Nippy New Horse - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 23 Old 12-26-2014, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I still believe this is not a nipping issue as much as this horse has to learn new rules. There has to be punishment for WRONG behavior, but as "loosie" said punishment alone is not the answer. This is a new horse so there will have to be some punishment to begin with. That punishment I believe needs to be BIG and very clear "THIS IS NOT EXCEPTABLE!!" I would think if done correctly and with good training, I would think "most" horses would only need to me "punished" once. I agree with loosie punish and make it count get the horses attention. BUT more important then the punishment what will you do going forward after the punishment to correct the behavior. The punishment only stops the behavior, "now what".
Anyone can elbow, kick, slap, jab, or yell to punish a horse, but what do you do after that, to fix the issue. Now we're talking training, setting boundaries, having expectation, and knowing how to communicate them to the horse and this is what will fix the problem training not punishment.

So than, some say "skip the punishment and just train". I guess you could do that and it might work. But, without punishment to stop a behavior it seems to me one is putting themselves into a potential place that could get them into trouble.
If this was my horse he would nip or nip at me once, and he would know that was a mistake. It would be an elbow, a smack in the nose, getting hit with a bucket if it was in my hand what ever it took to get the horse to MOVE AWAY. Then I would go right back to doing whatever I was doing like nothing had happened. If I was say; grooming, I would go right back to grooming, (I think this is the key) what would I do if he started to do it again. Lets say, he just started to turn his head towards me; I would not punish him for turning his head, I would just put my had up on his neck and push his head away from me, that's it. There is no need to get BIG and yell or hit after the first time, now I know the problem I stopped the problem. Now I am teaching what is right behavior not punishing bad behavior. Also I won't get any where waiting for him to try to nip me again just so I can punish him again.
Anyway This is getting Long sorry
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post #22 of 23 Old 12-27-2014, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
According to Mark Rashid none of the horses want to be around or hang with the boss mare. And since reading his account of herd dynamics, I've personally seen this to be true in the herd of 17 that I'm around on a daily basis.

So I don't wanna be boss mare....

...William J. Powell, 1872, who is considered by some to be the very first and original Horse Whisperer although he attributes it to one before him.

The year 1872 is not a typo.
Please don't tell my three. The 2 subordinate geldings both want to be close to Mia, although she is less thrilled about being close to them.

Some horses 'lead' by bullying, and some lead because the others trust them to know what to do. Mia is in the latter category. She takes responsibility, stands watch, breaks things up when the two geldings are getting upset with each other, etc. When she strolls toward the two geldings, you can almost hear them say, "Idiot! Now Mom's coming!"

While it is good to want a horse to trust you, a horse needs to be able to obey regardless. A well trained horse trusts the generic human to make decisions, rather than only "Rider A & Rider C, but not Rider B". And part of earning their trust is conveying enough strength that the horse assumes you are capable of handling things. No one wants to follow a wimp.

Regarding nipping: Yes, I'd plan on nipping it immediately. An attempt to lip would merit a forceful block, and an attempt to bite would merit deity-level wrath thundering down upon him. But the time to deal with nipping is before the horse ever thinks about nipping. As humans, we tend to overlook minor infractions & figure they aren't worth worrying about. But horses DO worry about them. They are significant to the horse, who assumes our overlooking them means we are either stupid or lazy - neither of which merit respect.

I think one needs to review the total behavior of the horse and figure out what actions are leading the horse to think nipping is worth considering. Eliminate those, and the horse will not try to nip.
"Daniel Sullivan (died 1810) from Mallow, Co. Cork, Ireland was an Irish horse trainer, who specialised in rehabilitation of horses...he appeared to frequently stand so close to the horse that they assumed he was whispering to it. For that reason he became known as the "horse whisperer."

Hope of rediscovering Daniel Sullivan's secret method inspired the American, Willis J. Powell, who wrote about his own actual practices."

I also saw a reference once to someone in the 1600s.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #23 of 23 Old 12-27-2014, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Williams, Arizona
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post

Some horses 'lead' by bullying, and some lead because the others trust them to know what to do.
Exactly. That's almost verbatim from Mark Rashid's term of passive leadership where the leader is chosen by the followers rather than by the bullying of the leader.

I personally would rather be chosen a leader rather than to be followed from a basis of fear. If I had to do that, I would not even want to be around a horse.

Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Regarding nipping: Yes, I'd plan on nipping it immediately.
I have only had a horses teeth touch me one time. Little yearling Dahle Lama daugter of Molly. I admit a swift punch to the jaw. And I've been told that she is in her biting stage that they go through. Not my horse and to allow it would be wrong to the owner.

That said, I do feel differently about lipping, depending on the horse. We all feel different and spring from different bases and backgrounds.

And as far as a horse violating my sacred space, when I walk out into the herd of 17 with my Dr, Cooks bridle in hand, Hondo walks up to me without being called, violates my space and literally sticks his nose into the bridle and helps me work it on. Now I LIKE that!

Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Hope of rediscovering Daniel Sullivan's secret method inspired the American, Willis J. Powell, who wrote about his own actual practices."
Yes, Sullivan was the original horse whisperer I was referring to. Have you read Powell's book? I have a copy and have read it a few times. Pretty amazing. Parts of it several times.


Here he talks about using a whip until the horse comes back to the person with the whip. Sound familiar? He says this method works as fast or faster than his but goes on to say......."appeared to be afraid of many objects he met with, and was far, very far from being that gentle, docile animal tamed by the simple, natural means made use of......" "Besides this, those horses do not remain gentle. I speak from experience."

I'm a relative newbie, but he ain't.
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