Is the dominant horse the leader? In NH this seems to be the leading hypothesis, and a lot of training is based on the dominance attitude. The horse that moves another is the dominant; ergo the leader. Is this really the truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth)?
I spent some time in the indoor arena for a few hours with some of my horses the other day without doing anything in particular with them. The behavior and interaction of the horses was fascinating to me, not to mention that there was a clear pattern in the events. The grey horse is our two year old gelding Bravo. He is a gentle young man not looking for trouble. The other main character in this little clip is Viggo; a twelve year old gelding that seems to be lacking a bit in the social skills department. The third horse is not really a big part of this clip; he is a yearling stallion and he basically kept away from the other horses since he got harassed by the older gelding whenever he got close.
The next day I decided to film the horses to show the interaction. I changed the speed so that I wouldn't have to edit away anything and still keep viewers awake :) I am hoping that you can think about the following questions:
Who is the leader? Who is the follower? Who is the dominant horse? Who is the submissive horse? What does the submissive horse think of the dominant horse?
Which horse should you use as your "model" for "natural horsemanship" and why?
Is the dominant horse the leader or is this a convenient and over-simplified way of looking at horses?