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Bad experience with Amish horses...

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    05-17-2011, 10:47 AM
Green Broke
Just now going through the thickness of Amish country. Every horse and buggy I have seen are shod, and the Amish properties are pastured with acres and acres of good pasture. Passed a place where the buggy horses are tied and have blankets on. Most of them really care about the health and welfare of their horses.

To enhance what Speed is saying "fight or flight animals", I believe any horse that is said to be "bomb proof" or has been exposed to everything, still has that instinct to run from danger if he feels threatened. Its nature and survival of the fittest.
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    05-17-2011, 10:58 AM
Originally Posted by Barrel Baby    
WE HAVE HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE!!!!! We have had several horses that are just terrified of people! One we bought was a big beautiful belgian (prettiest horse I've ever seen!) but the problem was too afraid to come to us! It got a little better, but it was just soooo sad to see how mean they are and how a horse can be sooo afraid of people like that! I would try to gain their trust and let them know you mean good! :)

Could this also have been a horse that was simply not socialized with humans? How do you detect meanness from someone simply just not doing things the way you do them. Different isn't wrong.

Unhandled horses of any variety (amish trained or not) haven't been mistreated. Quite the opposite. They just haven't been handled.
    05-17-2011, 11:17 AM
I have an Amish farrier. He also trains many horses. Has worked with one of mine and horses of others I know.
He is great with his horses and those he trains for others.
    05-17-2011, 04:47 PM
Originally Posted by PerchiesKisses    
There is a rescue farm where I live who also swears that the Mennonites mistreats the majority of their horses.. but the horses I've seen her come in with behave more like horses that no one has really played with or touched versus horses that are abused.

PK, I think you have a wonderful point here. None of the Amish folks that I know would ever dream of mistreating their horses; however, they don't take the time to pet and scratch them like most of us do either. The horses are caught, harnessed, and put to work. After work, they are unharnessed and either put back into a stall or their paddock. There is no real affection, no time spent together as companions. While horses are well cared for, they are not coddled.

They are treated much the same way we treat our vehicles: put gas in them, replace the tires when they need to, drive them to go get your groceries or plow your field, and then park them in the garage when you get back. That, IMHO, does not qualify as abuse and many of those horses, while well broke, might not seek out affection like an English broke horse will. Some people might see that as stand-off-ishness or fear, when it is nothing more than lack of affection.

This is the type of horse that is fairly typical to see from the Amish around these parts. Very well broke, healthy, gentle pair of mares that were willing to do whatever you could possibly want or need. If I had had the money, I would so have brought this team home.
    05-18-2011, 11:08 PM
It's completely wrong to judge the entire Amish/Mennonite population just on the "bad apples", but at the same time it's just as wrong to say that all of them are miracle horsemen.

I personally have nothing but praises to say for the Mennonites I've met. I like the way they handle horses and the way they train them. I haven't met a "bad" one yet, but I'm more than willing to believe others when they say they have had bad experiences with Mennonite-trained horses. As with everything in life, it's just a matter of perspective and your past experiences/how you were raised.
    05-19-2011, 09:52 AM
Wow! That's one wicked team up there! I'd have brought them home too!

On another note, the Percheron gelding we got from the Mennonites had super training - like better than ANY horse I've seen trained by non-Mennonites. He was being a brat to catch one day in the field. He had gotten his halter off and wouldn't let me near him, so after getting fed up with trying to catch him, I walked along at a steady pace behind him and literally "drove" him into the barn with my voice. The only cues we used were "Gee" "Haw" and "Whoa"

I don't know any other horses who would be THAT good with their voice commands, but I guess when you work all day, every day with your horse they learn what is expected and they get just as good at the routine as the people do.
    05-19-2011, 09:59 AM
Green Broke
No matter who you are or what your background is, there are good and bad trainers/owners all over. And like pintophile said "it's completely wrong to judge the entire Amish/Mennonite population just on the "bad apples"." There is good and bad all over.
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