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Aggressive behaviour

This is a discussion on Aggressive behaviour within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
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    05-16-2012, 02:47 PM
  #11
Yearling
So just out of curiosity, how would you go about it? If you aren't going to confront them, or use "violence," then how do you stop the behavior?
     
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    05-16-2012, 05:42 PM
  #12
Super Moderator
I do not care if a horse is in pain, has a broken leg or needs 100 stitches. If I am handling him, he is NOT allowed too be 'mouthy' or disrespectful. I want his complete and total respect so I can save his life, doctor him and hold him still and have him be receptive to being handled, examined and treated by a Vet whom he has never seen. I want him to be just as respectful to that total stranger.

I'm sorry, but I do not want to ever be guilty of making excuses for my horses. I do not want my horses putting themselves or anyone around them in jeopardy because of ANY 'excuses' or 'reasons'. Above all, everyone should know the difference between a reason and an excuse.

I would, however, NOT chase him away in the pasture until I had done some work with him on being respectful for handling. I would not chase him away until he was well aware of the new 'game rules'. I would not want his first lesson in respect to be one of me chasing him around.

I do not like hitting horses -- mostly because it is not nearly as effective as other methods and has many side-effects that are not desirable. That does not say that I never think it is appropriate but usually there are better ways. I also do not really care for making a horse run around in circles as a punishment. I much prefer to jerk a lead-rope several times, back a horse up roughly and make him move his shoulder over to the right. I also seldom make a horse disengage his hind end. I want every horse to know how to do it, particularly from his off-side, and then I mostly work on making the shoulders move.

Whenever I ask a horse to 'yield' to me, I use 'body language' and a 'smooch'. My position and body language tell him which direction to yield. Whenever I jerk or reprimand any horse in any way, I say a firm "Ah!" at the same time I reprimand him.

Manners are manners. Respect is respect. If a horse is mad, injured or in pain, he should still have good manners.
     
    05-16-2012, 05:46 PM
  #13
Trained
Very well said, Cherie-as usual.
     
    05-17-2012, 04:32 AM
  #14
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakotababii    
So just out of curiosity, how would you go about it? If you aren't going to confront them, or use "violence," then how do you stop the behavior?
Very basically, I focus on making sure the 'wrong' behaviour doesn't work & is difficult and the 'right' behaviour does work. Making 'bad manners' pointless & often unpleasant to the horse & rewarding alternate 'good' behaviour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I do not care if a horse is in pain, has a broken leg or needs 100 stitches. If I am handling him, he is NOT allowed too be 'mouthy' or disrespectful. I want his complete and total respect
*Firstly let me say that I agree with the rest of your post(OK, except the very last bit), agree with others of yours I've read generally & am not at all trying to advocate allowing or putting up with 'bad' behaviour. As previously stated, I also agree punishment is sometimes warranted. From reading your other posts, I think it's probably more about differences of perception than anything else. And I *respectfully* also appreciate that we have different *opinions*, that doesn't in the least mean I view it as I'm right & you're wrong. Not trying to argue, just give my perceptions.

But what your above statement feels like to me is that you want a machine, not a living, sentient animal, with different perceptions and ways of communicating to you. Feels like a similar sort of attitude to saying a child should never show any 'disrespect' to an adult, even if they're being molested. Feels like you have no respect or empathy for the horse, especially if he's behaving like a horse.

Sure, natural horse behaviour is often unacceptable & sometimes downright dangerous to humans, so it's absolutely our responsibility to get it under control. Sure, as my horse's charge, there are absolutely things I need him to do or avoid doing, regardless of his feelings & natural inclinations, but I don't think judging everything regardless of reason as 'disrespect' and therefore deserving of our ire & punishment is the right response.

Quote:
Manners are manners. Respect is respect. If a horse is mad, injured or in pain, he should still have good manners.
Should's a great word. Manners may be manners, but different people expect different ones to others. I personally prefer my horses to show me how they're feeling, rather than suppress it, but at the same time I do ask them to put up with discomfort, etc when necessary.

