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Why force??

This is a discussion on Why force?? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        07-18-2009, 11:41 PM
      #111
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents    
    Ever heard of domestication? Horses natural born fear of humans has almost entirely been bred out. Wolves are naturally scared of humans, but dogs aren't. Wild horses/prey animal are scared of humans, domestic horses aren't.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sillysally    
    I don't know if I agree entirely with this. Yes, horses and dogs have been selectively bred over thousands of years to work and live with humans, but that does not mean that they lack natural fear of them. If that were the case then there would be no need for imprinting foals or habituating them to human handling. Dogs can face some definite issues later in live if not properly socialized as pups--fear issues are actually a major cause of aggression in dogs.
    I agree with both these posts up to a point. However, imprinting is necessary for all young of every species. Even humans. Have you ever met a human child who was terrified of everyone because they had no socialization growing up? Almost every animal can be domesticated to a point, even wild animals like tigers, cougars, and wolves. However, dogs, cats, and domesticated horses have been bred to be more open to socialization with humans, not to be unafraid of them. Their fight or flight reflexes have been muted after years of selective breeding and constant exposure to humans.
         
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        07-19-2009, 02:29 AM
      #112
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    Horses can bite and kick each other because they are prey animals too. There is no innate fear. Horses are born not trusting people b/c humans are predators....we look, smell, walk, and act like predators. We walk upright, have eyes on the front of our heads (where prey animals have them on the side of their head), we smell like meat and we are direct lined thinkers where horses are not. We act aggressive and we also sound like one, too. A simple "Quit!" sounds like a growl to a horse. So everything that comes naturally to us makes it clear to a horse that we are indeed a predator who can never be fully trusted.

    So a prey animal can bite another prey animal and have it be okay b/c they are the same species and there is no instinct of fear. But when a predator smacks a prey animal (usually with a negative emotion or a "growl") it does not do much good for the relationship and in some cases will make the horse fearful. Some horses will stop the behavior, not because they have "learned their lesson" but because they just go introverted and tune everything out. A lot of times this is very subtle and it appears the horse is being "obedient" when really he's just shut down to some degree.
    Look, horses bite and kick each other because they are HORSES! THAT is the way they relate to each other. That is what THEY understand. They also have to learn what is and is not a REAL threat and will treat everything unfamiliar to them as a POTENTIAL threat until they determine one way or the other. Horses who are unfamiliar with sheep will treat this fellow "prey animal" as if it were a predator because they don't know that it isn't. Once a horse becomes familiar with sheep, it will not view it as a potential predator, but it won't view it as a fellow prey animal either - it will view it as a sheep! A sheep will behave like a sheep and all other sheep the horse encounters that smell and behave like a sheep will be identified as a sheep. He won't take each and every sheep thereafter as a potential threat each and every time he encounters one. And as for smelling like meat, I've seen horses eat hot dogs, lunch meat, even a hamburger. What makes you think they know what meat smells like or even what meat is? Let's not make things any more complicated than they have to be - horses are horses. They act like horses. They behave like horses. And if you understand HORSES, then it doesn't matter what YOU are. They will NEVER treat you like a predator unless YOU BEHAVE LIKE ONE! I seriously doubt that horses stand around worrying whether or not the next human they meet is the one that is going to eat them! They have never seen a human leap on a fellow herd mate and rip him to shreds. I think horses view us the way the view us and no one really knows what that is. I don't think they see us as predators...I think they see us as something they have to deal with, because in that regard, they don't have a choice and that's about it.
         
        07-19-2009, 04:46 AM
      #113
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RiosDad    
    So I carefully pick my boy, no mares , boys only but I hobble them the first time I see them. It is part of my selection process and if the horse fights the hobbles he is not the right temperment for me. I also blind fold right off the bat to see if they fight that too.
    Why waste time on something that will fight/panic. Sure it is nice to have pets but to get a real working horse, one you keep for 20 years make your selection carefully and reject anything that doesn't match your idea of a perfect horse.
    99% of the time, horses will fight. It's in their nature. When they are trapped, they recognise that they become more vulnerable to predators, so they fight to escape. Using hobbles is not part of natural horsemanship. I don't agree with it, and I don't believe it is necessary.
    As for perfect, no horse is perfect. They're all different. They're good at different things, and as they age, or their experiences change, those things change. The horse you thought was perfect may change, and then they may no longer be your perfect horse.
    And Natural Horsemanship does not make 'pets' out of horses. It is teaching the horse to respect your space and you as their leader. Do it right and your horse won't just 'work' for all, they'll give their all for you.
         
