What is abusive? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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What is abusive?

I have noticed that the definition of abuse varies greatly from person to person. Some think that using a twisted wire snaffle is abuse. Some think that it's a tool.

Some think that striking a horse anywhere is abuse and some don't think it's abuse until there is blood.

Some people think it is abusive to stall a horse and others think a horse should never be left out over night.

Where is the line where abuse starts for you?

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post #2 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 05:16 PM
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abuse to me is pure neglect or stupidity. Ie a horse in the freezing rain in 20 degree weather with no shelter and no blanket.

Abuse is some one riding their horse into the ground past the horses durability, so to say.

Abuse is some one who has a horse and NEVER spends time with it other than to ride it when they feel like it. In this case I call it abuse b.c the animal has no affection given to it and is just used to be a fun ride.

Abuse is some one feeding their horse once a day or once a week for that matter.

Abuse is no shelter and no blanket being outside 24.7 (not a horse being out 24.7 in general every one that has their horses out 24.7 (normally) has shelter and a blanket or one or the other )

Abuse is some one beating their horse for refusing a jump b.c the rider didn't ride up to it properly

Abuse is some one who ride's their horse in an ill-fitting saddle and knowing it dosent fit.

The list can go and go and go lol
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post #3 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 05:31 PM
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When it becomes more than discipline and stems from anger. I'm sure that's still a very vague answer but here is an example. And please keep in mind that previously abused horses are a different case, and require more trust building exercises than anything else. In my scenarios, I'm talking about my personal horses or horses I come in contact with fairly consistently.

If a horse bites at me, I will smack it in the muzzle. It needs to know that biting is a definite NO. Then I will do what I can to figure out what made it bite me in the first place and fix the problem. Abuse, in that situation, would be hitting it several times, even after the horse has already retreated out of your space. It is also unfair in this case, as in all of them, to continue to be angry at the horse. It is necessary to move on and start on a clean slate immediately after the horse backs off.

When I taught my at the time 8 month old filly to crosstie, I tied her solidly to one tree, and wrapped a rope around the second, and I held the slack tight enough to be a crosstie but was able to release her if I needed to. Once she got over that bucking fit and decided to stand still, we started addressing crosstie manners. Meaning to stand still in the middle of the crossties. I put her in the barn crossties, stood in front of her with her lead rope clipped up with a dressage whip in my hand. When she swung her butt to the side, I'd give her a tug on the lead with a firm "Stand!" and tapped her butt with the whip, increasing the pressure until she moved. The process continued until I was able to stick an arm out and she'd move over. I spread all this over a month, and now she steps over with a wiggle of my fingers. This is not beating a horse while it is in the crossties for pooping. She was given the pressure she needed to move off, and I was putting the pressure on the offending object; her rear. I didn't hit her in the head or neck or shoulder, because it wasn't the head or neck or shoulder that invaded the no-occupancy space.

A couple weeks ago, I was out in the pasture, fooling around with the "herd." My friend's horse seemed to think it would be cute to rear up at me. I leaped up and smacked her horse in the side of her face, between her muzzle and eyes. She came down, looked at me all offended, and went about her business. I can still walk up to her, fuss with her face, do whatever I want with her, but now she knows not to rear up at me.

Discipline is just that, discipline. And it needs to be given in the right dosage, at the right time, in a way that the one being disciplined will understand. We can't give a horse a talking to, we must play the role of alpha in the herd, and the head of the herd will kick or bite a horse that is doing something wrong. How can you say it's wrong for us, as the owner, handler, and boss to do the same?

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post #4 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 05:34 PM
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I just want to add to ricci's post

I don't advise hitting a horse in the face EVER even on the nose. This is the #1 cause of head shyness. I always always aaaaaalways smack on the neck. Never the face. Sorry but that's IMO
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post #5 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnprincess View Post
abuse to me is pure neglect or stupidity. Ie a horse in the freezing rain in 20 degree weather with no shelter and no blanket.
I don't think that is neccesarely abuse. Horses were made to be outside and most of the time if not all of the time horses will not go in the shelter when it is cold and raniy but will huddle together as nature intended, with there backs to the wind.

