How to put a horse in his place?
 
 

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How to put a horse in his place?

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    08-07-2010, 12:25 AM
  #1
Weanling
How to put a horse in his place?

What do you do if your horse tests you, like throws a buck on you or rears or bites you? I mean, if you know that the saddles not bothering him or anything, and you know he's not sore, you just know he's testing you.

I normally spin my horse in really tight circles if he does anything while I'm on him. Or I will give him a slap on the neck or butt, but I don't whip or anything, and I don't kick him because that's the sign to go, not a punishment. If he bit me, I really don't know what I would do because my horses have never bit me before, but I'm sure that would end with a slap on the neck or butt, or tapping his nose, not really hard, just enough to know it wasn't a love tap. + That would be followed by tons of ground work to work on gaining respect and bonding.

What would you do?

And please don't say that slapping with your bare hand is cruel, it would be really hard for me to actually injure a horse by slapping it, I'm not that strong.
     
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    08-07-2010, 12:39 AM
  #2
Trained
It will depend on the situation, but most of the time I am going to push them forward, especially if they are getting 'goosey' on me...it's much harder for them to buck or rear, if their legs are otherwise engaged.

On the ground, the same would be true...engage the feet, and the mind will follow...sometimes you just have to push a little harder to get those feet unstuck, then work them so that the horse learns that not doing what you are asking is much more difficult than compliance.

Biting...well, that's another one that will depend on the situation...I rarely ever get bit, even if I'm working with a known biter, because I'm not dumb enough to stand there and let the horse invade my space; keep the horse out of your space, and he can't bite you. Get him working, and thus mind off of biting, and he will be more likely to calm down and behave himself. I am not afraid to let a horse 'run into' my elbow, if I am grooming, or otherwise handling him in close vicinity, but again, it takes being aware of where the horse is paying his attention to, and making sure you've got that second set of eyeballs on his movement at all times! I never strike him after the fact, because chances are he won't associate it with the action... Teaching him to keep his head out of your space is essential; a horse shouldn't ever be turning his head to you as your grooming, or saddling, or handling his feet...he needs to keep his head out of your business, because if he's allowed to nuzzle, and nibble, you're giving the opportunity to bite, and that's on you, not him.
     
    08-07-2010, 12:45 AM
  #3
Weanling
If they buck I kick the Cr@p out of them if they rear I do the same but also smack them on the top of the head with a crop. If they bite they get a very good punch to the muzzle. I never tolerate those kinds of things from horses and in my book they serve as very big punishments.
     
    08-07-2010, 12:47 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
It will depend on the situation, but most of the time I am going to push them forward, especially if they are getting 'goosey' on me...it's much harder for them to buck or rear, if their legs are otherwise engaged.

On the ground, the same would be true...engage the feet, and the mind will follow...sometimes you just have to push a little harder to get those feet unstuck, then work them so that the horse learns that not doing what you are asking is much more difficult than compliance.

Biting...well, that's another one that will depend on the situation...I rarely ever get bit, even if I'm working with a known biter, because I'm not dumb enough to stand there and let the horse invade my space; keep the horse out of your space, and he can't bite you. Get him working, and thus mind off of biting, and he will be more likely to calm down and behave himself. I am not afraid to let a horse 'run into' my elbow, if I am grooming, or otherwise handling him in close vicinity, but again, it takes being aware of where the horse is paying his attention to, and making sure you've got that second set of eyeballs on his movement at all times! I never strike him after the fact, because chances are he won't associate it with the action... Teaching him to keep his head out of your space is essential; a horse shouldn't ever be turning his head to you as your grooming, or saddling, or handling his feet...he needs to keep his head out of your business, because if he's allowed to nuzzle, and nibble, you're giving the opportunity to bite, and that's on you, not him.

So if I'm understanding correctly, you're saying don't acknowledge the bad behavior? If that's what you are saying, that's understandable, I know a lot of people who do that and it works. It's like the "positive" training method where you focus on the good and not the bad. I focus on both just because I think they both need to be addressed, the good and bad, but there's a lot of opinions out there. My horse gets a lot of lovin too :)
     
    08-07-2010, 12:48 AM
  #5
Yearling
Bucking is dealt with by getting put to work, as is rearing. I will also pop a horse right between the ears on the way up if I have to. Biting gets a good backhand to whatever body part is closest to me, usually the snoot. Chopper tried to bite me once as a yearling stud. Only once. He got a good backhand across the nose and hasn't tried since. :)
     
    08-07-2010, 12:50 AM
  #6
Banned
If a horse bites tries to bite me, I "bite" back.

