Can the horse be protective of the human? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Can the horse be protective of the human?

Thoughts? Why/why not? Can it be trained or it can be something natural?
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 08:28 AM
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I heard of a horse being protective of a human before. I wouldnt think you can train your horse to be, but if you and your horse have a srtong bond I would assume he would protec you, as you would protect him when something scary comes along. Right?

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know frankly. Lots of people are saying you have to be alpha. But then if you are alpha you are the one in charge of protection, not the horse. Do the low-order horses protect alphas in nature?
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 08:43 AM
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Kitten, when horses were used in war they were trained to protect their riders, but I'd like to think that some of it was the bond formed between horse and human partner.

My gelding Casper has been known to slow down and center himself under me if I get off balance. I did not train him to do this, nor does he do it for everyone. I had heard of horses who do it, but until I got Casper I'd never experienced it before.

Horses in nature have been known to come to the aid of their alphas, so at least part of it is instinctual.

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post #5 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 08:57 AM
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Good question guys! I believe if you have a strong bond with your horse they do show a type of protection to their owners. If I'm in the paddock and I'm with either of my girls they chase the lower horses away from me. Actually, my filly has pinned her ears and tried to bite one of the alphas to get her away from me. Won't work unless I reinforce her action. I find it really neat actually. Makes me feel important to them.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Kitten, when horses were used in war they were trained to protect their riders, but I'd like to think that some of it was the bond formed between horse and human partner.

My gelding Casper has been known to slow down and center himself under me if I get off balance. I did not train him to do this, nor does he do it for everyone. I had heard of horses who do it, but until I got Casper I'd never experienced it before.

Horses in nature have been known to come to the aid of their alphas, so at least part of it is instinctual.
Very interesting! I guess it all depends on bond then...
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 10:48 AM
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I don't intend to be a "doubting Thomasina", because I like to think my horse would have protected me from harms way. However, with a horses natural instinct to "fright and flight" I think that would be their self-survival kicking in. My QH mare and I have an intense bond with each other. However, she could spook at something as inate as large rock at the roadside when we were road riding, she'd spook at goats in a pasture, she spooked and bolted from a dog barking as we approached a house nearby when normally dogs didn't bother her at all. She did carry me anywhere, anyplace I asked of her. Though I promised her when we became each other's 15 years ago that I'd never ask her to do anything that would cause her harm. So maybe she did become protective of us both in a round about way.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 10:59 AM
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Interesting thought. I do remember one day when I was about 15 and still living at home I was getting ready to ride my horse at the time. A sweeter, more laid back and trustworthy horse you could not find.

My mother turned up unexpectedly (I used to get my own way around by bike) to have a rather heated conversation with me about something. She was carrying on like a pork chop, yelling and pointing her finger at me, being the bad child I probably was.

Well my little horse reached over the fence and bit her on the arm. Hard. She was already scared of horses so that just totally freaked her out, she got back in her car and drove off. I never reward horses for biting but he did get a big hug that day.

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 11:32 AM
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For your enjoyment....true story written by Hubby. You decide if George is a protector.....


I had the day off, so I figured on hauling the poop trailer out to unload it. With all the rain of late, the yard is ankle deep in mud everywhere, and the spot where the trailer's parked is deeper yet. I've kept the load tarped, but discovered that the tarp was almost eaten through from the bacteria in the load. Hence, the whole load was completely soaked & weighed triple what it usually does. I tried to pull it out anyway, but it sank completely to the frame in 2 seconds flat.
Out with the wheelbarrow & start shoveling ...

2 & 1/2 hours later I had half the trailer unloaded & spread out in the far paddock. Tried pulling the trailer out again ... uh-uh. More shoveling. An hour later there was less than 1/4 load in the trailer (which still probably weighed more than a full load if the tarp hadn't leaked), still couldn't budge the trailer. I gave up & called a tow truck. While I waited I figured I may as well continue emptying the trailer. Only took another 20 or 30 wheelbarrow loads anyway ... By time the tow truck showed up ( 2 hours later), the trailer was empty, I was soaked, there was more mud & goo in that yard than I've ever seen, and I was somewhat less than my usual sunny self.
The driver announced straight away that he only took cash for farm calls, and asked me how money I had on me. I suppressed the urge to pinch his head off, and instead pulled a small wad of drenched 20's from my jeans. He looked as though I'd peed on them, and looked around as though he were searching for some other excuse. When he finally got out of his truck & walked to where the pickup & trailer were, he scoffed & said that his truck wouldn't pull "that much weight". I calmly showed him there was nothing in the trailer anymore, and assured him the combined weight of the truck & trailer was less than his tow truck (BIG tow truck, lots of chrome). He still refused, saying that had he known I wanted him to "crawl around in the mud" he would have refused the call. By the way, the entire pickup is still sitting on solid ground, but with the trailer mired in the mud all I did was spin trying to move. I told the driver all I needed was to get winched a mere 2 feet; with the $75 callout I figured that worked out to about $3 an inch.
After another 15 minutes of arguing I finally lost it. I yelled at this idiot to get his butt back in his truck & leave before I tossed him over the fence. Suddenly he decides that just refusing to do his friggin' job wasn't enough, now he decided to make the leap from lazy lout to flaming idiot.
He started making faces at me and generally acting like a kid. If he was trying to make me go over the edge, it worked. I screamed at him to go, leave, take off, beat it. All he did was laugh, then stuck out his hand & demand his $75. I finally told him to leave or I was calling the cops to have him removed. He raised his hands in a sort of mock gesture & laughed "Oooh, la-de-da! Big tough guy, eh?" Just about the time I began to think, "This can't be happening, it has to be a bad dream", I realised he was backing towards the gate of the front paddock where George & Kooter stood mesmerized by all the yelling.
Somewhere in George's system must lay an enzyme that signals the adrenalin dam in him. When that call comes in, nothing in George's way is safe. That tow truck driver was in George's way; he was also now within reach. As the driver waved his hands, he took one more step backward towards the gate. We already know how protective George can be, and what a sensitive soul he is. I guess he put 2 & 2 together, figured this guy was the reason I was so upset, and now he was in a spot that George could "help". All of a sudden George lunged forward with his mouth wide open & ears pinned against his neck and connected on the driver's right shoulder hard enough to drop the guy to the ground. He started to yelp & scrambled a good 20 feet across the ground on his hands & knees trying to get away from what, he hadn't a clue. When he discovered it was a horse that bit him, his eyes almost bugged out of his head. "That thing BIT me!" he screamed. "Yeah" I said, "and if you ain't gone soon I'm going to let him outta there!" You've never seen anyone get gone so fast!
So George got a real big neck rub, a cookie & an apple. Yeah, I know I shouldn't reward him for biting someone, but I swear that horse knew exactly what he was doing. Whether he figured he was defending me, or what, I'm not sure. I figured he'd be a handful to settle down after, but he just stood there with a sly look ... as if to say "****, I'm good!"
****, I love that horse!
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 11:45 AM
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Aw, cool story! And believed.
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