I agree with both ROR and RD, really, because in a way, there are times when you can teach/correct (before the incident happens) and times you must 'punish' a behavior (when something does happen)...you're darn straight if a horse bites me I'm going to get in his face and make him know that this behavior is UNacceptable!!! The big difference between him and me, is that I can't bite him hard enough to break anything...he could break my neck if he decided to, with one well aimed bite attack, so you're darn straight I'm going to 'punish' that behavior.
Now if you see a certain behavior coming on, and don't do anything to prevent it (say a horse keeps raising a leg and 'mimics' to kick at you) and you do nothing to correct that, like getting him to yield his body, and desensitizing his body to your touch again, then you're not being responsible in you're training...punishment shouldn't have to be 'necessary' if you're listening and watching your horse's body language...you can usually see things coming before they escalate to 'all out acts' such as biting, kicking, lunging, or other acts of disrespect...PAY attention to your horse and correct things as they happen, don't wait for them to escalate into things that require harsher discipline. However, if you need to discipline in a stronger fashion, DO so, because a horse is 1000 lbs of fight or flight, and he NEEDS to respect his handler.
"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
Last edited by mom2pride; 04-22-2010 at 08:45 PM.