Friday, September 10, 2010

Women, Men, and Horses

For some time TR and I have a debate about horses. Maybe it's not so much of a debate, really, it's a conversation with a bit of "I'm right" in there (although we are both too polite to out and out SAY that).

It's about the different ways men and women deal with horses.

The expectation of a relationship with horses is very different between men and women (warning, this is FULL of generalizations and your mileage may vary). Heck men don't even like the R word.

I agree with his observation that women are often not strong/stern enough with their horses. The boundaries for many women aren't there sufficiently and some women see certain behavior from horses as endearing when it's actually rude. This is probably overly projecting human behavior.

On the other hand I feel most men are quick to judge behavior from horses as being "disrespectful" or "lazy" when many times the horse is either confused by the cue or has inadvertantly learned the wrong thing. I wonder if men are projecting human behavior as well.

Then I came across this well written, well thought out post by Julie Goodnight, a trainer I admire greatly. Here's a quote:

Just as men tend to approach life with bravado, women tend to approach life with cunning and finesse. I believe this accounts for why horses relate differently to men and women, for better or for worse.

I encourage you to read the whole post (which you can find here). It was fascinating and really summed up TR and my conversation on the topic so much so that we decided it was, in fact, the definitive answer.

And with me and TR, that's saying something. :)

1 comment:

Carol said...

Interesting. My husband isn't as firm with the horses as I am, but then an unproductive 'loop' in training results, where he and his horse keep repeating habits.
Lately he's tried to be more clear in his correction - not mean or harsh in any way, just clear about 'this is right, that is wrong' and they've come ahead light years. I don't think the generalities apply as often as people think, but it's an interesting concept.