Help! Is it ever okay to smack them on the rear?
My first reaction is no. I don't want to smack him it would break our bond and I am sure there is a gentler way. I am finding no way around it.
I am a pretty green rider so I purchased a horse that said kid safe in huge letters with no vices. I rode him at the place I purchased him and he tested me a little bit but did what I asked.
When I got him home he was good the first day but as he started to feel me out he realized I was not an aggressive rider. When I messaged the trainer who previously owned him he said I have to get somewhat physical with him while he is testing me. I didn't want to naturally but he is putting me in dangerous situations.
He rears up when he can get his head up. Which I have gotten to almost go away just by fixing my riding errors.
He takes me into corners and does not turn for anything.
He drags me through trees.
Does not respond to gentle pressure whatsoever.
I do groundwork and love on him. But in the saddle he listens for about 10-45 minutes, depending on the day, then tries to go back to the barn. I have had him for a month and I have worked with him every single day and he always comes right to me from the start.
But when I am cornered and he refuses to move in any direction at all. And rears if I try to turn him out and doesn't move when I kick him.
Is it okay to smack him on the rear to get out of there.
That one statement is where all your problems lie. A good relationship with a horse does not come from love and hugs and rainbow farts. It comes from mutual respect and good leadership. And yep, sometimes earning that respect from an animal a whole heck of a lot bigger and stronger than we are can get a little ugly at times.
I do not condone beating a horse, but I will gladly give my horse a wallop if they deserve it. If I give my horse a light cue (an "ask") to move forward and he doesn't respond I will escalate to a slightly firmer cue (a "tell"). If he still chooses to ignore than you bet he's getting a smack on the rear (a "demand").
The problem you have got yourself in to is that you have let your horse take on the leadership role. Being inexperienced, you are not going to get that back from him without somebody more knowledgeable there with you to show you how.
Yesterday I got what I wanted but I just wasn't sure if it was okay.
Is there anything else I should know? I am not afraid to try anything I have to. I know allowing him to get his way for a couple days can make him think he is in charge but I never gave up until I got what I wanted even if that meant getting off and walking him a couple times. I just want to make sure I do everything correctly.
I agree with HowClever. A good bond has the foundation of respect. Your horse has learned to be the alpha and has picked up some very bad and dangerous (rearing) habits. My first TB (2nd horse) used to have a rearing problem when I first bought him, but rearing is probably the biggest thing that should not be tolerated. I can live with bucking and crow hopping, but rearing is pretty serious.
My current mount has a lot of respect for me, but a horse I take care of will test you over and over. I worked on the ground for months with that horse, and just finally rode him for the first time the other day. He has some bad habits, including crow hopping when he doesn't want to listen, being a nasty spooker, and pulls on the bit when you apply any type of pressure to it to halt. We will be needing to work on these issues and if he does not show quick progression in terms of respect, I will not hesitate to carry a crop during our rides. The rider should not be the horse's dummy to push around and toy with. It sounds like at this point you need to find a good trainer so you and your horse can learn to work together.
I don't agree about the bucking however. He is not rearing to try to get me off of him and never shows serious aggression (like get off of me) it is me applying pressure one direction and him applying in another resulting in him moving up. The first problem was me allowing him to break out and pull his head up. I have gotten him to keep his head down to a point where he can not rear if he tried. And we have done some serious ground work that is focused on giving to the bit and that helps a lot.
HowClever hit it dead on. Horses are not pets. Loving on them is for our benefit only. Some may like attention but we mistake it as affection.
As long as there is a reason, ask-tell-demand with a smack, there is nothing wrong. If you smack for no reason or smack to start with, that is where you lose your bond or trust with the horse.
You are not going to hurt the horse anywhere close to what another horse would with a kick. The do have good feeling in their skin where they can feel a fly land on them. However, they can also take a solid kick from another horse and hardly flinch from it.
Hitting the horse when you're angry or frustrated is not good. Frustration begins where knowledge ends. If you're getting frustrated, take a step back, try something simpler or get some help. No one knows everything and we all need help at some point. There's nothing wrong with asking for help.
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If he rears, you being a green rider, I would wait for him to come back down and jump off and open a can of whoop a$$. That is NEVER okay. That's a good way to get yourself killed. When I say kick his ass, I mean get the end of your reins or a dressage whip, or crop, something, and chase him sideways with it. Backwards. Lunge him. Make him move until he realizes that holy crap, Mom means business. You would rather that then a horse who escalated to being flipped over backwards. Whether it's your error or not, he should NEVER even think about rearing.
Sure I may sound harsh, but the horse needs to respect you on ground and under saddle. Have you looked up Clinton Anderson? That would be a pretty good idea of what I am saying, and he can explain it a little better than I can.
Just remember, not everything is gentle but not everything is harsh either. Always ask with steady, gently pressure, and follow through with a harsher approach. He'll start reacting to the soft pressure pretty quick.
I really suggest finding a trainer to show you how to do these things...It will make all the difference.
For now, here's some videos from CA. The groundwork is pretty much all the same here, and you can see various disrespect issues that it can solve.
This one, you can see how aggressive this guy was getting for a minute there. Do NOT be afraid to do that if you feel you are in danger. Make them think if you get hurt, their lives may end too.
I remember once my mare Selena struck out at me with her front leg. Never have I seen the "Oh ****" look come into her eyes when she realized I was not having any of that. We ran backwards, and I don't mean a sissy backup, I mean she was flying mach 20 away from me before I even took a step because she just knew she did wrong. I'll tell you though, she hasn't even thought about it since.
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