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Handling Situation When Horses Strike

This is a discussion on Handling Situation When Horses Strike within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        08-30-2013, 11:48 AM
    I also agree with Corporal about striking towards people is a very aggressive behaviour. I can fathom that horses striking toward each other may be considered normal. But striking toward a person, is unacceptable (given this situation).

    If my horse were to bite or act aggressive to someone and I didn't respond fast enough - I would have no issue of that person correcting my horse, so long as they used the 3 second rule. He would have deserved it.
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        08-30-2013, 12:10 PM
    Green Broke
    Are you sure he was deliberately striking at you or were you in range of their greeting? Striking is a very typical reaction to meeting others and you should have been as far away as possible while holding the lead.

    Personally I wouldn't have corrected the other horses behavior after the fact, that's the owners job. Now if you were in immediate danger in the present moment I would have no problem with a defensive reaction. No doubt this horse needed a come to Jesus moment if he was truly striking at you but its not you place to give it to him. If a stranger did that to my horse that stranger would likely receive their own come to Jesus moment.
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        08-30-2013, 12:24 PM
    Green Broke
    Squealing and striking when horses meet seems pretty typical in my neck of the woods. It seems like mares always do that and geldings maybe 50% of the time. The only thing is that you (and I presume) the other handler were in a dangerous location at the time of the meeting. But whenever horses meet I sort of expect a squeal/strike, especially if either horse is a mare. I have never met a mare that didn't do that. Never get between meeting horses, that's for sure. I am usually on their backs when I experience the whole meeting thing and the other horse is usually also under saddle or on the other side of a fence.

    I guess what I am saying is, while dangerous for the handlers, I don't think it is an aggressive move on the horse's part. I worry much more about kicking. They usually do the squeal/strike once and are fine after that. Unless they are then separated and brought back together, then it may happen again!
        09-22-2013, 09:06 PM
    Super Moderator
    It is a basic part of being well-mannered for a horse to NOT squeal, strike out, turn and kick, etc when handlers are present. When horses are loose, they are on their time. When I am around, they are on my time and better demonstrate good manners at all times.

    If it had been me, I first would have positioned myself to one side and not directly in front of either horse. Then, when it squealed, I would have yelled loudly at the horse and aggressively stepped toward it and waved an arm in its face -- regardless of what the other handler did. As a matter of fact, I will frequently say a firm "Ah!" when someone approaches with a strange horse, either ridden or led. It will put most horses unknown to you in a more inquisitive mode and less aggressive one. It will serve to do the same for my horse. If you do this, almost any horse with ears back or half-back will bring their ears forward and look at you in a much more cautious way. They will not just wade in and act aggressively like you are not there. I can put almost any horse on notice that they should tread lightly and be cautious when they approach me.
    smrobs and Cherrij like this.
        09-22-2013, 11:06 PM
    Well said, Cherie. This same horse attacked his pasture mate (mare owned by the same person) when previously they had been "fine" together.
    He continued to try and attack this mare even when handlers came in to remove the mare as they were fearing for her safety. That probably says alot about the amount of respect he has for humans.
    smrobs likes this.

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