Conflicting information when it comes to horses. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Conflicting information when it comes to horses.

Has anyone noticed that there is tons conflicting information when it comes to horses?

I'm pretty new to horses, especially to owning one so I rely on books, the internet, and asking people questions, to learn. It's confusing and frustrating when I get people telling me different things. For example, one lady was telling me that horses must be lead from beside their shoulder. In one of Clinton Anderson's videos, it says to walk beside their drive line. Someone else told me to train my horse to walk wherever I want him to walk (a horse that respects you, will never run into you). Does it even matter where I walk my horse from? I read an article about saddle placement and then a knowledgeable person at the barn told me I had it too far back. Hackamores: Some people say they are cruel and other's say bits are cruel. Those are just a few examples of many. I know, in the end, it's my choice of what to do with my horse but it's tough when I'm trying to learn and I keep hearing different opinions. Ugg. Just a
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 08:03 PM
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I had to giggle at the title of your post because conflicting info is the name of the game where horse owners are concerned. If you ask 5 people the same question, you'll get 6 answers. As you're already finding out, some people do not know as much as they claim to. This is where your own gut instinct and knowing your own horse better than anyone else will go far. Sure, ask for advice. Take it all in, then sift through the answers and choose the ones that you think will work best for you and your horse.

As far as the leading thing goes, I personally wouldn't lead anywhere in front of the horse's shoulder simply because that big old head weighs a ton. If he suddenly spun his head around and whacked you in the head, you'd be seeing some serious stars. If you stand at his shoulder, he can't reach you with that big head. Where horse's are concerned, I just try to stay out the line of fire. I walk shoulder to shoulder with my horse. It works for us.

Just remember. Some of the advice will be complete crap, some good. Trust your gut.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 08:12 PM
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LOL, the funny thing about opinions, especially in the horse world, is that they are like fingerprints. Everybody has one and every one of them is different.

There are certain things that are universal truths like horses need feed and water but you will find that pretty much everything else is up for debate. Much of how a person handles a horse will depend entirely on how they were taught, their own preferences, and their own needs and desires.

Everything can be debated (and some things are....extensively) from the tack you use, whether or not to blanket in cold weather, what to feed, whether to shoe or go barefoot, whether to stall or turnout, etc, etc, etc and everyone will have a different opinion and their own reasons for doing things the way that they do. About all you can do is try to keep an open mind to new ideas, try the ones that you like the sound of, and keep the ones that work for you and your horse. Absorb all the information that you can and keep it in your memory banks even if it doesn't work for the horse you have now. Someday, you may have a horse that it does work for.

You can never 100% trust the word of anyone, no matter how much of an expert they claim to be, whether they are publishing an article in a magazine or own the horse 3 stalls down. You have to consider what they say and decide for yourself if it sounds reasonable and sensible or if it sounds iffy. Never, ever be afraid to ask questions. If there is something that you heard about but don't know anything about, ask. If someone is doing something with their horse you've never seen before or don't understand, ask them to explain what it is and why they are doing it.

Perfect example is the leading thing. Lots of people like their horses to walk with their shoulders beside them. I don't. I prefer the horse to have their head even with my shoulder and for him to walk a bit out to the side. But as far as how everyone else does each their own. I don't care how a person leads their horse so long as they have control over it at all times.

One of the wonderful things about being a member in a place such as this, if you ask a question, you will get answers from all different types of people from all over the world; english riders, western riders, show people, trail riders, ranch people, new owners, experienced owners, novices, and trainers.

You'll see a lot of debate amongst members about the right and wrong way, what's proper and improper, what's moral or immoral, you just have to learn to read it all and absorb something from every post, whether it's an example of something to try or something to never do.

At the top of almost every section of this forum, there are threads that have been "stickied". They contain some really good information about everything from tack to training and would likely be worth a read. You don't necessarily have to read every single post in every thread (because some of them are exceptionally long), but the original post and some of the ones directly behind it contain great information.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 08:13 PM
Green Broke
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Welcome to the horse world~yes, most people have their own opinion-sometimes it's something that worked for them, but every pairing of horse & owner is unique-it may not work for the next horse you own. So then, you have to try something different. The best thing is talk to pros, read books, horse magazines, & articles, & do what makes sense to you, after hopefully figuring out some of your horses responses. The more you know about all horses & your horse specifically, the better. So, in the beginning, take it slow & try to do no harm, while you sort through things. it's a long learning process, but rewarding. Do you have a specific question?
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 08:18 PM
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Well said robs.

In the horse world there are more opinions than horses. Hear everything but don't heed everything. Soak up as much as you can and then the tricky part is figuring out which pieces work for you and your horse.