...And about perceptions, herein is one term that really grates on me. I don't believe 'respect is respect' in the least, as it is an even more ambiguous term that means quite different things to different people. Eg. Many seem to see it purely as obedience or subservience, regardless of situation. Many see instilling fear of punishment & consequences, or 'dominating' the horse as THE road to respect. I personally see 'respect' as an incredibly desireable thing to have with a horse, but in quite a different way.

To me, developing trust, understanding & empathy with the person(whatever species) are vital precursors to developing respect. You can't even begin to develop it until you have those. I see it as a 'two way street' - I think you need to be respectFUL to others if you are aiming for getting theirs. It does not come out of fear or force - you can't make someone respect you, you can only *earn* it.

Anyway, that's my perception & opinion, which I don't in the least expect others to drop everything & go along with, but I just hope to provide people with food for thought & alternative ways of seeing/dealing with stuff.
Meatos likes this.
     
    05-17-2012, 10:29 AM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Very basically, I focus on making sure the 'wrong' behaviour doesn't work & is difficult and the 'right' behaviour does work. Making 'bad manners' pointless & often unpleasant to the horse & rewarding alternate 'good' behaviour.
Okay that's what I thought. I just don't see the difference between what I said and what you are saying here. Making a horse run around, think about what they did, and then invite them back to you for another try is making the wrong behavior unpleasant and the right behavior easy. When they are respectful, they get to stand. However, when they are nasty, they are made to work hard and think about why their lungs hurt.

All I'm trying to say is that I believe we are on the same page already. Doesn't sound like you do anything different than me.
     
    05-17-2012, 12:12 PM
  #16
Yearling
Mr. Big Stuff came to me with an attitude. It was basically, "Can you MAKE me do this?...I think not." I'm not a horse trainer, but I really thought at the time, that there was a very good chance of making this horse into a truly mean horse. I wanted his cooperation and obedience, not his defiance. He wouldn't lead. It was "heads up...make me-with feet planted in the ground." So rather than get into a tug of war with a 1,000 lb animal, we backed up everywhere. We backed into stalls. We backed into pastures. We backed up from the pasture into the paddock. He was so very, very grateful to go forward, that we never, ever had the problem again.

He used to pin his ears, swing his head and "nip." The first time he did it, I lost my chance because I was totally astonished and I barely felt it - he basically caught my shirt. The second time he did it, he nailed the back of my arm! And I lost it. Bigtime. I never laid a hand on him, but I had a manure rake in my hand and I raised it, screaming like a banshee. I was waving the rake, yelling and screaming (directly at him) and jumping up and down like a rabid bigfoot, and he was horrified. He was tied, but if he could have run, he would have! Biting caused a monster to appear!!! And that monster appeared again... whenever he "forgot" the lesson.

What this horse taught me was that I could not give an inch. He turned his butt toward me...Oh, no. NOT allowed. If I let him get away with one tiny bit of disobedience or disrespect, then it quickly escalated. He keeps a calculator in his head: if you are ahead on points, all is well. If you fall behind, God help you!!! And you had better be consistent. He learned not to "try" things with me and I was very careful never to turn things into a question of strength because obviously he's stronger. But I'm smarter. AND...I'm more determined than he is. He's basically given up with me but unfortunately he still tries to intimidate every human he comes into contact with -- just with little things...but I know what he's capable of if he isn't kept in control. Big is all about respect. He will never be suitable for children, but he could give a teenager a wonderful education in horse management.
     
    05-17-2012, 01:09 PM
  #17
Foal
They say ignorance is bliss. The other day the wife asks me to go to the barn and feed the horse. I go to the barn look in the stall and no Cinny. I look out at the turn out and there he is with a hundred other horses! Oh jeez I gotta go get him!! With my wife she simply has to call his name and he's waiting for her at the gate. But while I do believe he likes me he just dosent respond as well. I called him, he looks up and then goes back to what ever he is doing. So now I have to go in there with the 100 other horses and get him! Of couse the 99 other horses crowd the gate and wont let me in. So I just squeezed in the gate and started plowing through horses pushing and shoving and telling them to move! When I got my horse and started leading him back, it was like the Red Sea had parted and had no trouble getting my horse out. I don't know what the hell I did to get those horses to wanna move out of the way like that! But I quess maybe they realized next time I go through they are going to get plowed again and avoiding the "crazy" human! Lol.
     

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