A Matter of Respect

Considering The Horse.

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There is a great deal of discussion these days about the importance of gaining a horse’s respect during training. The idea has gained a tremendous amount of traction over the years due to the fact that many trainers – regardless of discipline – use the term as a way to describe either desired behavior (respectful) or undesired behavior (disrespectful) in the horse. Students of these trainers often unquestioningly use both the word, and the “attitude” depicted by the trainer in regard to the word when working with their own horses.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with using the concept of respect in relation to horses. The first, and I suppose most important, is the fact that the concept itself is one that was conceived by humans, and concocted in the part of our brain known as the neocortex. The neocortex is the section of the human brain designed…

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