Good one Barry........I'm going to break it down into sections, only because I have two "rescues" at home that came to us in horrid condition but due to their ages have entered back into "life" very differently. Also, as horse haulers for the local SPCA we have seen the worst of the worst.
If we humans fail to provide the essential needs of the horse then we must expect the horse to withdraw its cooperation with us.
In general terms yes.....that said some of the most abused horse's that we have gone out to seize literally leap into our trailer. They tend to be more cooperative than most of the "spoiled" ones.
The more resourceful horse may well develop its own counter measures as resistance to unsuitable treatment. The horse may come to be positively uncooperative
One of the rescues we have, a little 35+ POA pony, you can read about her here ( H4 Services -
) has been such a joy to have around the house. This little girl had her teeth smashed out with first a 2x4 and then a rock to the mouth because she was nippy. (We found this out later from the vet who treated her) She continued to be a lesson pony and for several years after she was beaten, not just to the mouth but to the body as well. She never once let her "students" down, even though she was in pain.
A horse undoubtedly has the mental capability to resist, in the same way as it has the capability to comply.
That goes without saying, they are after all sentient beings.
When we rider/owners witness unacceptable behaviour on the part of the horse we mostly rush to seek solutions to the symptom - which is merely the act of resistance. Perhaps we should look more closely for the root cause of the horse’s hostility. However it is not so easy to counter the owner’s share of culpability in the matter even on those occasions when we might have accurately guessed at the reason for the horse’s misbehaviour.
Horse's, that is most of them, are really not all that complicated. Once you get it into your head that they are prey animals and understand what that truly means
most issue can be solved pretty quickly. I agree that most
unwanted behaviour is caused by us, I feel that this will usually go back to us forgetting what it means to be a prey animal. We can't help sometimes to think in "human" terms not "horse" terms.
Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't one ALWAYS be looking for the root cause
? Is it lack of effective communication? Is it pain related? Is it lack of confidence, ours and/or theirs? Is it lack of knowledge about their past?
I've mentioned before that I currently have a 2 1/2 yr old that has been with us for about 7 months now. He was entombed in a barn for 6 months, no food or water. He survived by licking the condensation off the inside of the barn and "cycling" his manure. Before I could attempt to to ANYTHING with him I first had to deal with his mental state of mind. EVERYTHING he did was unacceptable
. I didn't cause his pain and suffering, but because he was so badly abused every human was evil. So unlike the little mare who never questioned that we were her friends and "took" to us right away, this little guy has to be dealt with in a completely different manner. Because I'm dealing with such a screwed up mind the solutions could only be resolved on his time. That would not necessarily be the how I would deal with a horse that already had his foundation in place.
I do not ask her to do anything which she does not already know how to do,
That's a real shame. I can tell you from experience that it's never too late to teach an old horse a new trick........ and your relationship will be greatly enhanced by the act.
Now, if all this palaver is indeed of importance, how should we expect a neglected or cruelly treated horse to respond. Should we not expect rebellion, aggression, non compliance and general resistance?
As above, yes and no. Not all neglected horses will react unfavourably. Many of the ones we have pulled out a places that would cause you to physically retch have been the most compliant horse's I have ever meet. I think I responded to another one your posts by saying that one must look a each horse as an individual. That said, there are tried and true remedies for "fixing" most
issues, that is, if we always keep the prey animal thinking in our minds.
Sorry this is in italics.......I can't get it to stop.......LOL In a perfect world we would all know the horse's history, but in reality that is not the case most of the time. Two of my horse's came from the person that breed,raised and trained them. I know their complete history from day one to now. Two I know very little about, except their abuse. So while I'm working in the dark with 2 of them, there are training methods that can be applied to both sets. This is because I understand how a prey animal thinks. I understand that a horse learns from the release of pressure. I understand body language, theirs and mine and the cause and effect of that. I understand what gives them comfort. So to answer this last part....... we can ask for more information before forming a reply, which is often done......we may suggest that a trainer should be called in depending on what the transgression is, or based on our personal experiences offer a suggestion. It's not an absolute, as were are not present to view what is really happening, it's a suggestion........like anything on the Internet it should be taken with a grain of salt and the person getting the information needs to take into consideration if they are experienced enough to follow through with the advise. I can go onto the Internet and look up how to re-plumb my bathroom sink, step by step..... would I attempt it? No!!! I don't have enough experience to deal with it, I call "The Guy" and pay him to do it........... I'll come back to this later, I must get some work done...........LOL
For these reasons when hearing of disobedience rebellion or aggression should we not look first at the horse’s regime & history in order to establish the cause and not simply suggest a remedy to the symptom?