Abuse of horses to me is when people fail to learn. They don't understand about horses and either go to far with keeping there horse humanized or don't do enough to help the horse out while letting them be as natural as possible. To me abuse doesnt have to be "neglect" it can also be to much overzeolous protection.

Also the obvious lack of care both physical and mental. No food. Carelesness in riding and tending to the horse. All that stuff.
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post #6 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
I have noticed that the definition of abuse varies greatly from person to person. Some think that using a twisted wire snaffle is abuse. Some think that it's a tool.

I think abuse is ANYTHING that causes unnecessary pain or stress to the horse. I don't personally think a twisted wire bit is a tool, except on short and very rare circumstances. It is a substitute for good training, IMO.

Some think that striking a horse anywhere is abuse and some don't think it's abuse until there is blood.

I use whips, but not to hurt. I use it to tap enough to reinforce an aid. I never strike in anger or frustration. Sometimes you just need to get off and start again another day, before you are tempted to revert to violence.

Some people think it is abusive to stall a horse and others think a horse should never be left out over night.

Where is the line where abuse starts for you?
I think the line, for me, is drawn over whether what you are doing is CONSTRUCTIVE or DESTRUCTIVE. I find other ways to get my point across than inflicting pain....always.
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post #7 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Horses were made to be outside and most of the time if not all of the time horses will not go in the shelter when it is cold and raniy but will huddle together as nature intended, with there backs to the wind.
you need to remember this isnt the wild... horses cannot survive long if they are let to fend on their own with no other horses. I've seen people with horses in their back yards , alone , in 4 ft of snow no blanket no shelter makes me wonder if they even have water. I think that's pure abuse and in the state of NY it IS abuse and you can have your horse taken away.
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post #8 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 06:02 PM
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This really is a post with so many different views. There are some things that I consider abuse in one person's hands but not in anothers. I would be comfortable using a twisted wire snaffle for a short time because I know how to use it properly (though other people may not think so), though I choose not to. However, many people have no business with anything harsher than a french link snaffle in their horse's mouth. I agree completely with Ricci,
Quote:
When it becomes more than discipline and stems from anger
. I personally believe that some horses do occasionally need a firm smack to regain their respect. I have smacked a horse on the nose or pinched their lip for nipping me and it never resulted in them being headshy. I consider these things acceptable because it is the same way in a horse herd. An offending horse will be warned with actions and sounds, then physically reprimanded with either teeth or hooves. I will warn with a firm "EH" or "NO" and make my posture more assertive before taking it to a smack. There are certain things that a horse should never be punished for; being afraid, or showing pain or uncertainty, or being "stubborn" about picking up a new thing that I am teaching them. After they know what is expected, it might be a different thing. It is a case by case basis for me. Dobe might do something and I smack him on the shoulder whereas Denny would do the same thing and I just back him out of my space for a few feet. It all depends on the horse, the circumstances, and the environment of the situation.

However, there are certain things that I consider abuse no matter the situation or circumstances.
-leaving bloody sides from spurs
-leaving bloody mouths from bits
-hitting a horse out of anger for any reason
-hitting a horse for no reason; ie, when they haven't done anything wrong
-leaving a horse with no food or water
-leaving a serious injury untreated when it is known about
-tying a horse with his head in the rafters (seen it happen)
And there are some other things that I can't think of right now but my ideas of what is and is not acceptable treatment of a horse are pretty black and white.

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post #9 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 06:16 PM
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Abuse is doing damage that cannot be fixed or easily fixed, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally.
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post #10 of 94 Old 12-21-2009, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnprincess View Post
i just want to add to ricci's post

I don't advise hitting a horse in the face EVER even on the nose. This is the #1 cause of head shyness. I always always aaaaaalways smack on the neck. Never the face. Sorry but that's IMO
If a horse bits me he will get it as hard as I can right in the mouth. If I have a brush in my hand at the time he lashes out with me I will try to jab it into his mouth. The more I can hurt him the better but then it is done. I don't continue to yell at him, I just carry on.
To me that is not abuse. I watch horses play fight and kick each other really hard and do you think they think it is abuse??
The way alot of you guys handle your horse to me is abuse. You are creating monsters with your love taps on the neck.
Head shying is not a problem. Horses need to know the rules and they also learn to stay within guidelines and they will not be smacked.
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