My dad had a lot of wisdom, just really good horse sense. Some of it came naturally (he was a gifted horseman) but most of it came from observing horses and thinking about what he'd seen, also from working with them. I have spent my life time learning how it all comes together and it's true: your best teachers are always your horses.
My dad was a strong believer in watching horses in a herd, which he had many opportunities to do. But, he'd also just watched one or two horses together whenever the opportunity arose.
For many reasons valuable show horses are often turned out in single paddocks, and often times rather small ones at that. Because of this, many horse people don't get the opportunity to observe horses interacting with one another. (I might add that I believe horses that have been in small, managed herds are often more confident when first being shown or when first working around other horses.)
A good place to start observing horses is on a breeding farm. Those good old broodmares are very wise about "horsey manners". My advice to any serious horseman is to learn all you can about how horses behave towards one another. Watch and observe them together any time you get a chance, like my dad did, and it will help you understand your horse better. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I'll talk to you next week, JD