Friday, February 25, 2011
Herd Boss vs Herd Leader
But...the more successful way, is to emulate the "herd leader." Sometimes the herd boss and the herd leader are the same horse. But more often than not...they do not hold both titles. The herd boss, rules with an iron fist..the herd leader, takes no flack off any member, yet rules with a more passive and kinder nature. The herd leader moves the herd. All herd members must have respect for the herd leader, or they will get left behind ( a sad truth that some herd bosses found out the hard way here...LOL ) the herd leader decides where the herd will graze, when they move to water, when they rest and sleep ( and often stands watch ) and when they head to the barn for dinner! The herd leader has the ability to earn the other herd members respect, often with just an ear movement or some other subtle body language. We have had ONE single herd leader since the day we moved here....our herd matriarch, Krinkle Clown. There have been several mares that tried to take her position, often keeping a few horses rounded up for their own little herd, but none have been successful for more than a few days. Eventually, they all return to the herd, and accept that just one, wise mare really knows how to run things. Kudos to you, Krinkle Clown for years of keeping our herd safe. I have even seen this mare return up the hill, to rescue a youngster that took the wrong path and got lost from the herd. She always had a bit of a "I can not believe I have to do this" look on her face, but never the less, she returned to help the youngster out. The fact she has a whinny you can hear for 3 counties helps her out.
Now...how does this relate to the training of horses and our horse/human relationship. Most folks don't have a herd leader to observe, but if you did, you would learn that body language is of the utmost importance. and...consistency, though hard for some humans, seems to come easy for these herd leader horses. Learn the body language of horses, and be consistent and your herd leadership skills will rise to the top of the herd.....consider it, and put it into practice!
Posted by Linda @ Creekside Curlies at 9:57 AM