Correction with a crop is abuse??? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 04:08 AM
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I don't think it's "abuse" in itself, but I don't really understand the point of it.

It is used to reinforce legs aids - I've never thought that it was particularly useful but nor have I ever needed one, but I can understand it.

But to be honest I can't understand it as discipline, mainly because in my opinion it's not really reflected anywhere in training.

In comparison to a kick in a paddock the result isn't too bad but it's not like a kick in the paddock. Horses don't kick each other when they do something bad, they do it as a "go away now" thing. If the horse doesn't move fast enough they get kicked. If I was going to use some kind of discipline on the ground it would be in the situation where I want them to "go away now". I'll carry lunge whips into paddocks when horses are bossy and if I used them they mean "go away now". I'll be tough when a horse is aggressive, when they try to kick, when they're really in my space but the response I want is for them to move away.

Using a crop, ie using pain to discipline (and it does hurt, that's the point of it, but I don't think it does "harm") the rider doesn't want the horse to "go away now". It's not something that is just a stronger version of an aid. It's not something you've taught on the ground - generally you teach them to move away from pressure which escalates until they do... using a crop, I don't understand really what's it meant to do. It seems to me to be a punishment that doesn't teach or offer the horse the opportunity to learn.
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post #22 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 10:37 AM
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The purpose of a crop or whip is to give the human the option of escalating when a horse refuses to do or to stop some behavior.

If your horse knows the cues, but refuses to move forward at a light leg squeeze, do you dismount and call it a day? Or do you escalate? What if you sink your heels in hard, and the horse ignores you? Do you call it a day?

When I took lessons a few years back, the instructor let me spend 30 minutes kicking a horse as hard as I could. The horse did not care. At all. Just walked.

Then she handed me a crop, and told me to squeeze light, then firm, then wallop the horse on the rump. A few seconds later, we were trotting. For the remainder of the lesson, he responded to light leg cues. And everyone who rode him experienced the same thing. At some point, he had decided that he could ignore kicking, no matter how hard. And then the human would give up. But if you had a crop...that was different. And if you were willing to USE the crop...well, then he might as well get to work!

I'll add that ideally, the horse would never learn to ignore hard kicking. And ideally, my mare would never have learned how to ignore a snaffle. But once a horse learns it can ignore your input, you either give up or find a way to make the input worth listening to.

Our gelding Trooper has ZERO use for a crop or whip. He will do his best for you without question. But Mia is a different horse - more independent, more dominant and more willful. She is also smarter, and quicker to spot a weakness...
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Last edited by bsms; 11-03-2013 at 10:39 AM.
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post #23 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 11:34 AM
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Hitting without cause is abuse. Going overboard is abuse. A properly timed and administered correction is not.

In the words of one of my favorite horse trainers "Never punish more than the mistake."
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post #24 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by CandyCanes View Post
Well... Handcuff me if you must!
Are you sure.

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post #25 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
The purpose of a crop or whip is to give the human the option of escalating when a horse refuses to do or to stop some behavior.

If your horse knows the cues, but refuses to move forward at a light leg squeeze, do you dismount and call it a day? Or do you escalate? What if you sink your heels in hard, and the horse ignores you? Do you call it a day?
Exactly. You don't use a crop to hit for training. If you use it (correctly) to hit that is discipline. Of course that is related but I think the difference is what it comes down to. The crop either says "stop ignoring me" or it says "do NOT do that again". It seems like we mostly agree that those are the proper uses of a crop.
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post #26 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by CheyRider View Post
I'm a bit concerned about how many of you have encountered dangerous horses. Whatever happened to those horses that made them attack people?! It usually takes a lot to make an animal as gentle as a horse go against people... exceptions exist, of course, but reading these posts it sounds more like you're working with lions. Not saying anyone here did anything wrong to these horses, but in most cases, something must have gone seriously wrong in these animals' lives. I mean, I've known quite a few horses that would start nipping trying to get treats if they weren't (gently!) put in their place when they first got saucy, and some horses with a sour attitude, but that's something quite different from outright attacking people.
CheyRider in my experience at least the horses that I've had to get this rough with was an untouched horse for 12+ years that was in training and decided to attack because he hated it, young horses (even older ones) who had no manners and were dangerous because of it, and the most vicious/persistant horse I've had to deal with was a horse who had never been smacked/punished severely enough. Her owner was into NH and refused to use a harder smack to teach her NO. The mare kicked, bit, reared, and would try and stomp you into the ground. Five sessions of tough love later she was a sweet little angel. None of these horses were abused or had any trauma (aside from the untouched gelding). Sometimes we like to anthropomorphize them a little too much in this area. I've always thought that you have the horses who will shy away from punishing others with kicks and merely threaten - then get replaced by another horse in the totem pole, and then you have the horses that will give a sound thrashing once in a while and keeps their position; I would like to be the horse that dishes it out. Getting kicked is no fun.
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post #27 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mrstorres2566 View Post
Ok, so I posted earlier in the riding forum, that I used a crop to correct my horses disrespect issues. It worked like a charm, somebody (no one from here) said it was abuse. Now, it was a firm tap (smack, whatever lol) but it's nothing compared to another horses flying hooves. This person said a crop is ONLY for a leg reinforcement. I KNOW I didn't hurt him, and you better believe he straightened right up, so what is the problem?

