Originally Posted by Paso Fino
So often I see someone ask about a disrespectful horse (usually in the form of biting). I always see an answer along the lines of "don't smack the horse! Make them do circles until you say stop!"
The point of a punishment is to associate the unwanted action with the consequence, therefore breaking the horse of the unwanted action.
I fail to see why making a horse work as a form of punishment is a good thing. I've seen plenty of horses take advantage of this, continue the habit yet go off and do circles on their own. That or they resent doing something like circles all together because they associate it with punishment.
Do you use work as punishment? If so why?
How it was always explained to me..
When HorseA does something annoying to HorseB in the herd, HorseB makes HorseA move their feet. When you make your horse work as a form of punishment, you are controlling their feet and in the horse world, the one controlling the feet is the on In Charge. Now, since we're people and not horses, we have to escalate it a little bit, especially for things that are considered normal behavior amongst horses (like biting). We have to make them work more enthusiastically because little things like that can turn into Big Things and Dangerous Things so we have to be very sure we really get the point across.