Every horse owner likes to think that they have taught their horse everything. But what about bad habits? Are they a reflection on you? Someone else or the horse itself?
Well every person that comes in contact with your horse regularly is teaching it something, good or bad. Here's an example:
My horse learned at some point that pinning her ears will get people to back off because someone (don't want to blame anyone) found out that she reacts negatively to some noises. Now the person is actually pretty scared of horses but found it fun and would make the noise and back off. So my horse learned to pin her ears, and she would be left alone.
A lot of people can teach your horse things, including bad habits. So even though the horse should be a reflection of its owner, that's not always the case or at least not 100% unless you spend 24 hours a day with your horse. I think it's important to set up some rules of what is and what isn't okay around your horse, so people don't unknowingly make the same mistake over and over and teach your horse the wrong thing. Now I'm not a fan of a lot of rules but just some guidelines. Choose carefully where you put your horse and what kind of pasture mates it has, so you don't have to undo a lot of bad habits. Of course the horse also learns from its stable or pasture mates, and bad habits spread easily. In my experience, headshaking will spread fairly fast and especially if there are young horses in the stable.
So back to my question: who is training your horse besides you?
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