It is almost a split second chain reaction of the horse trying to bite and the horse getting popped on the neck or muzzle. Like you said, it wouldn't be hard, but enough to show him who is the boss. Then if we are on a lead/lunge line, we back up, and play the "hide the hoof" game (I'm sure there is a technical term for the manuver, but I can't think of it). If there is room, we lunge for a bit.

The reason I do this is because I feel I am mimicing herd dynamics. If you have ever watched a rowdy youngster try to take a nip at a higher up horse, that horse does a kind of warning bite back (like a open mouth chomp, but they don't clamp down on the skin), to reinforce it dominance. They only literally bite back when the more dominant gets bitten by somebody who is out of line. It is kind of like a warning bite to the horse that he is messing with the boss.

Btw, I think slapping a horse with your hand is completely appropriate. I really don't see how we could do any concerning level of harm to a horse by giving it a firm pop on their neck or shoulder from our bare hands.
     
    08-07-2010, 12:58 AM
  #7
Banned
As for rearing and bucking:

I have never had a horse rear on me before. Knock on wood.
And I haven't ridden enough bucks to perfect my stopping technique.
But if/when I encounter these situations, my horses will be taking the long way home from the trail that day. And they are going to need some baths.
     
    08-07-2010, 01:00 AM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty    
So if I'm understanding correctly, you're saying don't acknowledge the bad behavior? If that's what you are saying, that's understandable, I know a lot of people who do that and it works. It's like the "positive" training method where you focus on the good and not the bad. I focus on both just because I think they both need to be addressed, the good and bad, but there's a lot of opinions out there. My horse gets a lot of lovin too :)
Essentially, yes...I really don't see the point in clobbering a horse between the ears for rearing, when you should be asking yourself, why is the horse rearing up? A horse will rear when he feels there is no other option BUT to go up...whether that's because he is being given mixed signals, or is sore. Same with bucking...if a horse is bucking, or offering to buck, disengage that hindquarter, and get him moving...he can't buck (as hard) if he is having to move his feet. Too many riders just sit there and kick the crap out of their horse's sides (and wonder why the horse winds up bucking), instead of remaining calm, and getting the horse simply to move. Does this mean the horse learns that bucking and rearing are an option, because you aren't quote unquote acknowledging it? I don't think so, because he's not a malicious sort like people can be...if you ride him out of those behaviors, he just going to go on like the spaz incident never happened, and go about working as you intended. I think it's in 'fighting' or otherwise underthinking the horse, that we get ourselves in trouble.

Are bucking and rearing, and other behaviors unacceptable? Yes, but how you deal with them can determine whether the horse does it again...sometimes 'discipline' is not the best route to go, imho.

The mare I have now, was 'sold' to me as unrideable, because she was a bucker; I never once have 'addressed' the bucking issue; instead I redid all of her training like as if she was never ridden before...2 weeks after I got her, I rode her...no buck, no bolt. She can get goosey at times, but I simply get her moving out harder...she has not actually bucked on me ever, but I think that's in part to how I act on her reactions. Now if I had simply tried to climb on, and 'discipline' her out of it, I would probably be in the hospital, or dead...you have to think smarter and safer than your horse, not simply try to out muscle him.
     
    08-07-2010, 01:01 AM
  #9
Weanling
Have any of you guys ever heard of or saw twisting the bottom lip or chin of a horse when it tries to bite you? When I was taking lessons, I saw one girl twist her horses chin hard when it bit her.
     
    08-07-2010, 01:12 AM
  #10
Green Broke
^ I don't think I would twist the bottom lip.... mostly because im not fast enough, LOL. But I just give them a good hard elbow or punch (whichever is easiest!)
Bucking and rearing: well, the easiest way to deal with that is preventing it, by crossing the hindlegs over eachother fast, even if you have to jab a hole in their lung with your spur, get their butt moving as soon as they are thinking about rearing or bucking. Because they cannot rear or buck while their legs are crossed. And by the time your done crossing their legs, they have usually decided bucking or rearing isnt that good of an idea anymore, because everytime they think fo it they have to work harder for a minute until they stop that thought.

The best way to fix those behaviours is preventing them :) I personally don't agree with just plain kicking them as hard as you can when they rear or buck because they might have always felt pain when you asked for that curtain thing, like, if they had an ill fitting saddle before, and it hurt to trot, so whenever you asked them to go into trot that reared or bucked, if you just leg yeilded them into the trot, they would have to trot, but they would also findout 'hey! It doesnt hurt to trot!' and it would slowly get better.

So I guess to me it really depends on the REASON they are bucking, rearing or biting. I usually do give them a good whack in the chompers for biting, but I also have seen horses bite when you tighten up the girth because their saddle doesnt fit.
     

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