When a horse says "NO"! - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 775
• Horses: 3
When a horse says "NO"!

I have a problem with heights (really).
I like to tell myself that this is a rational fear.

If I am on the edge of a large precipice and there is no wall,and I have no restraint,then I feel a hollow in my stomach all the way to my toes.
I start to sweat and can not concentrate,I feel that I must fall to the ground and hold on to something solid,BUT I had no problem flying airplanes for many years and it was quite enjoyable. (I found a way around the problem).
People have suggested that it is a control thing and I really don't know.
Just don't ask me to fix the gutters on your house.

When I ask a horse to do something for me,I always think that it is a very reasonable request that can be accomplished "If the horse wants to".

BUT is it?

What if the horse has what he feels is a very rational fear?

If a horse says NO there is always a reason.
What is the reason?

So my question is, What if the horse just can't process the request.

Is that disobedience?
Is "NO" disobedience?

That is the handler job to figure out.

Please tell me what you think about "NO" and horses.
Marecare is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 02:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 24
That is one point where I do have to agree with Parelli. If the horse says "NO", then you either asked the wrong question or asked the question wrong.

Of course a horse feels rational fear, many times at things that we mere humans could never understand as scary. It is the riders job to interpret that "NO" as either a "No, I just don't want to" or a "No, there is something wrong here, I'm scared".

Either way, it is the horseman's job to figure out how to deal with it. They have to work with the horse and find a way to get the job done regardless. The horse must learn trust and respect in the rider and when that is established, they will not be willing to challenge the rider's authority but they will be willing to enter a place they are afraid of because they trust that the rider would not allow them to be hurt.

I have found that with a scared horse, "Yes, you will" does not work but "Come on, yes you can" does.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
smrobs is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In Denial...
Posts: 1,679
• Horses: 1
^I agree completely! If the horse is saying no out of fear, it is definitely best to take the gentle/firm encouragement route than the "you'll do it or else" route. The rider/trainer must be able to discern a fearful horse from a grumpy horse, or an ingnorant horse, and able to change their question accordingly.

Very well put, smrobs!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
Scoutrider is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1,284
• Horses: 4
Very well put smrobs.

We go through this with a lot of the horse's we try to load in our hauling business. The bratty "I don't wanna" ones are handled differently from the "OMG is this thing really safe" ones.

You might turn up the heat a bit with the "I don't wanna ones", but with the scared ones, they need to progress on their time schedule.
G and K's Mom is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,324
• Horses: 0
The worst thing you can do with a scared horse is make them go toward the scary thing. Even in a gentle way. To the horse, a "little positive encouragement" is A TON of pressure when they are scared. To the horse, that thing is dangerous, even if we know it's not.....but horses and humans don't think alike, so it's our job to put ourselves in their place and to understand why they are afraid and to do what it takes to make them confident.

For a snotty attitude "No" the worst thing you can do is try to MAKE them do it. You will just end up with a fight on your hands, and you won't win, plus it does nothing for the relationship. No horse can respect someone who MAKES him do anything, you have to get the horse to WANT TO.....that's the key.
Spirithorse is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 10-23-2009, 12:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southern Idaho
Posts: 46
• Horses: 0
If a horse refuses to do something it has never done before, I don't consider it to have said "no". I think it is saying something like "I need a little help here" and I am very willing to work it through it. I think that is called training!

If a horse refuses to do something that it has been trained to do and has done it multiple times- then it might be saying "no". Then I'll put some pressure on it to get it to comply. I think that is also called training.

I often see this kind of thing with my horses. They do something well for awhile and then they ask "Do I really have to do this?" And I tell them "Yes you do!" by putting some pressure on them until they do.

I think it is counter productive to put a lot of pressure on them when they don't know for sure what it is that they did wrong.

Last edited by Rod; 10-23-2009 at 01:01 AM.
Rod is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are trail rides "fun" or "work" for your horse? riccil0ve Horse Training 41 10-17-2009 07:28 PM
Clinton Anderson videos: "Gaining Respect & Control 1-2-3" and "Leads & Lead Changes" Velvetgrace Tack and Equipment Classifieds 5 09-18-2009 06:54 PM
Definitions of "Green" "Started" "Broke" etc... Horse Hippie Horse Training 12 08-31-2009 03:00 PM
Horse has a lot of "GO!!" and not a lot of "whoa" Whiskey Lullaby Horse Riding 15 02-26-2009 06:09 PM
16.5" "The Liberty" DK MonoFlap Jumping Saddle - CUSTOM TO FIT ANY HORSE! EhLysa Tack and Equipment Classifieds 0 11-01-2008 07:47 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome