Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
What's more humane, weeks and weeks of boring repetitive ground work, or a couple of whacks? Would you rather be lectured by your mom over and over, or have her spank your hand once?
Horses communicate with each other through body language and such, but if that doesn't get it done, then hooves start flying and teeth come out. A whack with a whip is NOTHING compared to a kick or a bite. It's barely more than a horse fly bite.
A horse has to know that YOU ARE THE BOSS. You are a kind and loving boss when respected, but you should do whatever you need to do when it comes to unwanted behavior. If all you need to do is some work in the round pen, then GREAT! I am all for round pen work. BUT, if a horse has some deep seated bad behavior that is turned into habit, and ground work isn't working, then a whip along with proper praise for good behavior works like a charm
There are a hundred ways to skin a cat, and twice that to train a horse. Learn from all avenues and use what WORKS for YOUR HORSE and your particular situation. Never say never. A good horse trainer/handler has many, MANY tricks up their sleeve. One method will NOT work for EVERY horse in ALL situations. The best trainers keep learning, from all sources. You file away what you don't need now, but hang on to it for future reference 8).
Okay first off, groundwork is not suppposed to be the same thing over and over again. If you believe it is, then you don't know the real meaning of groundwork. Groundwork is a way of teaching a horse on the ground, to get them to tune into your body language and understand that you are NOT a predator, that you will ask nicely and will slowly build up pressure before you do any PHYSICAL contact. If you watch a horse in the wild, the lead horse WILL give that horse warnings, if they won't go, then they become physical with each other.
A whip should NEVER be used to hit a horse because they are bad or misbehaving....a whip is exactly what the name says. If you hit them with it...it HURTS like heck! (yes I hat myself with one when I first started riding to see exactly what a horse feels...and I was all bruised).
Horseback riding is a partership....a 51%-49% partnership...you have the most so you ARE the lead horse, but you also have to learn to respect your horse. Your horse will respect you if you respect the horse. Same with your relationship with your parents...as long as you respect them, they will respect you. If you get mean and cruel to them, they won't want to take you out to the mall or so you can hang out with your friends. The MINUTE you get mean and harsh with a horse, you are no longer a partner or friend...you are a predator!!
You know that groundwork isn't simply lunging a horse in a circle over and over again to get their attention on you. I will only use "lunging" to see how my horse is feeling...if he's stiff, lame, or having an off day so I know what to expect. He only has to trot around me twice...one circle in each direction. The most I'll do is two circles in each direction. No more. WHy? Because it gets boring. I get bored easy so I don't like to do things over and over again, so I respect my horse and won't make him do it. Not only does he respect me for not having him do things over and over again, but he's happier and listens to me because he knows I won't do anything that will hurt him, make him bored, or won't force him to do something if something is physically wrong.
It's our job as a horse owner, to figure out why a horse is acting the way it is....and personally, I'd rather take a month to solve the problem COMPLETELY than to solve it in 2 days by hitting him to get over it.
Groundwork will work for every horse, but sadly groundwork will not work for every horse owner. Why? Because some don't understand what real groundwork is...others choose not to take the time to do groundwork with their horse. Some people choose to take short cuts to cover up a problem, but don't really get to the bottom of the problem.
I would never whack a horse....EVER! Sure, I've given my horse some slaps with my hand, but that's after asking 4 times nicely. And my slam was not hard at all...it was just a tap with my hand.
Horses are prey animals, which means they are sensitive to any type of contact, even if they don't show it...that just means they are the dominant type, but they still do take it personally.
I would NEVER support a horse trainer that would whack a horse to get them to listen...it IS cruel.