Agreed, to a certain extent. I have zero issue with “different strokes for different folks” and am fine living and let live. What I’ve noticed over the years about most of the people who fall into one (or more) of the categories I mentioned is while they appear to love their animals (and I don’t doubt they believe they do) they have a misplaced understanding of what “love” is.
I know there are a number of horse owners, including many CoTHers, who don’t believe horses can love, but I simply haven’t found that to be true. A mentor introduced me to the concept of requisite love in horsemanship years ago and it changed how I viewed my role in the horse’s life. My job was not simply just to satisfy their needs when it came to husbandry practices. It wasn’t just to give them exercise and attention. It wasn’t even just to keep them in good health. It was to do ALL of these things in a way that was meaningful first and foremost to the horse. It required much more awareness from me and a willingness to accept the horse’s perspective as the only one that really mattered in my relationship with them.
The result has been rather freeing: I have no timelines or agendas (although I do have goals/things I work towards) and I have no desire to compete with someone else or demonstrate my superiority. I have my horses going with much more consistency and pleasure in their work than I ever have at any other point in my life. I have no room or need for drama, the newest latest and greatest or anything else that might distract from the deeper work I’m doing. My horses are well-mannered, relaxed, fit, happy, healthy and relatively low maintenance, all things considered. All that right there tells me what I need to know about how they feel about me and what I ask of them.
So I don’t begrudge the types of horse folk we’re talking about, but I do recognize where how they operate stems from and that often, as an instructor, I have little chance of changing that. It’s so much deeper than their understanding of horses.