One very important part of a relationship, one that we often over look with horses, is allowing them the option of saying no.
If we were friends with someone but never had any say in what we did with them we wouldn’t look forward to seeing them very much would we? It would lead to us avoiding them and looking for ways out whenever possible.
When we have the option of saying no, when we have equal say in any relationship, we are far more likely to say yes and to seek that person out.
It is the same with our horses. They have thoughts and opinions on things just like we do. Allowing them to express those feelings, instead of making them more likely to say no, has the opposite effect. Having a choice gives them a chance to say yes.
Horses having the ability to say no makes us better trainers. When they can tell us how our training makes them feel it forces us to look closer at what we are doing. When a horse is happy with our training they wont want to quit. If we are lumping or pushing too hard the horse can tell us by saying no.
We can only know for sure that our bond is strong when our horses have the option of saying no.