Just to keep up my reputation here of asking basic ignorant questions, just how quiet do you advise we be around horses, and under what circumstances? This question is spurred by the thread on hard/soft when you discussed how to get attention and mentioned that trainers should not talk to the horses, and in fact should just be quiet.
This jumped out at me, because in the past I have not only talked (which I do all the time anyway), but sung to horses to calm them. It seems to work, too. I recall a couple of uber-charged yearling T-breds that everyone had trouble grooming unless I held their leads and sang quietly. I have observed that talking to horse when they are agitated can have a similar effect.
I also have a habit -- for no particular good reason -- of talking to my animals as I tack them, and even as we ride cross country.
Clearly, in the prior thread you were talking about specific training techniques, but it seemed that your statement was broader. So am I one of those pointless chatterers to whom you referred, and could that be a negative thing for the animal? When is talking to horses a good or at least neutral thing?
The talking thing is a really interesting one...I didn't realise HOW MUCH I yakked away and as usual Dr Deb is so correct for the reasons I have fallen into this habit, damnit. I had my first lesson in years with Jenny P the other day, I really needed a sock to put in it...but now I am aware I can do something about it. Rather than go 'cold turkey' I have decided I am allowed to chat to them, as long as its about them, during some of our hanging out time, but mostly now I just sit quietly and enjoy the now. I had heard of people singing to horses, and I spose if it calms them then why not...but does the act of a person singing, relax the person then the relaxed 'vibes' transmit to the horse?
I don't know why it works, but voice and music can calm them. On the other hand, based on what DD has to say, it ight confuse and complicate things in traning and who know where else. That is the question.
When I am very nervous (at a show, on a young horse), I will sing -- you can't hold your breath when you sing and holding your breath makes you a stiff and hard rider. Depending on the situation, I will sing in rythm with the gait I am riding .. sometimes just a elementary singing of the count of the footfalls, up and down the scale.
As for the talking -- I have two friends who talk constantly when with their horses. But they are not talking TO the horse, they are talking AT the horse and not listening or watching at all. You can see their horses totally tune out the noise that is assaulting them. Others I have watched also talk, but it is a soft, quiet conversation WITH the horse -- they are listening and watching for the horse's reactions. And the horses are completely tuned into them.