I have a bit of a conflict though about the hitting. I know everyone says that its okay, but I do feel kind of bad. A couple girls have also mentioned that you don't need to hit the horses, I don't really understand, haha. Are they in the wrong or is there another way to do this that doesnt require hitting? A smack on the neck was definitely successful for me on Sunday but...I've seen girls be reprimanded for that before. Although...not by the barn owner. I guess I'm just asking if this is the best way? I'm sure you won't have to always hit them, right? They'll eventually learn that you're to be respected and that kind of stuff is not tolerated.
Thanks guys for all your help!
I've owned my own horses for many years and not one of them bites. One or 2 of the young ones might try it a couple of times, and especially with someone that they think won't kill them, they'll try it. But by the time they are 1 year old, nobody kicks or bites because they absolutely know that it is not allowed. I start out fairly nice and gentle and just push their face away from me, before they have a chance to bite. If they keep it up, they get a pop, but not really a slap, on the cheek. If that's not enough, and with the colts it's frequently not, then the 3rd time they open their mouths, they get an open handed slap to the side of the muzzle with their mouths still open. It makes a really loud POP but doesn't hurt them. Then noise and my body language at that point really surprises them, once they've gone that far I let them know that I am HUGE and ready to eat them. In all my years, I've only had 2 colts that pushed even further and them I actually let pinch me and while they were attached on my arm, I reached down and bit them on their tender little noses and didn't let go until they were backing up. Didn't break any skin, no blood or marks, but those 2 got the message. They also were the first 2 in line for gelding when it got cold.
With grown up horses who open their mouths and want to come at me, I go straight to slapping the living fire right out of them, right in the mouth, and I go after them immediately with a whip and back them up FAST, until they lick and chew. When I go after them, they know that I am breathing fire and they had better start apologizing. If anyone said anything to me about going after the horse, if they were the horse's owner, I'd verbally go after them for not teaching their horse manners. I have told more than one boarder to go find another boarding situation if they didn't want to teach their horse respect and objected to me teaching their horse respect. That is absolute nonsense, these things weigh over 1000 pounds to your 100 lbs, you totally have to make them understand that certain things just are not going to fly.