In this article you will find a question from Dee in California about the difference between respect and dominance with your horse.
To me, as a new horse owner, there is a fine line between gaining respect and being dominant. I really don’t understand the difference. When I try to get my horse to stand still by the round pen railing so I can mount him bareback, he either steps backwards or swings his hindquarters away from the fence. Every time he moves away, I send him out for a few more rounds in each direction and then finally he remains still so I can mount him. I feel like I am scolding him for not doing what I asked him to do. I don’t enjoy making him work so hard, but it seems like it is the only way to accomplish what I am trying to do. My horse is like a puppy. He is my new best friend and he is adorable. I have never been happier. Do I have to be dominant in order to gain respect?
My answer to that:
You are right, having your horse do laps in the round pen until he gives up is the wrong approach as a way to mount him, as it is a form of punishment. I bet he doesn’t like you any better for it either.