When a horse says "NO"!

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When a horse says "NO"!

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    10-22-2009, 02:17 AM
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.
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    10-22-2009, 02:36 AM
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.
    10-22-2009, 08:16 AM
^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!
    10-22-2009, 03:22 PM
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.
    10-22-2009, 05:39 PM
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.
    10-23-2009, 12:59 AM
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.

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