'proper etiquette' for the average horse owner - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-30-2011, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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'proper etiquette' for the average horse owner

just my two cents on the main things that a horse should and should not do around the barn, in the ring, out on the trails, etc ^^ feel free to contradict anything I've written, or add in your own expectations! =P

when leading
horse should not charge ahead of you
horse should not lag behind
alert and ready to change directions at any given time
relaxed and patient when asked to stand beside you for any amount of time
will to refrain from grazing for any amount of time
comfortable with walking on a lead around 12" of slack in rope

when tied
calm and confident
capable of being tied for up to one hour without feed (hay nets, grain, etc)
able to be tied for up to four hours with feed and water
no pawing, nose thrusting, or butt swinging while tied

when tacking up
will stand still throughout whole process
will take bit into mouth with minimal coaxing
won't suck in air when girthing
won't nip or pin ears when girthing

in the ring
light in your hands
responsive to aids
entergetic and ready to move out
easy to transition
mindful of fencing

out in the open
attentive and willing to let you pick the directions
willing to walk in a foreward manner, without breaking into a trot
not buddy or barn sour
willing to stand ground tied for atleast five minutes at a time
able to relax and enjoy the ride

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-30-2011, 08:25 PM
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This is a great list. However, I find the horses at a barn are usually pleasant to be around. It's the other people that have no idea of barn etiquette

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-30-2011, 08:47 PM
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True. People are almost always the problem. I would love if everyone trained their horse to do these things. But since people seem to think that horses train themselves I am all too often getting run over by a horse who has no concept of the word WHOA
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-01-2011, 02:04 PM
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I don't think there is such as thing as "horse etiquette". What you put is "well trained horse". In fact I don't think people should be bothered by my horse's behavior at all as long as it's not dangerous, both of us are happy with it, and its not disturbing other people/horses activities. However I do think there should be "rider/border (in short human) etiquette" which is often a big issue.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-01-2011, 02:59 PM
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To me, etiquette is something that applies to people, not horses. What you have listed are behaviours that the horse should have been trained in. When I read the title of this post, I was expecting to see: "clean up in the aisle after yourself, pass left to left" etc etc....not what you should teach your horse.

As much as we all wish our horses to be good and stand still, we still have to realize that they need some movement to help with blood flow. Can you stand perfectly still for a long time? Even military personel on parade aren't still, even if you think they are. They are making small movements, to keep blood flowing, so they don't pass out on the parade square. As long as the horse isn't being a pain, I don't care if he goes from one side of the cross tie to the other over a period of time, or if he moves around when tied to the trailer. He just wants to see what's going on, and that's natural. Not going to discipline him for that.

I prefer a horse to follow slightly behind me and to the side, at about half a leadshank or more away. That way, if he spooks, he doesn't jump on top of you, have a bit more reaction time and don't have to worry about him stepping on your heels when leading him. I hate having a horse really close....they shouldn't be in my personal space.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-01-2011, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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What I meant when using the name 'proper etiquette' what more like 'things the average horse owner should teach their horses' you're right though, probably should of just called it proper manners!

and don't even get me started on people! I might end up having a list five pages long xD

VelvetsAB - I don't expect a horse to stand completely still, and generally give mine enough room on their line to step to the left and right, as well as turn their heads enough to have a complete view of their surroundings. I'm talking more about the horses who are tied up and immediately start swinging their butts around, digging to china, and hitting their heads on the rails. I have no problem with a horse that shifts positions and such when they're being tied for more than a few minutes =] as for trailering, I didn't mean standing totally still for that. It would be rather harsh (and impossible) to make a horse stay still in a moving vehicle! =]

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-01-2011, 06:24 PM
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I have to agree with all of this!
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-01-2011, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by touchofsleep View Post
I have to agree with all of this!

Me, too. I agree with the dreamlist of horse behavior and the comments that follow.

I do wonder about horses leading beside you. That was always a priority with me as a kid...we had to keep the horse at our shoulder and then I went to the racetrack for the rest of my life and believe me, you don't need to ask them to keep up.

But my QH acts as if he is expected to walk behind me. He's very sensitive, not a plug at all. My DH says he thinks that it's a QH thing. He was a very good barrel racer at one time. Any opinions on this?
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-01-2011, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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quarter horse thing as if the breed specifically does this? I don't think that any certain breed does a specific thing all of the time. It is, however, very possible that he was just trained to walk behind his partner. There are mixed ideas about where a horse should be when leading, as VelvetsAB pointed out. She wants her horse to be slightly behind her, while I and the people at my barn generally ask our horses to stay shoulder to shoulder with us. As long as he isn't pulling on the rope, stopping for no reason, etc, and is willing to follow wherever you go- I'd say don't worry about it. IMO If he was trained that way, theres no reason to reteach him at his age. =]

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
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