Manners used to matter. And they still do in certain circles (halter classes and cotillions).
I like the horses I own and work with to have good manners, but I don’t expect perfect manners. There are some horses who need to express themselves and sometimes that translates into less than perfect manners. The same is true of people. To be perfectly polite you must be inauthentic, and that’s not a good trade in my book, with people or horses.
Those who have been following my blog for some time know that I have a horse who is happy to express himself rather rudely and with whom pressure-release techniques or reprimands are largely ineffective. I’ve been clicker training him despite the fact that my least favorite new obligation is making sure that I have treats in my pockets.
This is especially challenging when what I’m wearing doesn’t have pockets. They don’t tell you that you’ll need a new wardrobe when you start clicker-training or that you’ll have to wear an apron all day as if you were a Cold War housewife or one of those dreadful fanny packs (I don’t know what was worse, the design or the name) that were once so popular with foreign tourists in big American cities.