smacking a horse

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smacking a horse

This is a discussion on smacking a horse within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
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    06-23-2009, 07:10 PM
Exclamation smacking a horse

Hey everyone!
I`m a big fan of natural horsemanship, and try to use it with every opportunity. However I`m always surrounded by a bunch of semi-traditional cowboys.
Mostly, they`re all pretty good at not forcing the horses, but sometimes I've witnessed a loss of temper.

Either way, the only 2 situation I have ever smacked a horse partially because I didnt know waht else to do, and I`ve been thinking about it lots and maybe you guys can help:

One was when I was trying to pick out hooves, the horse kept kicking out hard and I kept sayin quit sternly, and making them move over, until the 3rd time I said quit and gave a smack on the hindquarter (but not hard)

The other one was when a horse tried to bite me, and I made them back up out of my space, the horse then bit me in the neck so I smacked him in the shoulder. This particular horse was biting out of dominance, not fear.

How could I have better handle these situations, I can't ask anyone I know because they smack their horses for not standing still when mounting, and refusing to go somewhere (which I would never do! Ever ever! I`m extremely patient with horses)
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    06-23-2009, 07:16 PM
Smacking does not mean you lose your temper. IMHO it is a legitamite training tool. You don't see horses in the pasture saying "please move out of my space or I'll make you back up" No, they kick their a$$

Obviously hitting is not always the answer, but it isn't bad
    06-23-2009, 07:22 PM
You really can't hurt a horse if you smack it on its shoulder, chest, rump, ect. A horse will kick or bite another horse a lot harder than you could ever slap it. I don't believe in slapping a horse around the head though. I've seen too many head shy horses. If a young horse has a nipping habit you could try flicking them on the nose and saying, "no" firmly but I don't believe in hitting their head.

I worked with one two-year old that was a brat. She would ram into you, bite and be overall very pushy. She had never been taught different and being a draft it was getting pretty dangerous. When she tried to shove me, I gave her a slap on her shoulder or chest and said "NO!" When she bit she got the same thing. Its not even so much a punishment as training them that when they do something bad they get a consistant undesirable result.
    06-23-2009, 07:32 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents    
Smacking does not mean you lose your temper. IMHO it is a legitamite training tool. You don't see horses in the pasture saying "please move out of my space or I'll make you back up" No, they kick their a$$

Obviously hitting is not always the answer, but it isn't bad
Yep, it's not bad at all.
    06-23-2009, 07:35 PM
A smack here and there is about as "natural" as you can get when it comes to horses. If you want to go full natural horsemanship, start biting.
    06-23-2009, 07:35 PM
Green Broke
Or kicking.
    06-23-2009, 08:25 PM
I may get slammed for this but I'm going to tell you a story.
When we got Jazz she was a weanling her fav thing to do was sneak up behind my oldest daughter and bite her. Thumping her nose, telling her no didn't work. So one day she walked up bit her and my daughter turned around and bit her right back..needless to say Jazz never attempted to bite her again. The same went with kicking she loved to cow kick and one day she was trying to bully her way past me while I was getting feed unloaded into the barn she was right up on me and would not budge for love nor money so I proceeded to cow kick her, not hard but enough that it got her attention and she backed off of me and let me go about my business.
We has humans do not have the physical strength to seriously injure a horse with a smack, bite or mild kick they get much worse from their horsey companions but it does teach them that you will be respected just as any dominant member of the herd. I know there are those that will take that to extremes and that is wrong,
    06-23-2009, 08:30 PM
Lol close2perfect. My grandfather is the nicest, most laid back guy around. He had a favorite horse that bit everyone but him, but he refused to believe it. One day the horse made the mistake of biting him. He turned around and bit the horse right on the nose! Worked like a charm, the horse never bit again!
    06-23-2009, 08:32 PM
Green Broke
My Grandpa did that to a biter too once! It worked. Horse never again attempted to bite anyone.
    06-23-2009, 09:32 PM
I agree with everyone else...smacking is the human kick. Believe me, if a horse ever really tried to bite me, it would get a quick smack on the rump AND I would run it off, just like a lead horse would.
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