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Your opinion on physical correction

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  • My horse trys to kick me when I touch his flank
  • How to get your message across to horse that acts up

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    04-05-2012, 10:29 AM
  #11
Super Moderator
I use physical correction 'occasionally' but not very often. When I do, it is seldom hitting or striking a horse. It is more often a jerk on a lead-rope, backing a horse up or making the horse move its shoulders away from me. It is meant to instill authority and not fear.

I find hitting to be about the least effective method anyone can use. There is almost always a better way to get the point across. For one thing, slapping or pecking at a horse often makes a situation worse or turns it into a game. In addition, you can get a horse quickly to a point where they duck and dodge every quick hand movement of a handler. I don't want to send a horse that message. You just replace one bad problem with another one.

Additionally, most often when a horse shows this kind of disrespect (or any other disrespect on the ground for that matter), it is only a symptom of a bigger problem. It usually shows up when a horse is lacking over-all respect. The horse is usually pushy or invades a handler's space (uninvited) or is less than responsive when asked to move over when asked.

If you want to be able to verbally correct little things like this, you have to establish a verbal response in your horse. I do this by using the "Ah!" command any time I get after a horse for anything. I can say "Ah!" sharply and a horse will quit wiggling for the farrier, will stop shaking its head when I give a shot, will stop in its tracks when it lays an eat back at another horse I am haltering and will step back when it has just taken a half a step toward me when I didn't ask it to.

My son, my granddaughters (2 and 4), the dog and every horse on the place that is even thinking about doing something it knows it shouldn't, stops in its tracks or backs up when Grandma says "Ah!"
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    04-05-2012, 11:00 AM
  #12
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I use physical correction 'occasionally' but not very often. When I do, it is seldom hitting or striking a horse. It is more often a jerk on a lead-rope, backing a horse up or making the horse move its shoulders away from me. It is meant to instill authority and not fear.

I find hitting to be about the least effective method anyone can use. There is almost always a better way to get the point across. For one thing, slapping or pecking at a horse often makes a situation worse or turns it into a game. In addition, you can get a horse quickly to a point where they duck and dodge every quick hand movement of a handler. I don't want to send a horse that message. You just replace one bad problem with another one.

Additionally, most often when a horse shows this kind of disrespect (or any other disrespect on the ground for that matter), it is only a symptom of a bigger problem. It usually shows up when a horse is lacking over-all respect. The horse is usually pushy or invades a handler's space (uninvited) or is less than responsive when asked to move over when asked.

If you want to be able to verbally correct little things like this, you have to establish a verbal response in your horse. I do this by using the "Ah!" command any time I get after a horse for anything. I can say "Ah!" sharply and a horse will quit wiggling for the farrier, will stop shaking its head when I give a shot, will stop in its tracks when it lays an eat back at another horse I am haltering and will step back when it has just taken a half a step toward me when I didn't ask it to.

My son, my granddaughters (2 and 4), the dog and every horse on the place that is even thinking about doing something it knows it shouldn't, stops in its tracks or backs up when Grandma says "Ah!"

Thanks for the information. Yes I think it is overall disrepect which is why I am going to work on more groundwork with her. Every time that I do I a sensitizing excersise like working with the horse moving off of pressure, I am going to follow it with desensitizing so she isnt fretting and every movement.

Thanks again!
     
    04-05-2012, 11:23 AM
  #13
Foal
Yes indeedy
     
    04-05-2012, 11:30 AM
  #14
Weanling
Physical reprimands should be only a tiny part of training on any horse. It should be brief at the time of the misbehaviour lasting a second or two at most, anything beyond that is just not effective, either because the horse stops respecting the reprimand with an "Is that all you've got?" attitude, or because the horse learns to be afraid of the handler, which borders on abuse in my book.

If you are repeatedly giving sharp physical reprimands for the same offence over and over again, it is time to find a new training strategy. I find that if a physical correction is what was needed, the horse wont make me do it more than twice. If they still don't "get it" after two or three reprimands, I try to find another way to get my point across.
Cherie likes this.
     
