While horse training methods vary widely, they can be grouped into two major viewpoints: intimidation and inducement. The intimidation viewpoint stresses that the trainer should use brute force to break the horse's wild character as it is subjected to domestication. On the other hand, the inducement school of thought prefers compassion; training using pacifying gestures rather than painful coercion.
As the two viewpoints in horse training are clearly at the opposite ends of the spectrum, neither can be completely accurate. But like most training methods in any activity, a horse training method that is mapped out as a combination of the two principles will most likely provide the correct way of training horses.
Horse training methods shouldn't be solely based on tradition. Centuries ago, pain and brute force were the heart of horse training methods. Many quarters in equine societies around the world have opposed this method and instead formulated a more compassionate approach.
However, this new trainer-horse relationship is still based on the same concept of reward and punishment; in that, while the trainer may be kinder to the horse, he or she will not hesitate to reprimand the animal when it gets stubborn and unyielding.
Truly, an effective strategy is one that leads to a better behavioral mindset for the horses. Domesticating a proud beast is a hard thing to do. But taking the easy way out by beating and abusing the animal may do more harm than good. On the other hand, too much affection may cause the animal to become nonrespondent. An effective horse training method should include both firmness and gentleness.