Choice and control

Well, I was all ready to sit down to write a new post … later than I’d hoped. However, someone shared this fabulous video on Facebook and I just had to share it here.

One of the most common themes throughout many horse training “schools” is that of control and respect. The thought goes that horses need a dominant leader who they respect in order to behave and feel safe. This is a load of hooey, as proven by many behavioral scientists and ethologists. Do horses need leadership? Sure … the way employees need leadership. But you don’t (or shouldn’t) dominate employees – they follow because you offer them a vision and the freedom to rise to the occasion. The leadership you provide your horse should be the same.

That is what I love about this video – it’s about providing animals choices and personal control during training. And it works! You can see that in the video … and I see it in my own critters. Of course, with freedom of choice, you have to make a compelling case for what you want the animal to do – and it can certainly take longer to accomplish some things. However, pursuing this path develops a relationship that pays dividends!  The result is a trusting partner who looks forward to the interaction and to learning new things.

So, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Be good to your horses!


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