Equine Ethics Inquiring Human Coaching

stallone esperia2In the wake of the last twenty years of fashions for the so-called natural horsemanship, are also arisen a whole series of coaching schools that use horses to develop leadership and self-leadership skills in humans.

Besides being ethologically and ethically questionable precisely the concept of leadership and self-leadership, also for human animals, these approaches use the horse as a myth, as a teacher, as a prey, as a mirror, a zen-like guide, as clairvoyant, as an angel fallen on earth to save us, through various other anthropomorphic projections, which too often are always resolved and still fall in training situations, misunderstanding species-specific characteristics of identity, subjectivity and socio-cognitive dimensions of horses, violating their right to be recognized as horses with their own world of perception.

The referential contribution that equines and other animals can give to human animals, passes and can pass only through the recognition of the identity character of the horse, through the knowledge and the effective respect, not just stated, of reciprocity, subjectivity and otherness, inside an cognitive-constructivist and antispeciesist framework of reciprocal interaction, learning and growth.

In the pic by José De Giorgio a free-roaming Esperia stallion on the central mountains of Italy.