That moment when you see another rider getting after a horse and you can’t for the life of you figure out what the horse did to deserve the treatment it’s getting. And even worse you really like the person who’s now beating the shit out of a horse unfairly. What the heck just happened? And should I step in and say something? Or maybe I should pretend I didn’t see it because that person looks really mad and I don’t want to get attacked too. I could just walk away and go talk about it to all my friends. Will the violence escalate if I call them out on their training methods? Whats the answer here?
Does anyone else struggle with these situations? Am I the only one who tries to rationalize to myself the bad behaviors of others? After all I know I might have been guilty of these things at some point in my life. So it might be better if I didn’t call the kettle black…but then again I do know the difference between fair and unfair and if it’s bothering me I’m probably calling it unfair training and maybe even abusive.
So I guess it’s sometimes my own guilt of my past mistakes that keeps me silent. But silence isn’t working for me anymore, the older I get the thinner this line between fair and unfair training becomes for me and the good news is I think that is ok. I believe that we need to take a leap away from our old fashion ways of thinking about horse training and realize that maybe, just maybe, there is a better way to train a horse. Our frustration with life shouldn’t be taken out on a horse or anyone else. Our need to get what we want or to look smart shouldn’t be placed on a horse.
Our why’s need to be questioned. As a riding instructor when I question the why of what someone is doing or did… the usual response is it’s something that they have been taught by someone who isn’t really even there, someone who probably had no formal training in the art of horse training told them not to let the horse be the boss and because there were no real directions with that, the guessing and the “how do I over power this horse” game began.
Are you confused yet? I am. As an instructor I struggle daily with my need to have people like me and my need to tell people to stop being _________(you fill in your favorite word here) to their horse. Please people lets start thinking before we cross that line between fair and unfair treatment of horses and people. Ask yourself who you learned that behavior from and why you put them up on a pedestal and started behaving like them. Maybe we need some new hero’s, maybe someone a little less violent could show us a new way to train a horse.
Just a thought, have a great ride.