There is no RIGHT OR WRONG
There is no right or wrong only your experience. If you were taught all your life to do something a certain way you would consider this to be the right way to do it. You will have experienced the pros and cons of doing it this way and adapted to use it best. For example 2 + 2 = 4. Now consider someone else for their whole life has been taught to do the same thing a different way and get the same results. For example 1 + 3 also = 4. We now know there are 2 different ways to get 4. This is the same with horses, there is no right or wrong way to get your results, there are infinite numbers of ways to get what you want with your horse. You can even teach them a backwards way and as long as you are consistent they will figure it out. These methods are rooted into our belief system. What we believe about the horse and what it is capable of is how we approach its training. If we can shift our belief system we can adapt our methods to be more humane.
A horses primary response to stimulus is for self preservation
This being the easier way to get a horse to respond techniques have been developed to scare the horse into work for them
A horses secondary response to stimulus is their ego, preservation of identity.
Techniques have been established to bully the horse into submission
But what if we could work together as equals?
When you consider your horse as an intelligent, competent and capable equal, not only do you allow your horse to be that, you also check yourself when you find yourself working them by bullying or scaring them. When you tell yourself you can do it a better way by treating them as an equal you stop and analyse the situation to better communicate and affect what you are trying to achieve. You may even listen to your horse and change your goal
So the way you think defines the way you act. If you believe the only way to get a horse to work is to ride them until they are tired, that is the only way you will ever get the horse to work. If you believe that a horse needs to be disciplined to submission that is the only way you will ever train. If you believe a horse is intelligent, capable of making rational decisions and working with you, you will keep trying different things until you find a way that clicks with you are your horse.
I have tried them all and then some and have learnt the only way that I can work with a horse is by allowing self expression, because once you channel that into work ethic they always give you 110% and start to groove with the movement instead of it becoming mechanical and dull. When you listen, each horse will tell you how they want you to work with them. It this is the result of their personality and experiences. When you can find a way to connect with a horse on this deeper level it truly makes your heart sing. It no longer is about discipline and performance, it becomes about the art of movement and the harmony of two souls singing in tune.