Imagine putting your beloved pet dog on a long lead and chasing him round and round with a flag on a stick.
Imagine chasing your dog away from you every time he tries to come to you.
Imagine flapping a tarp or flag at your dog until the only thing left for him to do is stand still.
Or how about chasing your beloved pet dog round and round if he doesn’t come when you call him.
And every time he turns and runs, you chase him some more.
Now imagine hitting and chasing your dog away from his food to ‘teach him respect’.
Imagine tying something frightening onto your puppy’s back and chasing him in a round pen while he runs in terror.
If anyone did any of these things to a dog, they’d be charged with animal cruelty.
However, many people think it’s completely okay to do these very things to horses.
Please don’t tell me it’s different because horses are prey animals and dogs are predators.
If you’ve ever seen a puppy or a young dog who has had no human contact, you’ll know that he’s just as frightened of people as a young horse who has had no human contact.
And please don’t tell me that it’s better to use a flag on a stick because horses are big and powerful and you can keep your distance.
If you feel scared of being near any horse, you’d best leave the job to someone with more experience.
Here’s another imaginary scenario – a dog training video using the same cruel techniques that many people use with horses:
Show how to jerk your dog’s collar time after time and make him run backwards when he doesn’t do what you ask.
Show how to rope your dog’s back leg and pull it out behind him whenever you have a problem.
Show how to tie your young puppy to a post and let him pull and struggle until he ‘works it out’.
Show how to attack your young puppy with a flag on a stick and chase him round and round for no apparent reason.
All in the name of education.
Of course, the world would be up in arms if there was such a video.
You wouldn’t do any of these things to a dog.
Why do them to a horse?