Views on hitting horses. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Views on hitting horses.

Many people think its crule. But then again, many people feel its neccessary. Tell me what you think.
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post #2 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 04:58 PM
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I think alot depends on what you mean by hitting. A smack on the rear end is not the same as a smack on the face.
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post #3 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 05:04 PM
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Yeah, there is a big difference. There is no excuse for hitting a horse with unecessary force or repeatedly, but if the bratty pony on our yard tries to barge me, he is getting a smack on the chest, and trying to bite gets him a swift tap on the nose. It not only stops people getting hurt but is beneficial for the horse too - horses that don't learn manners don't end up in nice homes, afterall.
It's all very well to be sentimental about horses, but they are never going to hold it against you for reprimanding them within reason - that's how they learn from each other in the field, and it's an easy way for them to understand when they're wrong. Sometimes waving arms and making yourself 'big' to warn a horse off something just isn't enough.
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post #4 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 05:05 PM
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If the horse is crowding me or trying to bite me, heck yes I will hit them. That seems like a I misunderstanding what you mean?
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post #5 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 05:13 PM
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I will hit my horse anywhere on his body with most things available only when necessary. The key is timing and an appropriate level of "hit".

When I bring a feed dish full of grain to my horse and he impatiently reaches for the dish & pushes me, he will get hit in the head so that he moves the offending body part away from me. Usually I only have to do it hard one time and the next time I just wave my hand in the air and he knows to stay back.

When I'm leading my horse and he rushes ahead of me, I will use the lead rope (or if I happen to be carrying my training stick I will use that) to hit my horse in the chest or swing the rope in front of his nose until he hits the rope with his nose so that he will not go forward of that invisible barrier.

When I'm riding and the horse isn't going where I want him to go, I will use my legs to hit him (ie kicking...leg pressure). If he doesn't respond with a light kick, I kick (hit) harder until he moves appropriately.

These are just very simple examples of how I hit my horses. I think it is absolutely necessary to hit your horse in this manner. A senseless beating is not ever necessary and there is a BIG difference between what I do when I hit my horse compared to a senseless beating.

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post #6 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 05:29 PM
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I have found that hitting doesn't work for my horses. It doesn't teach them anything and it makes me feel bad. I always find another way to deal the the problem.

Owner of Buddy and Cappy
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post #7 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I mean tell me what you think is ok and what is not ok. For example.

One time my horse pinned me up in the corner of his stall and started to attack me. I grabbed the closest thing to me (which happened to be a 2x4) and beat him over the head with it. Did i feel bad about it? Well i wish it wasn't a 2x4, but no. He deserved it, he never did it again, and didn't become head shy. I will not tolerate horses that attack people what so ever. Either you attack them back to teach them a lesson, or your putting yourself in danger by keeping them.
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post #8 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 05:34 PM
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All I will say is that it does not do to linger over punishment. Hitting horses must be objective. You can't do it because you want to, it has to be done in a manner that will make them aware of their mistake, and then move on. Theres no need for excessiveness here.
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post #9 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 05:49 PM
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Ever watch a lead mare deal with subordinants? I don't think I could hurt my horse as bad as they hurt each other. As stated above it has to be appropriate and well timed otherwise its just being mean.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #10 of 209 Old 01-07-2008, 06:48 PM
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I think blocking the horse is fine, like if he tries to barge into you while you are trying to feed him. You have to protect your space. But I never hit a horse. I don't think it's ok to smack a horse for biting, etc. Horses will always give warning signs prior to when they bite, so if the person misses the warning, well, it's their own darn fault and the horse shouldn't be punished for the person's lack of attention. It's very easy to prevent biting. Just my 2 cents.
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