Editors Paddock-" Move those feet?"
Recently I read a training tip (so to speak) that was posted on Social Media from a well known clinician and, once again, I was flabbergasted by what I read. Apparently, according to this clinician, every time you walk around your horse to change sides you are signaling to him that you are submissive to him. Apparently you need " move those feet" every time you handle your horse to gain his respect.
So let me get this straight you don't want to walk around your horse while grooming him, flying spraying him, having his hoofs trimmed, bathing him, tacking him up or whatever you are doing with him? What you want to do is move his feet so he will respect you. I guess for generations we have been doing it wrong. We shouldn't have been walking around our horses to change sides we should have made the horse move. Oh please... that's ridiculous.
These people are trying to reinvent the wheel and, unfortunately, doing harm to both horses and humans in the process. My opinion of this notion that you move a horse away from you constantly when you are handling him is that you are actually harassing the horse and making him fearful of you. A horse should want to be with you and be comfortable being with you. He should not move away from or around you because you have pushed him away all the time, good grief. A happy confident horse will stand quietly while you walk around him when you are working with him, because he is feels comfortable with you as a herd leader and you walking around him is not being submissive to him it's just the opposite. I want my horse to be with me not sidestep, back away or move around me every time I handle him, because I have harassed him by shaking the lead rope, poking him with a stick or waved my arms at him so he will move away from me. I want my horse to stand quietly while I groom, tack up, bath him, fly spray him, have his hooves done, vet him or whether I'm just standing there rubbing his forehead in the paddock. Bottom line I want my horses to want to be with me and trust me.
Think about it - would you rather have your horse "move his feet" away from you every time you handle him or would you rather have him feeling comfortable and confident enough around you to just stand their quietly and peacefully with you. My thought on this training tip is don't try it. Your horse will greatly appreciate it.