Q&A Questions and Answers:
Can you please tell me what each of these commands tells a horse to do?
Appreciate your help,
The answer to your question depends on where you are -- or at least where the horse was trained.
"Gee" and "gee ho" mean essentially the same thing. In England, "gee" means turn to the left; in the U.S., it means turn to the right.
In England, "haw" means turn to the right; in the U.S., it means turn to the left.
Confused? Perhaps this will clarify it: "gee" seems to be related to "go ye" and "haw" to "here." These commands tell the animal to "go ye" away from the driver or "come here" toward the driver. (Think of the steering wheel in an automobile -- in England, the driver is on the right side and in America the driver is on the left.)
The bottom line is this: "gee" really means "go away from me," and "haw" means "come toward me."
"Whoa," -- also spelled "ho" -- means "stop" or "slow down." "Gee ho," therefore, is actually a command to turn away from the driver slowly, cautiously, or without moving forward.
It just seems complicated; horses and drivers don't seem to have any problem understanding the terms!
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