        07-19-2009, 04:52 AM
      #114
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Horse Poor    
    Look, horses bite and kick each other because they are HORSES! THAT is the way they relate to each other. That is what THEY understand. They also have to learn what is and is not a REAL threat and will treat everything unfamiliar to them as a POTENTIAL threat until they determine one way or the other. Horses who are unfamiliar with sheep will treat this fellow "prey animal" as if it were a predator because they don't know that it isn't. Once a horse becomes familiar with sheep, it will not view it as a potential predator, but it won't view it as a fellow prey animal either - it will view it as a sheep! A sheep will behave like a sheep and all other sheep the horse encounters that smell and behave like a sheep will be identified as a sheep. He won't take each and every sheep thereafter as a potential threat each and every time he encounters one. And as for smelling like meat, I've seen horses eat hot dogs, lunch meat, even a hamburger. What makes you think they know what meat smells like or even what meat is? Let's not make things any more complicated than they have to be - horses are horses. They act like horses. They behave like horses. And if you understand HORSES, then it doesn't matter what YOU are. They will NEVER treat you like a predator unless YOU BEHAVE LIKE ONE! I seriously doubt that horses stand around worrying whether or not the next human they meet is the one that is going to eat them! They have never seen a human leap on a fellow herd mate and rip him to shreds. I think horses view us the way the view us and no one really knows what that is. I don't think they see us as predators...I think they see us as something they have to deal with, because in that regard, they don't have a choice and that's about it.
    I generally agree with what you are saying,but feel that I must expand on it a bit.
    Horses and survivors and adapt and react to the environment that they are in to a large degree.

    If I place a young filly into a field that is too small, with three half wild geldings,then I will have a different horse from the filly that I put in with three mellow,older mares that are in a much larger field.

    If I place a herd of geldings in a small pasture that is over crowded and under feed the group,then I am placing stress on the group and the herd reacts to the environment that they are in.

    If I place a really bad herd boss in with a group and the boss is nervous and a bully,then that effects the whole group.

    If I take a horse that has been housed in a 12x12 stall their whole life and throw them out into a herd,then the disorientation of the horse can make all the other horses nervous and change the overall environment.

    There are herds that kick and bite and use force all the time.
    There are herds that are managed a little better and are VERY peaceful.
    Force is not necessary because they have what they need.
    The animals need for force can be environmental.

    Just like human society.
         
        07-19-2009, 07:04 AM
      #115
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Misfit    
    The way I see it, in order to train, we need to relate to horses in a manner they understand.

    Watch a herd of horses. Horse gets too close, first they get a warning. Second they get nailed with a hoof.

    Horses communicate through body language. Body language that involves the occasional wollop with a foot, or a bite, when deserved.

    Relating that to people, when the horse crosses 'the line' a good, hard smack is going to get the message across in a way that's natural for THEM. Our smack is the equivalent of getting kicked by an alpha horse for being an idiot, only our smacks are a LOT lighter (due to the fact that we are much smaller).

    Another thing that drives me absolutely bonkers are people who advertise 'force free training'. All training has a little bit of force, a push or pull that influences the horse. The factor is how MUCH force. Good training gives the horse a choice. The trick is making the good thing easy and the bad thing HARD/uncomfortable/not fun. You use as little pressure as possible, but as much as necessary.

    For example, you ask horse to trot. Horse has a choice. He can canter, and have a relieve from the pressure (via a relaxing of the leg and seat aids), or he can keep trotting and deal with an increase in the leg/seat aids (via stronger aids, and a crop). The horse could have avoided the stronger aids, but didn't, and had to learn why it WASN'T a good idea to ignore the leg.

    Crops and spurs are merely supplements of the leg aids. They allow us to give stronger aids when necessary. Nothing evil about it.

    Finally, could you explain how hitting a horse ruined a horse? I really don't understand.

    Just to add why uneducated people will hold onto a horse and belt it its in our nature.

    Think of 2 little boys playing wrestling one boy holds the other down and makes him say uncle . Like an alpha male wolf will pin his rival to the ground until he lays belly up in a submissive stance, humans define who is boss by holding the other still and making them submit.

    Where as horses move each other forward eg the alpha horse will move the other horses out of their way.
    Which is where so many people go wrong to be the boss aka alpha horse you need to move them forward not hold them still.
         
        07-19-2009, 07:20 AM
      #116
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darkwillow    
    . Using hobbles is not part of natural horsemanship. I don't agree with it, and I don't believe it is necessary.
    Why can't NH use hobbles?? I don't cross tie, I just slip a pair of hobbles on leaving the head free for grooming and no cross ties to deal with. My horse is comfortable wearing front hobbles, back hobbles or both as well as wearing a single cuff on one hind leg.
    Teaching hobbling takes about 10 minutes a day for 3 days and then there is no fight whatever.
    If you teach your horse to tie and I sure hope you do then hobbling is no worse.
    If you have never taught hobbling then maybe you should try it before condemning it.
    In my saddle bag is always a pair of hobbles and if I pick a place to take a rest my guy can be hobbled, the bridle slipped and he can graze.
    He certainly isn't bothered by having a pair of hobbles put on and turned out to graze.
         
