How much is too much? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Geneva Florida
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How much is too much?

There are many horse trainers in this world, and very few train the same way, so many methods get argued over. So, how much is too much when training a horse, in your opinion? If a horse bites you, some people may smack/punch in the face/nose, others may yell at the horse, and yet others may just give the muzzle a light push. And a kick, people could kick the horse back, or smack them on their back legs, just shove them, or not do anything. There are these and more, so please, tell me how much you think is too much, as I have met people who just LOVE their horse so much, they would rather let the horse trample them, and try to buck them off, rather than to smack the horse, or even just correct it with the required amount of force.

If I was to get bitten by a horse, yes, I would smack their muzzle, and I was kicked, I would kick, or smack there butt/back legs. Immediately after though, I would go back and pet the horse, and make sure they aren't shy around that area. Would I beat the horse with a whip? No. But whatever you can do with your bare hands, and flats of your boots is nothing compared to what would happen if this behavior had been directed towards another, more dominant horse, so yes, I would smack my horse if his/her behavior warranted it.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:07 PM
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I think it all depends on how serious their intent was. If a horse ever viciously kicked or bit me I would make sure they though their life was ending with whatever was at my disposal. Now if my horse playfully nipped me the might get a light smack in the nose and/or a growl. It all depends on how serious the "crime" is.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:13 PM
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If a horse kicks at me, they are gonna be fearing for their life. I can chase a horse backwards faster than I ever ran in P.E, and I've never had a horse kick at me a second time. Kicking them back isn't going to do much, sorry to say. Chasing them, running sideways and backwards, disengaging the hip, making their feet move is going to bring them to jesus a little bit and make them think. They aren't gonna get hurt, but they sure think they are.

That applies to most everything. I'm not above really getting after a horse like that.
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Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario
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I apply an equal amount of aggressive force that I received. I discipline my horses in the same way a lead horse would to an inferior horse. I'm not gonna lie, I've kicked my gelding before, after he backed his rear end up to me, I gave it right back, and I haven't been kicked since. I've watched my mare kick my gelding and he immediately ran right up to her, did the same, and she backed off. I've also seen people aggressively get after their horses for standing too close to them. I do disagree with that, because we stand close to them, and (most of the time) they don't retaliate to that. However I don't tolerate being stepped on, or pushed, that's when I get after them.

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:19 PM
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The thing to remember about the personal space thing though, is that they are not allowed into my "bubble" unless I invite them. If I pull my mare's head up to me and snuggle her (As I do so often because she's freakin adorable) that's not the same as her coming up and sticking her head right in my way. If they do that, I yield her away from me. Might not be as aggressive as if she had kicked, struck, or bitten, but it's enough to get the point across.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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While I believe and know there are better ways to fix bad habits than physical punishment, I believe you must do whatever is neccessary to get yourself out of that situation safely. No matter what.
At the same time fixing and redirecting the behavior before it exists will prevent most dangerous situations that would ever warrant aggressive punishment.
So for me the line is drawn when you have the upper hand, when the horse backs off, you need to too - otherwise you're just beating them. The line too is when pain is used for cosmetic or non-safety related situations. In other words if your horse doesn't get the right lead at the canter, punishment is never the answer and aggression at that time is just abuse. The wrong lead is not a safety issue and it requires calm retraining, not violence as I too often see.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I've said this once and I'll say it before, if a horse kicks me, they're going to the feed lot.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Horses are sentient beings - so they all have different personalities. How much I respond to a given affront depends on the horse (if I know it well) and the incidence itself. In other words, consideration. A horse's future morally and ethically is the responsibility of the owner. I train and keep my own horses and they are family, not to be sold. Their behavior is my problem and mine alone. However, for those people that sell them w/o hesitation, if they think it will hurt their horse's feelings or be to brutal to give them an occasional pop when warranted - they jeopardized the horses very future. Of course, to the other extreme...there is just no excuse for excessive and unnecessary force.

Up until very recently I never smacked a horse in the face. I have a filly that is not easily put off at all - by human or horse. If I am not carrying a whip, I will smack her in the face as a last resort (she doesn't bite, she grabs clothing). If I am carrying a whip I lay into her (not her face!) far harder than I ordinarily would for being "mugged" b/c, like I said, I know she is not easily put off. By comparison, if I whacked my mare equally as hard for an equal offense she would become visibly upset and distressed and pout for a week.

But, I have never punched a horse in the That is a no-no in my book that is written in stone.

If I want to "turn the page" w my horses after some momentary ill-mannered behavior I do not do so by petting them. The message would be good job? No thanks. I use my voice and actions to indicate we can, if they behave, "carry on" w what we were doing as if it never happened.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central Missouri
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I could not resist.

"if a horse kicks me, they're going to the feed lot."

why would you reward them by feeding them if they kicked you. LOL!!!!!!

Ok, enough of the humor.

What is too much really depends on the horse and the circumstances. Even the comment about the "feed lot" would not always hold true with the author of the statement, under the right circumstances.
If you want to enjoy your horses they have to behave as you train them. Now sometimes that training is not on purpose, and results in bad behavior.

Some horses require more severe discipline than others. I've had stallions that required little or very little discipline, then others you have to take a 2x4 to them.

What is really too much is the situation where a horse misbehaves and the horse is not corrected for minutes. The poor horse then has no idea why it is being disciplined. The horse may have bitten it's trainer, then is standing quiet and calm. Up comes the trainer and tells the horse he better never bite him again, and proceeds to beat the living daylights out of the horse. So from then on the horse does not stand quit and calm, because he remembers the beating he got for being quiet.

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-28-2013, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
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Well, seeing as how I WAS kicked by my young horse last year, I know exactly what I would do. She thought she was going to die.
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