Attack horse? Doesn't sound good... - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Attack horse? Doesn't sound good...

A friend and I were talking about aggressive horses, and how horses naturally would behave toward people if no one ever trained them to accept people. Something I said about horses being possessive got my buddy to say, "I have one of those--- he's an attack horse. Charges anybody that goes near my house." And he liked it that way, to which I reply, like any good friend who'd been attacked by a horse before, why in the HELL do you have a horse like that?

Apparently, he picked this proud-cut gelding up from a small breeding place in Tennessee, the gelding was being used to keep colts off the mares. When a mare was impregnated anyway, the management decided the gelding lost his spice and handed him off. Now, Dynamo is a lady's man, he doesn't bully any of his mares, my friend told me. "I didn't get him like a guard dog, I got him because you can get a halter on him, it just takes a couple hours." He'd found out that as long as he had a halter on Dynamo, Dynamo would lead correctly, albeit neighing and whinnying all the way. Take the halter off, and Dynamo would go for you. This, I could believe, so I asked how and why he had this disrespect issue if he still handles Dynamo as much as his other horses. "You have to take it off from the other side of the fence."

There's an intricate ritual to catching Dynamo. The other horses will come to the gate and be let out to a smaller pasture to be picked from, and Dynamo always hangs back. So, to get Dynamo, my friend lets the others out, closes the gate before Dynamo comes, and supposedly stands by the gate for who knows how long until Dynamo wanders close enough to sniff him, then he can put the halter on. He says he's careful about the horses Dynamo goes out with, since you won't be able to get the horses out quick. If the horses go out too far or someone tries to take a horse away, Dynamo destroys the gate and does everything in his power to get out and mow you down. Lastly, Dynamo came with being calm about the halter, all my pal did further was always correct Dynamo if he acted up in hand, and throw carrots to him and immediately leave if Dynamo acted aggressively without the halter.

I tell him this isn't an attack-trained horse, this is just a plain disrespectful and buddy-sour one. But it makes me think, DO people train horses for this reason? Not just be mean to a horse, but I mean, rewarding a horse for dominant behavior on purpose and training them to be submissive in the presence of something like a halter? My friend likes that Dynamo is protective of the horses, he thinks it'll keep them from being stolen. "If anyone wants to take one of those horses, they'd have to shoot Dynamo first."
Ugh, I'd rather have an easy-going, loud-mouth hound dog to let me know of any intruders or potential horse-thieves, thank you very much...
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 08:42 PM
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I have never heard of an attack horse, but I have heard of attack donkeys, llamas and alpacas.

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 08:45 PM
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A guard dog is much less of a liability as well ...
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 08:46 PM
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I've known some folks that inadvertently trained an "attack horse", though it worked just like you said, it was nothing more than allowing the horse to become dominant and pushy and disrespectful.

Heck, if you've seen the movie "Buck", then you've seen an attack horse...though they didn't intend on him ending up that way.

I'd never keep a horse like that on my property, the risk is too great. He'd go directly to bullet-land, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 09:03 PM
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I've heard of attack donkeys, but only in relation to predators messing with the herd.

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 10:41 PM
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Well, horses are not just a blank slate so to speak, so if they have never had a person near them they are not starting at 0 involvement with humans the way a real wild animal would. Horses, like many other animals, have had tens of thousands of years of selective breeding that has brought about a whole host of desirable traits in horses, including temperament. There is quite a large body of research on the effects of domestication and the way it shapes animals to be genetically predisposed to life with humans. So horses we come into contact with are the end result of these thousands of years of breeding that leads them to be trainable.
Sure, in the middle ages cavalry would train horses to be aggressive in battle and bite, strike and kick at the people the rider was fighting; but my guess would be that this horse has just been allowed to get away with being an A hole all his life and is still doing it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 10:48 PM
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I saw a documentary once about the horses bred for bull-fighting in Spain. The horses were picked by which had the boldest and most aggressive temperaments. The riders would come at the horses in front of their stalls, and if the horse fought back or tried to bite them, they would be selected over the horses that ran away. I believe this was in part because the horse had to be tenacious enough to stand its ground when faced with a bull. I wish I could remember where I saw it... but an "attack" horse is nothing I've heard of, except donkeys that are meant to chase off coyotes in the pastures.


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post #8 of 11 Old 05-28-2013, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh View Post
I saw a documentary once about the horses bred for bull-fighting in Spain. The horses were picked by which had the boldest and most aggressive temperaments. The riders would come at the horses in front of their stalls, and if the horse fought back or tried to bite them, they would be selected over the horses that ran away. I believe this was in part because the horse had to be tenacious enough to stand its ground when faced with a bull. I wish I could remember where I saw it... but an "attack" horse is nothing I've heard of, except donkeys that are meant to chase off coyotes in the pastures.
Something like this?

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post #9 of 11 Old 05-28-2013, 12:31 AM
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I used to have a 17.hander that was like this-- better than a guard dog! especially in the neighborhood we lived! No one stole from our house or messed with our horses- Was she trained to be a 'guard dog'? No- she had been very abused by people her whole life- starved and mistreated- had a big spur gouge up her ribs. . She was never mean to me only strangers and At night-- I had no problem with that- no one needed messin around in my pastures anyway-- she wasnt mean towards us but to strangers at night shed be very aggressive. I had no desire to stop the behavior because it did not effect me or my family personally -just strangers.


We did also have a stud that would be aggressive with out a halter and when haltered he knew he was got and wouldnt mess with ya- he eventually turned out to be a childs horse.. he just needed time and some training- I feel like you're right- definitely a respect thing!



I don't want anyone to 'call' me on anything-- just wanted to let you know there is a difference between disrespectful horses and abused ones is all.

Last edited by toto; 05-28-2013 at 12:34 AM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-28-2013, 12:42 AM
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Whatever your take on bullfighting, there’s no question that handling a horse like that is a thing of beauty.
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