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Re: [RC] Being the Herd Leader - Doubledal

----If the "be the herd leader" concept helps you to establish a working
relationship with your horse, then by all means use it.  But if it
doesn't, that's okay....because it is a bullshit concept, and I
guarantee you, no matter how you may be decieving yourself, your horse
does not think of you as another horse....and a good thing too.  I have
seen the way that horses treat each other, and I want no part of that
kind of a relationship. :)

I think the "herd leader" concept tends to be misunderstood.    People think "herd leader" and they think nicey-nice horse whisperer stuff.  True, horses don't see humans as another horse - they're not stupid!  But leadership is not about BEING a horse, but letting the horse know who's in charge.

Horses are very sensitive to body language - for example, watch the lead horse make a nasty face at the others, and they'll scatter.  They tend to ingore or simply not understand most of our body language, unless we train them, and ourselves, to be sensitive to it.  You can't just walk into a herd and make the nasty face and expect them to get it unless you've taught them beforehand that YOUR nasty face means "you better move, or something worse is coming!"  That's how horses learn from each other, and the same technique can be applied when humans train horses, but you gotta put in the time with the horse for him to learn it, which most people can't be bothered to do.  But that's what it takes to put leadership into practice.

Karen N.