Is it wrong to give your horse a pat? - Page 3

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Is it wrong to give your horse a pat?

This is a discussion on Is it wrong to give your horse a pat? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Pat your horse
  • Looking for the right horse for me, what am i doing wrong

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    03-18-2013, 11:25 PM
Hi, haven't read any responses, so I'm sure to repeat what others have said...
Originally Posted by xlionesss    
My question is: is it wrong or frowned upon to give your horse pats?
Depends what you're doing it for & what the horse thinks of it IMO. Eg. Many people slap(pat) their horse as a reward for something, but how many horses actually like it?? I'm sure some probably do, but most at best tend to just tolerate it IME. An actual positive reinforcement needs to be something the horse actually desires, which is usually not a pat/slap IME.

BUT if the pat is associated/paired with an actual reinforcer, it can come to have meaning to the horse. Just like our words, it is essentially meaningless to the horse... assuming it's not actually unpleasant... but they learn to associate signs with actions, so learn our intent.

....Which brings me to another reason you may want to pat your horse. Because people do & it's a good idea to desensitise your horse to that sort of thing.... not least because if someone comes & pats him, you don't want him jumping through the roof!

I have not hired her as a trainer, she just seems to hover while others are working with their horses, also does it to a new boarder and we just cannot stand it anymore. New boarder has no problem telling her to mind her business, but I don't have guts, especially the guts to tell an /elder/(in essence) how I feel. I try not to be rude.
Hmm, those types have me feeling like they need a good poke in the eye! Regardless of how good & valid her information might be, it is she who is being rude in pushing it down your throat. It may be that your responses have encouraged her, but I would be letting her know that you appreciate here helpfulness & her knowledge, but you'd really like to do your own thing... with your own horse. Or perhaps you could take the other tack of thanking her for showing you her approach on your horse & telling her you'd like to return the favour & show her how you do things on her horse Or if you can't bring yourself to, perhaps you could ask the BO or the other person to remind her to... be as respectful of others as she attempts to be with horses??
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    03-18-2013, 11:34 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by bsms    
You could try telling her the folks on said pats were fine, but not whacks, and you think you are a patter, not a whacker. You could also suggest she log on and read this thread:

Pat or Clint

^^^ LOL! Perfect!
Like smrobs said, horses know the intention behind it.
I have a horse that actually likes whacking, he will stick his top lip out like you were scratching an itchy spot :)
    03-18-2013, 11:35 PM
OK, couldn't help myself, read the whole thread despite too much else to do...

Originally Posted by bsms    
You could also suggest she log on and read this thread:
...or just THIS thread
Muppetgirl likes this.
    03-18-2013, 11:36 PM
Or. Every time she comes to tell you all about what you should be doing with your horse take the opportunity to tell her all about the time you were abducted by aliens. Tell her how they took you to their planet, tell her all about the cool stuff they have taught you and that they come and pick you up and fly you around every Thursday night. She should start thinking you are a nutter and that it might be better to just leave you alone. If that doesn’t work, invite hr back to your house to have a look at your knife collection.
    03-18-2013, 11:37 PM
I don't think it is wrong to pat your horse, I do it all the time. And if they don't enjoy it they would let me know. :)
Get up and go likes this.
    03-18-2013, 11:39 PM
LOL, Anrew
EvilHorseOfDoom and Dustbunny like this.
    03-19-2013, 08:14 AM
Anrew, I just MIGHT try that. I can definitely manage that as opposed to telling her to buzz off! I really don't mind if people think I'm crazy, mostly because BO knows I'm not an that's all that matters LOL
    03-19-2013, 09:07 AM
I wouldn't have any problem telling someone to buzz off if they were interrupting my pony therapy. Seriously, I go out to relax and get some good sweet pats, rubs, squeeze whatever part of her body I can wrap my arms around. I don't think my mare would meet me at the gate if she thought I was a holy terror.

Think of this as a personal growing exercise for later in life. There will be plenty of people you will have to tell to "Mind your own business", and just think of this as practice!
BridlesandBowties likes this.
    03-19-2013, 09:17 AM
I pat my horses everywhere. Even if it did mean "go away," I would teach them that when I pat them, it means I'm praising them or loving on them. I have other techniques for getting them out of my space.
    03-19-2013, 09:43 AM
Originally Posted by xlionesss    
Yeah, my bratty appy would definitely tell me if he wasn't enjoying it lol

I don't know where she gets any of her stuff. She "taught" me how to bridle my horse yesterday by holding a treat in her hand to get him to "accept" the bit. He doesn't have problems accepting a bit until a stranger comes up and tries it. Then it takes maybe 3 minutes.
I don't want my horse to assume every time he gets bridled, he'll be treated for it. For Gods sake, he's 15 years old.
I've had people try to tell me what I do wrong.
Example: the best trainer I've had so far, one day she overstepped her boundaries with my horse. We were doing lunge work for balance and she had my horse stop and explained stuff to me, and all he did was turn his head to her and sniff her, his was of asking "did I do a good job?" And she hit his jaw and flapped the lungeline at him! "THIS IS UNEXCEPTABLE! HE NEEDS TO RESPECT YOUR SPACE!" And I just sat there like oh my god lady. My horse is by far the best respecter of space, and if you get after him for something as simple as that, he doesn't want to be caught in the pasture the next day. I should of took him away from her, showed her if you wiggled the line he would back up. Smh. She never even guessed his training was based on natural horsemanship, but of course her way is right!

I would tell her to back off if I were you. Follow your own horse trainer. It doesn't sound like your horse is a crazed, dangerous animal because of you. Sounds like he is mannered, so she has no right to give input.

Nosy, nosy people

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