Leading is a good example where you'll find different opinions. I like mine to lead with their throat at my shoulder. Main reason behind it is in hand show purposes and even those that I don't show halter or showmanship I expect to lead that way, it's just become habit for me from doing it for so many years that way.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 08:25 PM
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For example, one lady was telling me that horses must be lead from beside their shoulder. In one of Clinton Anderson's videos, it says to walk beside their drive line. Someone else told me to train my horse to walk wherever I want him to walk (a horse that respects you, will never run into you). Does it even matter where I walk my horse from?

I prefer my horse to walk next to me, but at least 3 feet away from me. Anywhere from the shoulder next to my shoulder forward to the head next to my shoulder is ok. I prefer this way because if he should spook, 3 ft away gives me a little time to dance out of the way and as long as I can see his ears I can generally get a little warning before he spooks.

Others like the horse to follow on a loose lead behind them, I don't care for it because if the horse spooks he can run over top of you before you know it.

Bottom line, do you feel safe and do you have good control over your horse? Then it works for me!

I read an article about saddle placement and then a knowledgeable person at the barn told me I had it too far back.

Without a pic showing where you had it, can't comment. In that case I'd go with experience.

Hackamores: Some people say they are cruel and other's say bits are cruel.

I'll confuse you a little more. It isn't the hack or the bit, it's the HANDS. Any bit or hackamore used by a heavy handed person who yanks on the horse's nose or mouth can be cruel and will cause damage. Conversely, a well trained horse, ridden by a well trained, soft handed rider can be ridden in the harshest bit ever and cause no damage or pain whatsoever.

When it comes to equipment critics I take everything with a grain of salt because frequently the person who is spouting doesn't know what the particular piece of tack is used for, and again, anything over used or harshly applied can be cruel, including a swat with a bare hand.

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post #7 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 08:44 PM
Green Broke
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Very true OP, but like everyone has said, everyone has their own opinion, and what works for them and their horses. So if something works for them, it might not work for you, and vice versa.......Good Luck
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 08:53 PM
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its all about finding what you and your horse are comfortable with... it takes time. like for example ppl told you different ways of leading a horse... i have 4 different ways, 1 for each of my horses. 1 likes to lead with his head at my shoulders, another likes to walk with his shoulders even with me, another likes to walk with his head slightly behind me, the last likes to walk 3 steps behind to the side of me... so just depends :)
goodluck take in all the information like a sponge and figure out what works best for you... the horse industry is one with many opinions :)
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Haha. Thanks everyone:)
Someone asked if I have any specific questions. I actually do have one

It was recommended to me to worm my horse now (that was two weeks ago) and then again in a few weeks, when the rest of the herd gets wormed. If anyone saw my skinny horse post, you would have noticed that he wasn't looking the healthiest.

Anyhoo...I wormed him and was planning to worm him again when the rest of the herd gets done.

Was just told today (not rudely) by the BO that I shouldn't have done that because it can cause the other horses to get worms (by coming out in the poop).

She also said not to worm him again because too much dewormer in a short amount of time can make him sick or kill him!

Okay...going with my doesn't sound right to me. Wouldn't dewormer kill the worms before they come out therefore, not infecting the other horses? Can't horses get worms from each other whether they have been wormed or not? I would assume that if my horse had worms, so do the others. I would think that overdosing on dewormer wouldn't be an issue if the treatments are three weeks apart.

I have to say that I feel a bit silly questioning her because she runs a barn and has had horses her whole life. I do not and have not.

What the heck does science tell us about worms? Lol.

Last edited by lauraetco; 11-26-2011 at 09:18 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-26-2011, 09:29 PM
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All you can do is ask WHY. Lots of times, you won't get a plausible answer.

But the best authority, over time, is your horse. Try a few different saddle placements, and watch your horse while you ride. Too far back, your horse will get irritable because you are pressuring his loins. Too forward, and you interfere with his shoulders.

Using leading as an example...I let my horses figure it out. The ranch trained gelding was apparently taught to walk to one side, about 3 paces behind. Put him anywhere else, and he gets nervous. My mare wants her head at your shoulder. And both, when startled, try hard to avoid contact with their person.

Trooper was bitten hard on the butt by another horse while being led from the front in a narrow space. He jumped about 3 paces forward, but managed not to hit my daughter. My mare, OTOH, had a stirrup catch a rail when I was leading her in a spot too narrow for us both to go side by side. Yet she managed somehow to mostly miss me as she leaped in front of me. To this day, I don't know how she managed it.

You will, with time, learn some things are universal. In the corral, YOU must be in charge. Anything else is dangerous.

But a lot will just require you to listen, think, observe your horses, and learn. Happily, most of the horses I've met have been incredibly good natured about people.
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