I think hitting a horse is wrong. I've never had to hit a horse, and when I did hit a horse because others told me to, it ruined the horse. Is it just me who thinks this?? People use natural horsemanship and force in the same sentence, but natural horsemanship is about NOT using force to train a horse.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is weird??:?
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.
Unless someone is continuously hitting the horse for no reason then I don't think it's wrong. Maybe it ruined you because you didn't think it was right?. Horses in the wild are on the pecking order and are use to being kicked and bitten. One little slap from a human for doing something wrong won't traumatize the horse.
You have to remember that horses are TOO big to try and baby them, or let them take advantage of us.
Misfit said it all.
If someone ruined a horse by hitting, they probably shouldn't be around horses. They must be taking it too far or doing it at the WRONG time. To me, the hitting line that is drawn is bold and common sense.
....I never hit unless the horse is doing something dangerous like trying to bite me or someone around me... or trying to kick me.....but I definitely don't "beat"... I smack....on a rare occasion....Mostly I just say "EEEEHHHH...." in a mean loud voice and that's enough.
Hmm i slap a horse on the rump and say "over" quite a bit at the riding school, but thats because they are riding school horses so are used to being mucked about by people who dont know what they are doing. as a result this is the only thing they tend to understand when you want them to move to the other side of their loosebox.
i will smack them on the nose if they bite me or are misbehaving, how hard i do it depends on the level of the threat.
i often use force on a 17HH horse at the riding school to get him to move over otherwise i am only a mere fly in comparason to him and he likes to stand his ground. when i say 'force' i mean leaning against him will all 8st of me (not much). and ocasionaly the odd elbow in the chest, ribs. but nothing that would hurt him or damage him long-term.
the only time i have used what i consider to be 'real' force is when i was riding a welsh mountain pony. he is only 3 and was broken in badly so is badly behaved. the only way i could get him to listen to me was a harsh slap on the rump a few times with the riding crop. by harsh i mean rasing my hand until it was about level with my shoulder and then using a harsh downward motion. the resounding 'thwack' scared him more than the pain i think as all i need do now is hit my boot to make a similar noise and he gets the message. ocassionaly he needs a slap on the rump.
is any of this wrong? please let me know, but at a riding school the horses are used to being ridden by people who dont know what they are doing and as a result may have got into bad habits.
As light as possible, but as firm as necessary. I'm not going to let a 1000 lb animal walk all over me but I'm not going to use force when the horse doesn't need it either. There is a time and place and timing is critical. You use force at the wrong time, yes, you can have detrimental effects. However, not using any force when a horse needs it, that can be detrimental as well because you end up with a 1000 lb pushy puppy.
We JUST had a topic on smacking/hitting horses.
I treat my horses like children, they act up in a manner that is bad, they might get a light "spanking". I agree, there are better ways to discipline than hitting a horse. BUT, if one of my horses tries to take a piece of skin out of my shoulder by biting me, or kicks out at me, I will give them a little smack.
Excessive hitting, hitting because you are pissed off, smacking them on the face with a crop, stuff like that I think is unacceptable, but a smack on the rump to get them to move over, a smack on the chest, or the shoulder to keep them from walking all over you when they try, I believe are sometimes necessary to send a message to the horse, but it is imperative that the discipline comes at the right moment, and isn't carried on about or with for more than a few seconds.
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