    04-05-2012, 11:34 AM
  #15
Weanling
I do, I but im going to add a bit to this. I have a 2 year old that tryes to bit when she don't get what she wants. I try to make her hit herself when she bits. (i don't go off and hit her. I try to make her run into getting hit then she thinks its her fault and stops not that im just beating her)
     
    04-05-2012, 12:04 PM
  #16
Green Broke
I do, but it depends on the horse. With Dude, I didn't so much because he got worse after the correction so I used jerks on the lead, etc. With Lucky, you could tell she thought a jerk of the lead was a joke, so I'd jab her with my thumb to get her out of my space and I smacked her nose if she tried to bite. She'd get a rub down after to make sure she knew it was her action and not my hands. If she kicked when I was lunging, I'd whack her with the whip until she stopped kicking at me (worked like a charm). Different horses work best with different types of correction. Dude listened best with mild correction (where I used mostly verbal corrections), where Lucky did best with more firm correction (smacks, jabs, or a nice whack from whatever was in my hand).
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    04-05-2012, 06:28 PM
  #17
Weanling
I will most definitely punish my horse physically if I feel the situation warrants it.

As some others have stated, physical reprimands are appropriate only in certain situations. For instance, I had a gelding once that kicked when I touched too near his man parts. Any horse I have will 100% be expected to stand quiet when I touch their body, no matter the area. I responded to his kick with a growl, a loud NO, and nice hard whack on the ass. He never kicked at me again.

If I ever need to hit my horse, I make sure I match his intensity and bring it up just one more notch. Additionally, a slap a human would consider painful is, at best, a powerful sneeze to a full-grown horse, so make sure you are getting your message across. Don't be afraid to put a little oomph into it. Don't reprimand for any longer than 3 seconds, and it has to happen immediately following the infraction, or you're wasting your time.

And then, later, remind your horse that you love them even if they are prone to moments of idiocy.
     
    04-05-2012, 06:51 PM
  #18
Showing
I got my gelding as a basically unhandled two-year-old stud colt. He had zero ground manners, didn't know how to lead, and was a biter. He also hadn't had his feet handled in at least six months, probably closer to a year. He was 15hh and a solid 1200lbs when I got him. The only correction that worked with him was a physical one.

I was leading him down the road one day and, completely out of nowhere, he latched onto my forearm with his teeth. I don't know about you, but my first reaction was a strong one. There was no "ah" and make him move away. He got my fist connected with his jaw. It was pure reaction. Tell you what, though. He has NEVER bitten me again. If he even acts like he's going to lip me, all I have to do is look at him and say "Really?" Just my tone of voice tells him he's going into forbidden territory and he stops.

He still isn't great about having his feet handled. He will fight me for a few seconds when I first pick them up before he realizes that he's not going to win and gives up. However, he is much more fussy about his back feet and will actually try to kick me. He is now a 16.1hh 1500lbs draft cross with A LOT of power in his hind end. If he kicks, it hurts (trust me...I've been clipped by him before trying to pick his feet). If he just tries to pull his foot away, he gets a slap on the flank and a "Stop being a d*ck!" If he actually tries to kick me, he gets a good solid punch to the flank and then he gets to move his feet until he's decided to cooperate (usually just end up yielding his hindquarters for a while). Like arrowsaway said: You have to match their intensity and bring it up a notch.

This doesn't mean that I'm constantly hitting my horse. He only gets corrected like that when he's committing one of the cardinal sins (biting, kicking, or trying to run me over). Usually just a "Quit it!" and moving his feet works.
     
    04-05-2012, 07:13 PM
  #19
Started
I try not to, but sometimes it is necessary.

My gelding, a sweet and loving but mouthy horse, bit me one time, so I turned around and bit him back as hard as I could. It sounds gross to most people, but he most definitely doesn't bite anymore.
     
    04-05-2012, 09:54 PM
  #20
Trained
My horse recently tried to add swining his head at me in the corss ties to his back of tricks. You bet I popped him right back. He hasn't tried it since. Correction always has it's place in traning.
     

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