Originally Posted by sewsmarty
A dressage whip is much more effective than a stick and string...try hitting yourself own the leg with it and you will see....
My horse knows what it is...
The only problem is with a dressage whip is that you have to get in close to use it thus, unless you are extremely experienced
, you can be in the danger zone.
Bottle fed horses are generally lacking in respect of humans.
As foals it is great for them to come charging up for their bottle and if they push and shove then it is easy to just push them away. They learn certain 'rules' like having a halter on, picking up feet and being led and brushed but
they have not learned the correct tough manners a mare would give them.
Watching mares with foals is a real learning curve for anyone who studies them especially
if you have them in a herd environment.
A mare will rightly protect her foal, however by the time it is a week or so old rules start to come into play.
Majority of ares will stop a foal suckling when she is eating a hard feed. They will stand square making the udder difficult to get at, if the foal persists the tail will swish hard and the mare will move towards the foal sideways using her body to push it away. If the foal continues to try to suckle then the mare will snap her teeth at its backside or, swing her backside and use a leg to shove it away.
Not many people have the savvy to realise this is all part of them learning respect or, to treat the foal in the same way, only giving milk when rules are obeyed.
I have reared several bottle foals and took advice from a marvellous woman, Ann Vardon, who runs the National Foaling Bank in the UK, where she will try to match orphan foals with mares who have lost theirs and gives advice when this is not possible.
I was very lucky in having a very maternal mare who would adopt any foal, she might not have the milk to feed it but she was the most wonderful 'nanny' and certainly taught the foals manners. It was funny because all the foals would go to her rather than their dams, they grazed with her, lay near her, only using their mothers as mobile milk bars.
When you get a maiden mare with her first foal they are often lacking in discipline. Their foals can be very disrespectful and it will take another mare to put it in its place. This can be quite hard but it is part of nature and unless they learn the herd rules they are not going to get far in a natural life.
I never want a horse to be afraid of me, however, I do want its respect and if that takes cracking it one with a whip or whatever is to hand, then I will do so. They are not stupid!
When I had eight 2 & 3 year olds in a large loose shed they all knew they could come behind me as I put the feed into the long trough but to barge me or get ahead would invoke my annoyance. One evening one of them tried shoving me hard. That was it - he got the bucket of feed wrapped around his head whereby he turned to double barrel me.
I was livid at his audacity and they all knew it!
The seven moved away from the feed trough and stood in a corner whilst I chased the culprit around the shed, throwing the feed bucket between his legs and cussing him. The seven would not let him into their corner and until he showed signs of submission I kept the pressure on.
I picked up the remains of the bucket and mixed more feed and went back to feed them again. The horses stood well back and, when he went to follow behind me one of the others chased him off - he was only allowed to follow on at the end of the line.
Not one of those youngsters was worried about me getting 'mad' they knew it wasn't for them, they knew that he had done wrong and deserved his chasing. He also knew what it was for and that it was fair.
This horse has lacked discipline from the word go. She will need sorting by an experienced person and life will have to be very tough for a few weeks until she learns what life is about.