Horsemanship Dinosaurs

“Dominance, it’s so LAST century.” I posted this meme on facebook and a lot of folks commented on it. One of the things that I mentioned in this post, that a few people commented on, was the idea of “horsemanship dinosaurs,” (said with humor). It’s very striking that in recent years that there’s a divide that is being created between horse people who hold onto and often defend traditional horsemanship philosophies and tactics, and folks who are moving towards newer, more progressive ideas. This is, of course, the natural course of everything in life, but it’s very striking in the area of horsemanship because people can’t believe that there’s a gap between what’s happening now and what’s gone before.

But a gap there is, and as it should be, because this is how things evolve.

In this same post, I asked others if they felt the way I did when I encountered someone supporting, even celebrating, ideas in horsemanship about dominance, submission, herd hierarchy, lead mares, being the boss, etc. To me, these people seemed like dinosaurs – dated, passe, out of touch… like the world is passing them by, and they don’t know it yet. I find it striking, because as recently as 20 years ago, I thought these same ideas were so progressive and radical. 10 years ago, I thought they had a place in the continuum and were laying the foundation for the newer thinking. And now, the ideas about dominance and submission, well, just sound old.

Lest you think that I am passing unkind judgement, please know that I fully expect for all of MY ideas and those of my peers to be labeled as soooooo (add eye-rolling) antiquated, obsolete, boring… I fully expect to be labeled a dinosaur as well.

When it happens, I want to the kind of dinosaur that flies around, please!

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