Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
I only have 3 horses. One rule I am VERY strict about is that the moment I set foot in a corral, I am THE BOSS.
A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to mix our new gelding with the other two. A fight developed between the geldings. They didn't break it up as soon as my foot hit the ground, so I sent all three of them running with the dressage whip.
It was a bit comical - the 15.3 Arabian mare in the lead, the 14.3 Appy gelding in #2, and the 13.o mustang in the rear. They didn't stop until I let them.
About 10 minutes later, the mare and the mustang started to go at it. Again, as soon as my foot hit the ground, I expected them to stop everything. They didn't, so they got some exercise.
It is quite rocky where I live, so if a whip isn't handy, a stone will do. Any more, I don't need a stone. If I bend down to pick up an imaginary one, the horses MOVE. And no, I've never injured a horse by popping one in the butt with a small stone.
If a horse gets pushy when I bring in the feed, the horse gets chased off and doesn't eat until I let him.
It is far too easy to be seriously hurt by a horse. When I enter, I am the Absolute Boss. All fussing must cease. A horse that stamps its feet gets fed last, or not at all.
That doesn't mean I'm cruel, or that my horses live in fear. A couple of weeks ago, while I was watching her get some training, my spooky mare got her foot tangled in a rope and bolted off, kicking and galloping. I called her name, and she turned 90 degrees and came straight to me. Then she stopped, put her head against my side, and waited for me to make the bad thing go away.
But when she turns her butt to me, she's asking for a 'butt-rub' - a hard scratch between the hip and backbone. She loves those. If she turned her butt to me in anger, though, I'd move fast - and then unleash hell and ****ation on her.
Anyone can be kicked, but if the ER folks know you by name, you are doing something wrong.
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."