The Social Organization of Wild and Feral Horses


Who does this best describe, men or women?

– Are highly social animals
– Show no motivation for wanting to dominate others
– Try to avoid conflict
– Form close, often lifelong relationships with each other

The answer is obviously women.

I prefer being with my horses to spending time on my smartphone but I know that some girlfriends of mine get 20-30 WhatsApp messages per day, often with voice messages that last for minutes at a time.

The funny thing is they all complain about it and don’t understand why their husbands only get 10 messages per week.

The reason is obvious, we women are social creatures and like to discuss and share everything, right?

By the same token, there are very few women who seek to dominate others.

Sure, we all know there are some that like to impress others but that’s not the same thing.

Teddie Ziegler

And I for one absolutely try to avoid conflict at all costs especially as a few years ago I was diagnosed with an autonomic nervous disorder which means that when I get stressed or anxious I can pass out cold. Yes really.

I’ll tell you more about this another time but as a woman I am certainly not alone in wanting to avoid conflict.

I think it’s fair to say that more often than not it falls to us ladies to be the peace-keepers in our families.

So at this point in the email, you’re probably saying, “Yes, yes, Teddie, very interesting but tell me something I don’t know.”

OK, I will!

Those character traits are not something I came up with…

I copied them word for word from an article I was reading.

In fact, it wasn’t so much an article as a summary of scientific findings…

On the social organization of wild and feral horses living in a natural environment.

In other words, those traits were describing horses not humans!

Now, do you get my point?

We women have MUCH more in common with horses than men do.

Feral horsesThink about that for a moment as you read those descriptions again:

– Are highly social animals
– Show no motivation for wanting to dominate others
– Try to avoid conflict
– Form close, often lifelong relationships with each other

So I ask you, where does ‘being the alpha’ come into this?

Where does getting respect come into this?

The answer is they don’t.

Any attempts to dominate a horse are counter-productive.

And the truth is that any attempts to convince you otherwise are only seeking to justify punishment.

The natural response of a horse to aggression is avoidance.

So if a trainer seeks to dominate a horse, what’s the horse going to do?

Right. It’s going to do whatever it can to avoid that person.

The moral of the story is this…

We women already have all the natural traits to communicate and work with our horses effectively, thank you very much.

You see, there are 3 stages to achieving the connection and cooperation with your horse that you want: Conversation + Familiarization + Collaboration.

In the first of these, we are seeking to achieve a 2-way conversation with our horses.

Well, women know how to do that.

In Familiarization, we want our horses to know, like and trust us and we do this by just spending time together.

Women know how to do that too.

And having built the trust between us, training and shaping behavior in the last stage then becomes very easy.

Still think you don’t know how to be a great human partner for your horse?

Think again.

And if anyone tells you that you need to dominate your horse or get his respect, then you should follow the horse’s example and run!

Hope you enjoyed today’s blog and it generated a lightbulb or 2 for you.

Go out and just be “you” with your horse and be good to each other.

Please Share

  • Cindy Cioffi says:

    Thankyou Teddie Ziegler…Beautiful creatures..luckily they’re not human beings…
    Appreciate your blog, love viewing pictures of your majestic equines…your friends are fortunate and are probably as loving as your horses and you….
    Ty, Cindy

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