to you as a person (or, heaven forbid, surrogate alpha mare).
 
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