        07-19-2009, 07:23 AM
      #117
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents    
    Ever heard of domestication? Horses natural born fear of humans has almost entirely been bred out. Wolves are naturally scared of humans, but dogs aren't. Wild horses/prey animal are scared of humans, domestic horses aren't.
    I agree with you some what . I just don't think your looking at all the facts..
    however a difference between domestication & trust

    Horses are a prey species and as such it is their nature to run first and ask questions later.

    Like most species, horses aren't born with fear. It is possible to introduce and assimilate a great many stimuli at birth so the foal won't react with fear when he gets older. This is the basis of much of Dr. Robert Miller's technique of imprinting.

    It only takes 1 person to imprint fear of humans into a horse and that horse will then fear and not trust humans. . Even if you are still able to ride they will not trust your judgment and will be very jumpy .

    That's where natural horsemanship comes in to earn the horses trust by speaking to them in a language they will understand .
         
        07-19-2009, 07:28 AM
      #118
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darkwillow    
    99% of the time, horses will fight. .

    Whenever I pick a new horse and I hope it is not often right off the bat I ask the person if I may fabricate a quick set of hobbles and put them on the prospect. I have a safe way of doing this and can quickly let go if the horse explodes freeing him. From this I can tell how he reacts to being restraint. I shake of the leg is fine, a sudden blow up is not. I would walk away from any horse that brew up but not one that just shakes the trapped leg.
    I will not take a family pet, one that has been over handled young. I prefer half wild 3 or 4 year olds with almost no handling, certainly no attempt at breaking. A half wild animal will break faster and more thorough then the spoiled family pet.
    I had one that was almost a wild mustang and he broke so thorough in 30 days you could ride him without a bride and he followed you around like a dog. A gorgous animal that died prematurely

    This guy never felt a brush , didn't know what an apple was, any treat whatever. Totally wild and unspoiled. Ready to mold into anything I wanted.
         
        07-19-2009, 07:53 AM
      #119
    Started
    RiosDad:

    I think that hobble-breaking a horse is an invaluable step in making a really good all around horse. Even if I never use hobbles, the scenario that springs immediately to mind is: what if the horse gets tangled in a fence? A hobble broke horse is a lot more likely to stand quietly and wait for someone to free him, a non-hobble trained horse is a lot more likely to explode and potentially injure himself.

    I don't use hobbles myself, I just don't have the experience with them to feel comfortable running out and buying a set and slapping them on Scout, but I would certainly not be opposed to hobbling him with help.

    I totally get where you're coming from on the differences between a spoiled horse and a wild horse. I've seen absolute clean slates (never a truly wild horse, so...) progress fantastically, and spoiled animals require months of "fixing," the whole while the owner cringing if "baby" needs a comparatively gentle smack to discourage blatant biting or kicking. It takes a whole lot less time to paint a picture than it does to scrape old paint off a canvas first, and you end up with a clearer, nicer picture in the end on a clean canvas.

    I've seen both sides of the spectrum, from the hard-core horse spoilers to the bash-him-with-that-2x4,-he-hasn't-been-whacked-yet-today "trainers." I've seen good trainers using solid, non-abusive techniques and establishing their position as the leader be berated by owners who think that if you touch a horse and you can hear it, you've just emotionally destroyed the horse.

    The error comes when anyone tries to punch a horse into a training mold. When a horse that needs a firmer leader isn't given it, you get a spoiled brat who can't be trusted. When a meek, nervous horse is beaten for no reason and not given a leader he can trust, you get a basket case that you still can't trust. All training, all "force," needs to be flexible and applied in accordance with what the horse requires. It takes a true horseman to judiciously apply the right pressure in the right way.

    Your horse is gorgeous, BTW :)
         
        07-19-2009, 09:49 AM
      #120
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scoutrider    
    RiosDad:

    I don't use hobbles myself, I just don't have the experience with them to feel comfortable running out and buying a set and slapping them on Scout, but I would certainly not be opposed to hobbling him with help.

    Your horse is gorgeous, BTW :)
    Run a post asking HOW TO BREAK A HORSE TO WEAR HOBBLES and I will gladly go through the simple process. It is really easy and 2 novices can teach it. It just takes know how which I am more then willing to share.

    As for the gorgous horse. He is dead. He reacted to his needles for the herd plan and died.

    For those that have never caught a wire you are very lucky if the horse made it ok. I have seen total wrecks with the skin peeled off like taking off a long sock.. All ALL my guys learn to stand right off the bat.
         

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