Discipline or Abuse? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 35 Old 07-09-2009, 11:59 AM
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Discipline: Being as gentle as possible, but as firm as necessary.

Abuse: The minute you cross that line.

I have seen people welt their horse. Some situations, I would call it abuse. Others, I feel it may have been justified (VERY dangerous/rude behaviour, there was a progression of the aids, warning, and every chance for the horse to answer the question the 'right' way and make it stop). The horse understood and had a chance, they just said "make me" and the person said "Okay, I will". Discipline was applied, and the rider asked "Do you want to rethink that answer?" the horse says "No. Make me" and the rider said "Okay". And it went on like that until the horse said "I changed my mind, I'll behave" and the rider said "Okay, good boy".

I think a lot of what qualifies as abuse depends upon the manner/attitude of which the action is applied, as opposed to the action itself.

Take chances, make mistakes, get messy.~ Ms Frizzle, Magic School Bus
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post #22 of 35 Old 07-09-2009, 11:33 PM
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So I am trying to retrain an OTQH. He can be very pushy at times. When he used to bolt ahead of me, I pulled him in a circle and made him stay even with me. I did this as many times as needed for him to get the idea. He's now a very good horse to lead. He's patient and doesn't charge ahead.

I have hit him once. It was hot. I was tired. He was being a jerk to another horse. I smacked him with the lead rope. Not hard enough to leave a mark, but hard enough for him to come to me and stand there with his head near the ground.

He doesn't like my friend's boyfriend. At all. When Danny gets close to Monster, he does this thing where he pins his ears and tries to nip him sneakily. It's acutally pretty cute, because he's never nipped. He'll open his mouth sideways and sneak towards Danny. I will say "Mooonnster!" in that mom voice and he pricks his ears like "What Mom? I'm being a good boy!" Normally a harsh tone will get him to stop being dumb and then I pet him and talk to him sweetly. He's a good horse I love my man.

Abuse to me is constantly hitting. I think my friend has crossed my imagined line a few times. I just tell her to back off and let me handle it. I don't really like hitting. I know horses do it in the wild, but I try not to. If needed I will, but I will not be a bully to my horse and I will not tolerate anyone else being a bully to my horse or the horses I ride. (PS. Great post Misfit! Exactly what I think when it comes to DANGEROUS behavior.)

Last edited by xxJustJumpItxx; 07-09-2009 at 11:36 PM.
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post #23 of 35 Old 07-17-2009, 07:30 AM
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I see discipline as showing the horse the difference between right and wrong consistently without using punishment that will really hurt the horse. For example, pinching the horse on the shoulder should remind the horse of when their mother nipped them when they were being naughty. I don't see why people can't use that as a reasonable, even natural means of discipline.
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post #24 of 35 Old 07-17-2009, 02:39 PM
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To each is own. I punish accordingly. I use aids accordingly like whips and crops and such. If my horse bites im gunna give him a good whack. If my horse kicks, he will regret it. If my horse rears he will learn. It all depends on how you do things. I personally think its stupid to argue over this. Obvously there is a certain line that if its crossed it is abuse. It just depends on where you draw that line. I have no problem useing a crop if im working a stubborn pony who refuses to move. Or if im spur training a horse. It all depends on your point of view. And really, this thread will just run in circles. Eventually everyone will agree to disagree so why bother.
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post #25 of 35 Old 07-26-2009, 05:30 PM
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well i think there are no real clear cut lines that say this IS abuse and this ISNT, becuase everyone handles their horses their own way. BUT i will say there are some things are are clearly abuse.

my uncle owned a racehorse, i cant remember his name. he claimed the horse (meaning the horse raced with basically a pricetag on him and anyone could buy him out of the race if they wanted, you have no say to tell them they cant have the horse).... anyway the horse had been racing good so he claimed him, couldnt do any good with him. the guy who he claimed the horse from said "look ill tell you how you get that horse to race good" my uncle says "ok"... the guy says "you have to put him in crossties and put a running hood on him, take a rake and an extention cord. strip the end of the cord and connect it to the head of the rake and plug it in. and keep shocking him till he climbs the walls and p*sses imself" really? who could do such a thing to a horse for a little $$????? my uncle of course said "i would just as well amish the horse for half of what i paid for him before i would do that". well this guy claimed the horse back from him the next week, sure enough the horse goes and wins, and wins and wins, now how do you think he did that? .... but ya know what, its not worth it.....
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post #26 of 35 Old 08-01-2009, 10:25 PM
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To me it depends on when you strike the horse (if it's longer than three seconds, etc) and how you strike the horse.

My first job was working as a guide at a public trail riding barn. We got a horse in from a trader that had problems, rearing being the big one. My manager took him on the trail to try him out. We couldn't even get him out on the trail without me hand leading him out there. As soon as he got out there i tried to let go of him, but every time I did he would rear. the manager clearly had no idea how to handle this situation and was royally pissed that what ever she tried was not working.

When we got back to the barn (minutes after the last time he reared), she took him to his stall and proceeded to beat the living crap out of him for a couple of minutes. She felt she was completely justified because he had been rearing, but there is no way that was not abuse in my mind. That was 10 years ago and i can still hear her striking him and yelling at him and still hear him trying to escape her.....
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post #27 of 35 Old 08-01-2009, 10:48 PM
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Gentle as possible, firm as necessary - Rick Lamb
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post #28 of 35 Old 08-31-2009, 01:56 PM
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Sometimes a horse acts up when he has inconsistent handling. Like a rental or a lesson horse, never knows what he can get away with. I save serious whacking for when they are trying to seriously hurt me! Then keep a crop handy and a carrot too. Reward is important too. Consistency helps a lot. And try and figure out if there is a problem. I knew one horse who went fine until someone decided he needed a harsher bit. I ended up riding virtually reinless. So I knew someone was jerking on his mouth. Horses are better at talking then we are at listening.
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post #29 of 35 Old 08-31-2009, 03:01 PM
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Discipline, I'd say, is something that is intended to correct behavior, but does not cause the horse to be injured. Just sorta something that gets their attention and maybe causes a slight startle.

Abuse would be anything that physically injures the horse.... cutting it, whipping it repeatedly for no reason, with holding necessities without good reason...

I think self-defense needs it's own category: if a 1000+lb horse is coming at you, you're likely to need to make a quick judgment call, and I'm sure it won't be a gentle tap on the nose or whatever. Especially for small children or someone inexperienced with horses.
I can think of one example that probably would've counted as abuse from what you all have been saying. A horse that my uncle had once, a big 16+hh stud, was known to get vicious in the pasture around mares in heat. He'd never hurt anyone, yet, but we all knew it was a possibility. I'd taken to carrying a walking stick with me when ever I had to go in his pasture (which I rarely did... he was alone in a pasture.). On one particular day, I was in his pasture (I've forgotten why) and he rushed at me several times, biting adn kicking at me, until I finally swung around with that walking stick and cracked him across the chest, maybe once or twice. He paused long enough for me to slip through to the opposite side of the fence. My unle told me later that I had, apparently, broken skin. (That horse has since been put down, after taking a chunk out of my uncle's arm.)
That may've been considered abuse by some of you, but I felt that my life was in danger, and that was the best option I had at hand.
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post #30 of 35 Old 08-31-2009, 05:29 PM
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^^^I wouldn't consider that abuse. He was trying to kick your skull in and you gave him a scrape. I would have done the same thing. It wasn't like you purposely went in there to injure him, you just wanted to, well, live lol
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