Water Balloons & Eggs... - Page 3

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Water Balloons & Eggs...

This is a discussion on Water Balloons & Eggs... within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    07-04-2012, 05:40 PM
I guess my doubt stems from the fact HITTING a horse (especially on the head) to TRAIN it is just not in my vocabulary. I'm not soft when it comes to horses, so I'm not saying "Aw don't hit him, he's just a poor wittle horse" - I'm saying that horses just don't THINK and ASSOCIATE hitting with bad behavior. They don't understand punishment.

BUT - that being said - when you associate the fact you are popping the horse with something they can't SEE (so they might think they've legitimately hit their head on something above them) then it becomes more logical. That also being said, the object you smack them with shouldn't matter, right? The sensation of something running down their head (egg, ketchup, water, etc) should not be relevant. Just the fact they've encountered a barrier above them that they hit if they rear should be enough.

Regardless, I don't think trickery is the right way to go about it. As I said before, find the root of the problem, pull it out, fix it. Otherwise you'll just be stuck temporarily fixing a dangerous problem over, and over, and over again.
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    07-04-2012, 06:25 PM
I've certainly whacked my pony in between the ears with the handle of a dressage whip when he reared. He just decided one day rearing was a fun excuse to not do half steps when I was working upper level movements with him. I probably bonked him with the heel of my hand between the ears too. (easy enough to do...he's about 14.2 and I'm nearly 6' tall) and I followed it up with a good kick kick and (if needed) a whack with the whip to get him moving foward too though. I didn't just hope that hitting him over the head repeatedly would work. Foward is the key with rearing I believe...a horse can't rear from a foward trot or canter... Luckily he wasn't a chronic rearer, it was his occasional pony hissy fit of "I don't wanna!", which almost made it comical. My coach's stallion would do the same thing to evade work, and with him a few good kicks to the ribs and the handle of a whip between the ears was their (and my, when I rode him) fix to his rearing. Neither of them was a scary rearer as they were both extremely balanced and stood there like "now what are you going to do??", it was more just annoying. I've never dealt with a chronic, unbalanced rearer, so I can't really say that what I did with my pony was a fix but it worked with him.

But, this is certainly the first I've heard of eggs or water ballons to fix the issue. Interesting theory but sounds like it would take some talent to execute haha. I could see how it could work, however, it seems to be a pretty messy. I think rearing could be fixed in way more effective ways though.
    07-04-2012, 06:56 PM
Water balloons, eggs, a whack.....one never knows just how the horse may react. He may drop back down, or he may swing his head and whack the rider in the face. Or go over backwards. I have seen people do this...one did get whacked, one horse dropped to his knees pitching the rider off. Horse stepped on her while trying to regain his feet.
    07-04-2012, 07:41 PM
Thanks, SlideStop, for answering that :)
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    07-05-2012, 09:36 AM
I've seen the egg thing and it gets their attention. Myself, I've cracked a few over the head with the butt end of a crop or a dowel. But like Palomine said, this works with one you know is going to act up. You have to be ready to bring on their 'seeing the Light' moment right then and there. Push them through it and ride the hair off of them until they forget all about their little tricks.

Sorry, I'm not all touchy-feely when it comes to certain things. Something that is dangerous demands immediate and strong correction before someone is seriously hurt. If it means someone thinks I'm a 'meanie' then so be it, but I'm not going to get hurt by trying to not hurt my horse's feelings.
    07-05-2012, 10:52 AM
I'm not sure that anyone thinks these things are mean; I believe it's just a question of effectiveness and outcomes.
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