Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
I've had plenty of CTJMs as well with many horses. Like BreakableRider I'm a very tiny person- 4'11 when stretching, petite as all get out, and not even 90 lbs. Even so, I've scared the crap (quite literally) out of a 17hh, 1400 TB before when he decided it would be cute to aim his butt at me for asking him to move. I'm pretty sure everyone including the humans on the farm feared me that day. I have NO problem with getting as rough as is necessary to get the point across to a horse and I've definitely gotten some disapproving looks from non horse people.
At the same time though I try to be sensitive to the horse and be certain that a reaction is actually deserving of what I hand out. If a horse is just flat out terrified and bolts in hand, I won't go crazy hitting it over the head because the only thing I'll get out of that is even more fear. However, I WILL demand that they move their feet in the direction I tell them to immediately and focus on me because they must realize that they should NOT be afraid when I am their leader. I find it more productive to make them move in the direction that I ask at the speed that I ask than to try and fail to get them to hand still. The busier their mind gets, the faster it gets busy, the better the outcome.
For example, with my filly. She was the definition of a nervous nelly with good reason, but that just didn't work for me. She was 700 lbs at 2 years old but she could still drag me just fine if she wanted to, and I was often alone with her. When she started trying to overreact to new stimulus on our neighborhood walks by bolting in front of me, trying to jump on top of me, etc, I had to end it immediately or be injured. Trying to get her to stop didn't work- she just got more worked up. Instead I brought my lunge whip with me and a 15' lead line. The next time she stepped in front of me when she saw a thoroughbred eating dog (a 10 lb lap dog), I spun her butt round so fast she didn't know what direction she was facing, and sent her off in a circle around me right there in the road, reversed directions, halted her, backed her up, sent her off again, halted again, and walked off with her in tow like nothing happened. Never had to hit her even once. I had to do that twice before she got the idea, but she didn't try anything stupid like that again.
With my mare though, she was just flat out aggressive. I don't know why. She had a nasty habit of trying to bite when she was annoyed, and I corrected that on day one with a ROUGH lesson in herd dynamics. She tried to bite me when I picked up a hoof, and I had her flying 200 feet backwards before she knew what happened, and I laid into her face HARD with the end of the rope. I kid you not, that mare never even gave me an ugly look again and she was the QUEEN of ugly faces.
The only exception I've ever found was a therapy mare that I worked with once. She was a brat because she was allowed to get away with whatever when she had kids on her back. Biting was her biggest issue. The problem though, was that she was SO desensitized that you could beat her bloody and she'd just...stand there. Didn't matter what kind of punishment you used, it was darned near impossible to get a reaction out of her. I never did know how to fix her because I literally beat bloody welts into her one day after she tried to take a chunk out of my stomach, and not once did she even move a hoof. It was almost like she'd just tuck into herself and mentally brace herself, and just take it. Strangest horse I ever met. They ended up giving her away after she cow kicked a side walker.
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.