Disciplining horses vs. other animals? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 42 Old 01-20-2017, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mme Yersinia View Post
This is what I would like help and opinions on. Clearly horses and dogs are different. I don't really have an ethical problem with smacking at a giant animal that's biting me. I see many equestrians at my barn do it and they all have kind horses and good relationships. I just want reassurance that it doesn't cause more problems. Or, if people have theories or opinions on why smacking a horse seems to work and smacking a dog doesn't, that would be cool too. It's also possible that my instructor gave me awful advice. You can tell me why you think that, too :)
There is not one training method that is "right". And there are many different training methods.

I, myself, am in agreement with your trainer. Now, I do not hit my horses very often and only when they deserve it. But biting is one of those things. You can bet I am going to come unglued for about 3 seconds (make them think their world is about to end), and then go back to what I was going like nothing happened. *Note that the correction is applied immediately for this to work.*

Now, I'm not repeatedly beating on them with a baseball bat or anything of the sort. My little hand it going to do nothing to physically hurt a 1200+ pound animal. It's all a mental game.

My way is extremely effective. I've fixed nipping/biting horses near instantly with this. And my own horses don't bite. They know the rules.

Same goes with our dog (yellow lab). When the occasion calls for it, such as learning that food on a human plate on the coffee table is NOT for her, we'll give her one good smack. She's over 3 years old, and there's been maybe 8 times that we've hit her in that amount of time. She gets the connection. She's smart. And she's very well behaved.

One hit by my hand, again, is not going to physically hurt her. But it is one method to discipline a dog.

Yes, there are people who do not agree with hitting dogs and/or hitting horses. If a different method works for you, great! Do it. But my method is very effective too, and it works for me. There's a big difference between "abuse" and "discipline".

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post #32 of 42 Old 01-20-2017, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
I will then use the bucket to chase them around the stable until they show signs of submission. They can have their food if they can find it on the floor.
I agree with(as normal) your kind of approach, had a little snigger at the owner turning up while you were tail bandaging! I love those moments of people's amazed 'how did you...??!' Only things, I'd probably use an empty bucket - hate waste & no chance of horse getting inadvertent mouthful when he's not behaving! And I also do have a problem with the idea of aggressively chasing a horse around in a tiny area they're(& you're) trapped in, for safety's sake. Even if it's stable manners that were bad, I'd start these lessons in a larger area first - think CA style 'roundpenning' for that sort of lesson. I know I've said elsewhere I don't generally like his aggressive approach, but sometimes I reckon it's called for!

I'm one of those people who don't agree with the statement 'can't treat horses like big dogs' or 'can't treat a horse as a pet', when it seems to mean that dogs/pets aren't disciplined/trained. All of my 'pets' are taught and expected to have 'good manners'.

This makes me think about the principles that many people take as hard & fast rules, that lead to animals who never get taught 'manners'. Like 'you must leave him alone/don't go near him while he's eating'. As a matter of course, I do indeed mess with my dogs & horses while they're eating. The need to learn that I'm boss cocky, regardless what's going on, and they will miss out on their food, as well as possibility of other punishment, if they don't behave accordingly.
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post #33 of 42 Old 01-20-2017, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Sounds very extreme! I wouldn't think you'd be worried about the legalities of hitting someone with a crop, if you're happy to TERMINATE them!! Maybe not the way it was supposed to be taken though. Does that word have another meaning??
By terminate I don't mean kill them! I trade for another horse, saddle, trailer, or sell them.

Yep, exactly. Or made that way by being allowed to play those sorts of 'games', having them work, until it progresses to serious 'aggression'. Ditto for the most part for just learning to do & enjoy a job well. It is generally the experiences that the human gives the horse, good or bad, that creates the attitude.
I've been camping with people that had bratty stock. 50 miles into the Frank Church wilderness there are no round pens, fences, or barns. When we get there I just let my horses go free. They go eat and come back to camp every time. This takes less pack horses since I don't have to pack much feed. One guy had a bratty mule, that liked to play games, he had to tie him all the time. He didn't tie him well one time and he got free. We tracked him for 3 days and never did find him. He got off with a good Decker saddle too.
So in that light...

I disagree with that bit. They all *deserve* it, IMO.
I've spent years getting my little heard together.(admittedly a raunchy looking little bunch). But when the saddles go on they are strictly professional. Some horses just don't have the aptitude to do what I need them to do. So on that note: anyone want a fjord? Trade for????
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post #34 of 42 Old 01-20-2017, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
I stuck like glue to her hindquarters where she couldn't do any real harm to me and pushed and shoved as hard as I could, keeping her moving
Yet another that I agree with your approach, but can't quite see how this works - how can you be out of 'real danger' when you're in prime pozzi to be kicked?? Perhaps I don't get quite how you & Fox are handling loose horses in stables, to stay safe. Details??

