Horse turns it back on me when he doesn’t want something done. - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 35 Old 04-14-2018, 10:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by Dustbunny View Post
Horses are not machines, are they? Not just equipment.
Exactly, @Dustbunny ! Sentient critters filled with their own kind of intelligence, and with lots to teach us! Never a one-way street.

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post #32 of 35 Old 04-15-2018, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
You know what they say, @loosie - pets are like their owners!
Yeah, I've been told more than once I laugh like a horse!
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post #33 of 35 Old 04-17-2018, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Horsegirlxxx View Post
No, just correct them never punish them. Every horse owner should know that.
'Every horse owner' also understands things according to their own experience & education. Which means they have different perceptions of terms. One of many sticking points with making blanket statements like that I feel. What YOU call 'just correction' I would probably call 'punishment'. Having an education in behavioural psychology, I see ANY undesirable/uncomfortable stimuli applied with the purpose of weakening a behaviour as 'positive punishment'. Eg. 'pressure/release' - the release bit is negative reinforcement(removal of something undesirable in order to strengthen a behaviour) but the initial pressure bit is positive punishment.

And I believe it would be incredibly helpful if every horse owner understood that. And the effects - direct or otherwise - of using different 'kinds' of reinforcement & punishment. IMO punishment - even used strongly - is not wrong or bad or such, and I really feel that people that say so do not fully understand the whole concept - or at least, have a quite different perception of the terms to me. But many use it wrongly or badly. If people truly understood the concepts behind the terms, I don't think they'd say 'never' but they would also be using it seldomly - apart from in the case of 'pressure/release' and using a lot more positive reinforcement...
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post #34 of 35 Old 04-17-2018, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Horsegirlxxx View Post
If he turns around and leaves when he is supposed to do something, you should walk to another side of the paddock/stable and wait for him
Horses learn to do what works for them & quit doing what doesn't work. Simple as that. If the horse walks away from you because he doesn't want to be with you/do something, and you allow that to work for him - you quit asking, take any pressure off & remove yourself - you are teaching him that he is 'right' to just leave whenever he doesn't want to 'play your games'.

I can see though, that it could work, under certain conditions. IF this always works for you horsegirl, when you walk away the horse immediately comes back to you, I think you're not understanding the whole situation & discounting some of the important factors. Number one factor is that a horse that does that DOES want to stick to their human, for whatever reason. Perhaps they've been 'corrected' whenever they're not close(like 'horse whisperers' such as MR teach). Perhaps they're lonely or insecure or bored in their environment. Perhaps they have associated being close to the human with Good Stuff...
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Last edited by loosie; 04-17-2018 at 09:06 PM.
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post #35 of 35 Old 04-18-2018, 10:50 AM
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I'm coming here after seeing this thread referenced on @SueC 's journal. Part of my response:

"Tom Moates has a chapter where he points out that fences don't chase horses. A fence just is. The horse can hurt himself against it. Or not. And the horse learns, and can graze inches from a fence in total peace - because fences don't chase horses. It becomes the horse's choice. The fence just is. And it always is...

...[My Parents'] punishments were like a fence. Always ready, but entirely MY choice - because their fences didn't chase children.

I view bits this way, approaching from a western perspective. The bit is used to create a boundary. The horse is expected to control himself within those boundaries. Once the horse figures it out, then we can change speeds, turn, adjust speeds within a gait, etc, all without ever taking slack out of the reins.

My parents' goal was to give me freedom, not constraint. If I learned to control myself, I could play outside, roam for miles, and be fine - provided I headed back home at a certain time. We could go to nice restaurants, shows, etc.

My goal with my horse is to allow him a measure of freedom. He cannot free range. But if he controls himself, we can go out for long walks (riding), sometimes trot or canter, drop into washes, go off trail, explore - which Bandit seems to enjoy - and do so with both of us safe. And with very little use of reins, and without a crop, or kicking, or fuss, or stress. Together."

"I use it sometimes to talk about firmness," Harry told me...That you can be really firm if there is the clarity and consistency. Then it is not troubling to the horse.

There is a very defined boundary where the electric fence is - I mean it is a visible thing, the horse knows exactly where it is. He knows if he stepped into it and got bit or not. He knows it never bit him unless he stepped into it. His actions totally control the outcome...The pressure didn't come into him. The fence doesn't come across the field at a high run and shock him for no reason."

-- Further Along the Trail, Tom Moates
I find that helpful imagery in thinking about correction and punishment, with both horses and kids.
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