Well, ST's been buddy sour since I brought her out of pasture 3 months ago. I think I dealt with it appropriately (unless she's working, she's paying attention to other horses) and forced her into leaving if we needed to walk somewhere. If she couldn't walk away (I understand a little persuasion, but having to whack her behind is more than I accept), we wouldn't go back to her buddies at all. During some of the shows at fair last week she didn't want to walk to the gate (she's learning to run games, we're cantering between barrels and trotting around them) and I constantly told hollered to "get up there!" and smack her butt. It worked with no fussing when she realised I meant business, so I didn't worry too much about it. Every show I gave her one chance to stand with her buddies, but if she wouldn't go then we either walked circles around our group or stood on the other side of the paddock.
So..not really asking what to do about it, but I just wanted to hear a few other techniques on how you guys deal with it. :p
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First & foremost teach the horse that I'm a Good Thing to hang out with, and that I'm a trustworthy & fair leader. Once the horse wants to play with you & trusts that they're safe with you away from their 'herd', there shouldn't be a problem.
If/when I feel the need to discipline a horse, while I very rarely feel strong punishment is necessary or desirable, I do think it's necessary to do what it takes. Eg. if you try to 'persuade' and she says no, I would indeed 'up the ante' & persist until I got the behaviour.
Also whether you're punishing or rewarding, horses learn from *instant* association so you need to mete the consequences *at the time of* or at worst, within a couple of seconds of the behaviour for them to understand.
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