When I talk about the type of relationship I want to have with my horse I often say, “It’s a relationship based in mutual trust and respect.” I know exactly what I mean when I say that, but mutual trust and respect may not mean the same to you and to me. So how do we define what that is? What behaviours in your horse indicate (s)he trusts/respects you ? What are your behaviours when you show your horse you trust/respect him/her?
Nomenclature matters, and understanding what each person means by the descriptive words (adjectives) they use is always the place to start when discussing our animals and their behaviour. If the words we are using are about emotions, we need to get better at describing the behaviour(s) that we are ‘lumping’ under the umbrella of that word.
“Trust is like love. Both parties have to feel it before it really exists.”