Both were negative reinforcement WITHOUT physical aggression.

Most of the -N I use is like this. I always use it in conjunction with positive. But I am certainly not afraid of giving a wallop where one is warranted.
Warning - terminology police here again! What you describe, be it with your chasing, or the owner making a racket with a flag, is positive punishment. Negative reinforcement is the instant you QUIT doing that, or otherwise applying pressure, when the horse does the Right Thing.

Agreed that it's important(as Smilie said elsewhere about teaching, always mix criticism with lots of praise/rewards too) to use positive reinforcement/rewards in conjunction with positive punishment & negative reinforcement.
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post #35 of 42 Old 01-21-2017, 12:00 AM
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Mme Yersinia. Yes and no. I, too, grew around dogs and didn't have a horse until I was 30. When I had my first horse, I treated him like a dog (still do, all of them), with some adjustments, of course. When I dog has gotten aggressive with me, I got aggressive in return. I never got the escalation you're talking about. I never stroke them, but I did put them in a sort of half-Nelson and let them know I was not going to stand for that kind of behavior, and didn't release them until they understood. Obviously, one can't do that with a horse. For one thing, you may just have to correct them with voice alone. A strong, nasty, "hey!" does the trick many times. But a good right cross (that's a punch) works well, too. Just don't hit them anywhere on their face or head. That will create problems with head shyness. On the rare occasions when I've had to punch a horse, I do it somewhere where it makes a lot of noise, like their necks. That seems to scare them more than the punch itself. And it has to be done immediately. Two seconds after he bit you, is too late He won't know why you punched him. But please, try your voice first. I can't recall when was the last time I had to punch a horse. If you see a lot of horse punching in your barn, something is wrong. I treat my horses like dogs. I love them all a lot (dogs and horse) and I'm not embarrassed to show it. I rarely have to discipline them.
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post #36 of 42 Old 01-21-2017, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
People attacked by colts??? Little Filly's?

I held my first day old colt last spring. Pretty neat. But I was first warned by a person that had trained many colts on the ranch to beware and be quick. Colts liked to test every thing. She said they could whirl and kink out for no reason other than they were a colt being a colt.

Proved to be good advice, but I never felt I was being attacked.

Here is her viciousness after about two weeks or so.

When foals were born or the next day I would always hold them in my arms and enclose them so they were held still. It was told to me by an old stud owner that doing this made the foal think humans were stronger than them. Not sure it is true but it did no harm!
Th thing is that to many people think a foal running at them is funny - get that foal to a couple of months and allowing it to run around you as it does tomirs dam, is not funny when it either kicks at you when passing or slams into you. They soon learn that if the human doesn't correct, they can take the game a lot further.

Some people do allow a foal, especially a single foal, to 'play' with them yet all the baby behaviour is them testing the waters with what, in adult life, become their protection from other horses and each other.
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post #37 of 42 Old 01-21-2017, 03:39 AM
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^By all means, play with horses IMO, but you need to understand their bodylanguage/behaviour, and ensure that only safe play is indulged in, ensure that anything potentially dangerous is consistently discouraged.
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post #38 of 42 Old 01-21-2017, 08:37 AM
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That little girl has had lots and lots of training now. Some good, some that distressed me. The distressing part was flooding in the form of tying up and also being left in a pen alone.

Maybe it's just her age, but I seem to have noticed a "deadness" about her that was not there before. She has lost a lot of spontaneity that is of course associated with babies, but it seems more than that. And she doesn't have the degree of attention seeking behavior she did have. She seems more content to just be left alone.

The longer I am around horses the more I am impressed with what seems to be a very deep underlying sensitivity.

Or maybe it's just me that's getting older..............
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post #39 of 42 Old 01-21-2017, 08:38 AM
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The horse had more of a rearing problem than a kicking or bucking one. I placed myself to the side of her hindquarters directly against her, on the side facing the innermost part of the stall. Sure, if she wanted to, she still could have kicked me. But it likely would not have done any real harm or damage since it would not be able to gain momentum. She probably would have kicked me if I hadn't immediately started applying pressure to her hindquarters to make her get moving.

It was a few years ago, so I don't remember every finite detail. And the method was a split second instinctive decision when I realized I had a dangerous horse coming for me in a small space! I admit it is a very strange solution. I all can say is it worked. But the flag/bag method worked too.

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post #40 of 42 Old 01-21-2017, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
Sure, if she wanted to, she still could have kicked me. But it likely would not have done any real harm or damage since it would not be able to gain momentum.
I guess that depends on your definition of 'real harm'. I've seen someone have their leg broken badly from a pony kicking when she was squeezing past it. Granted it could have been worse if there was momentum as well...
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discipline , new to horses , training

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