Last week I saw another owner whipping their horse with a lunge whip (HARD! Hard enough to leave welts!) because their horse wouldn't lunge properly. That was abuse in my opinion. And our BO told them that it was to NEVER happen on her property again.

Anyways, riding crop for correction...abuse or not? Thoughts?
Everything we do with horses has someone out there calling it abuse. Stalls, shoes, riding -- you can find claims of how abusive all the regular stuff we do is.

Honestly a person really should be able to determine what is and isn't abuse. Someone calls correcting a horse for biting abuse. A smack is not abuse. Taking him out back, high tying his head and beating him is abuse.

Riding with a crop is not necessarily abuse. If you're using it and leaving marks - that's abuse. To reinforce your leg with a tap? No.
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post #28 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
Is it better to punish firmly once? or ineffectively multiple times then get hurt? While we do out best to love our horses when the situation calls for it discipline is necessary; to keep us safe, and indirectly give our horses a better life.
^^THIS^^

I can't tell you how many people I see giving little weak tugs on the lead rope and saying quietly, "Stop." every day. Think of how much better off they would both be if they just took charge and firmed up with that horse! They would be much safer, and the horse would be much happier because it knows who is in charge and that they don't have to lead.

There's a horse at my barn who is known for being very pushy and poorly behaved. The dentist came out the other day and kicked the snot out of him for giving him flack. By the end of the appointment the horse was happier and more relaxed than I'd ever seen him.

Too many people are afraid to get after their horses (and children, but that's a whole other matter) for bad behavior. Not only in fear of what others will think (horse abuser!) but in fear that 'their horse won't like them'. Trust me, a horse likes to know who's in control, and they don't want it to be them.

Let me tell you something - abuse and punishment are separated by two things, emotion and motive. When I was a kid and I disobeyed my parents, I got spanked. Not more than I deserved, not out of anger, and not for no reason. And I very rarely tried to repeat that same behavior because I knew if I did what I would get. For my action, there was an equal, natural reaction.

Now, if a horse in my care misbehaves, he gets whatever punishment he deserves. If he tries to bite me (for no reason), I will smack him into next week, and he knows what to expect if he tries it again. Horse knows who's in charge, and I won't get a chunk taken out of me.

Abuse is when a horse does not understand what is being asked of it or that the behavior is not desirable, if the horse is doing those behaviors out of pain or if the punishment is excessive or unnecessary. Like beating a horse with a lunge whip. Also, if you bring your emotions into the punishment (anger, frustration, annoyance).

There's my rant for the day.
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post #29 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstorres2566 View Post
Ok, so I posted earlier in the riding forum, that I used a crop to correct my horses disrespect issues. It worked like a charm, somebody (no one from here) said it was abuse. Now, it was a firm tap (smack, whatever lol) but it's nothing compared to another horses flying hooves. This person said a crop is ONLY for a leg reinforcement. I KNOW I didn't hurt him, and you better believe he straightened right up, so what is the problem?

Last week I saw another owner whipping their horse with a lunge whip (HARD! Hard enough to leave welts!) because their horse wouldn't lunge properly. That was abuse in my opinion. And our BO told them that it was to NEVER happen on her property again.

Anyways, riding crop for correction...abuse or not? Thoughts?
Far as I'm concerned, you clearly understand the difference between use and abuse

The person that left the welts on the horse for not lunging properly, needed that buggy whip used on them.

Believe me, there's a "TWO strikes and you're out" policy in my barn, with one of my horses. He's a con artist bar none and will take five miles if you give him an inch. He gets smacked, pinched, poked, yelled at, the buggy whip smacked across the metal T-posts, more times than I can count every month. He's got more discipline in the 17+ years I've owned him than all my Keeper horses in my entire life of having horses.

I'd like to loan him out for a week to the person that thinks Riding crops are only for leg reinforcement. I will come and visit her in the hospital, just as soon as I get The Intimidator back in his own pasture

If she's old enough and has them, I'll bet her children are Holy Terrors, too

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post #30 of 45 Old 11-03-2013, 02:00 PM
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And I guarantee that the kids who are used to physical punishment are the worst brats whenever their parents turn their backs on them...
Respect is rarely won by violence, only fearful obedience... and isn't it that in the horse world also, the leader is usually the horse that doesn't have to fight, since he holds natural authority?
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