Sunday, March 22, 2009

What's your take?

I've been having a discussion with someone on another site as to whether a horse should ever be permitted to turn his back on you, and I'm curious where my readers stand on that issue.

I generally consider Panama to be a very respectful horse. When I kept him in a stall, he would always turn to face me when I walked in. Even in the pasture, when I walk up to him he faces me and waits for me to halter him.

However, I've also found that he is smart enough to know when I don't want something from him. I've never found it to be a problem if he turns around to, say, eat some hay or walk out into his run when I'm standing in the stall.

However, on this other site several people indicated that a horse turning away from you is always a no-no. I personally think there's a big difference between turning to do something and turning to kick, and I think there is also some responsibility on the person not to stand somewhere really dumb (like on the opposite side of the stall from the hay, where it's pretty much guaranteed you'll be behind the horse). But these people are telling me that a horse should never turn away from you.

That makes me think of the whole "Never turn your back on the emperor" rule, where people bowed and backed their way out of a room. I'm pretty sure my horse isn't going to do that when he wants to go out into his run to take a whiz, but these same people have indicated that I shouldn't even be hanging out with my horse in his stall with him loose.

What's your opinion?

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