Slapping a horse in the face? - The Horse Forum
 176Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 26
• Horses: 0
Slapping a horse in the face?

Hi,
I may get kind of a mixed reaction, but I'm looking for some help about what's normal when disciplining a horse. This is kind of long, sorry.
I'm really getting to know my new horse with lots of riding and just coming over to walk him around outside and let him relax, and the other day something happened that startled and frustrated me.
At the barn where I take lessons, there are lots of knowledgeable, helpful teens who work at the barn to earn lessons or just for work.
This was only my second time tacking up on my own and as I was tacking one of the girls who works at the barn came over to see my horse and talk to us. This is normal, as my horse is kind of a favorite around the place, due to being a sweetheart (my trainer calls him a dog in a horse body, he kind of loves everyone, he'll even lean in and snuggle his neck against you and just rest there). Anyway, she reached for his face and he thought she had a treat and reached forward with his teeth. Not like a snapping motion, he just sort of lifts his lip and reaches forward, mouth slightly open.
The horses there are just like this, a downside to the fact that they get handfed a lot of treats. That's what I was told.
Well anyway, this girl jumps forward and just slaps him hard across the face yelling "no! you don't do that!" And I mean not only hard, and on the face, but with this crazy anger that seemed odd considering the situation. My husband and I looked at each other but didn't know what to do since she is a really smart worker. Despite being a teen she knows so much about horses and tack and probably far more than we could ever hope to.
At the same time, we've seen a lot of the helpers there come up to my horse and none has ever slapped him in the face. He has never bit anyone, and if anyone deserved to get bit, it's me, the silly rider always giving him mixed commands or messing up his tack while he's 100% patient with me always.
So anyway, I finished tacking, but went to ask my teacher for help with the bit, since I hadn't put one in on my own and was worried about hurting his teeth if I did it wrong. Unfortunately for me, the girl who'd slapped my horse was the one sent over.
I was like, well, I should trust her. She is the one with horse knowledge. I'm probably just being a big baby. Let's see how this goes.
My horse sees her and his ears go back and he starts backing up. She has the bridle with bit in one hand and grabs him by the halter and tries to jerk him forward, but he's backing up. She slaps him hard, in the face, and yells angrily at him. I mean, so angry it sounds like she's screaming.
This is a really good, sweet, push button horse. Really well trained, former regional champion show horse. I've never seen him be this much of a brat, but he just kept his head further back after the slap. She kept screaming at him and slapping him and finally jerked him down hard and got the bit in.
So I guess it worked? Is it all fine then? But it was kind of traumatic, if I'm honest. Watching him flinch, watching his eyes roll around. He has never acted like that, or been treated like that while I'm around. I felt like I couldn't say anything because A. I'm new and don't know anything and B. was in shock.
So during my lesson, I was riding him and he was super happy as usual. The head teacher came over to tighten a stirrup and I asked him about slapping. He said sometimes if a horse is doing something really bad, a strike can teach them not to do it.
But I've seen him do it while training a new horse he's working with. He hits it, yes, but not crazy hard and not on the face. And not with crazy anger.
I'm not sure what to do or say about it. Lots of people feel she's really knowledgable, and she told me some cool things about different bits and where they should go on the horse. She seemed awesome right up until she slapped my horse.
The last thing I want to do is be an overprotective owner that knows nothing about horses and causes drama at the barn by ratting out a helper to the head trainer.
But I can't forget that whole scene. I wanted to take her by the collar and throw her across the stall, (not that I would, I'm not a violent gal) just anything to get her away from my horse, who has always treated me well.
I should add that it wasn't just my horse. She did it with the other horse in the stall over who needed to move forward so someone could get behind her. But it was a lesson horse or the owner wasn't there to see it. The horse backed away even further from the helper, and the helper started yelling and slapping it.
What should I do? Does she just know something I don't? My horse never tries to bite me. He sometimes nudges around to see if there are treats, but if I just say no and push his face away he stands still and good and doesn't reach again. No shrieking or slapping needed so far.
Thanks for any help, even if it's just telling me to stop being a baby.
Bluediamond is offline  
post #2 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:12 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 477
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluediamond View Post
Hi,
I may get kind of a mixed reaction, but I'm looking for some help about what's normal when disciplining a horse. This is kind of long, sorry.
I'm really getting to know my new horse with lots of riding and just coming over to walk him around outside and let him relax, and the other day something happened that startled and frustrated me.
At the barn where I take lessons, there are lots of knowledgeable, helpful teens who work at the barn to earn lessons or just for work.
This was only my second time tacking up on my own and as I was tacking one of the girls who works at the barn came over to see my horse and talk to us. This is normal, as my horse is kind of a favorite around the place, due to being a sweetheart (my trainer calls him a dog in a horse body, he kind of loves everyone, he'll even lean in and snuggle his neck against you and just rest there). Anyway, she reached for his face and he thought she had a treat and reached forward with his teeth. Not like a snapping motion, he just sort of lifts his lip and reaches forward, mouth slightly open.
The horses there are just like this, a downside to the fact that they get handfed a lot of treats. That's what I was told.
Well anyway, this girl jumps forward and just slaps him hard across the face yelling "no! you don't do that!" And I mean not only hard, and on the face, but with this crazy anger that seemed odd considering the situation. My husband and I looked at each other but didn't know what to do since she is a really smart worker. Despite being a teen she knows so much about horses and tack and probably far more than we could ever hope to.
At the same time, we've seen a lot of the helpers there come up to my horse and none has ever slapped him in the face. He has never bit anyone, and if anyone deserved to get bit, it's me, the silly rider always giving him mixed commands or messing up his tack while he's 100% patient with me always.
So anyway, I finished tacking, but went to ask my teacher for help with the bit, since I hadn't put one in on my own and was worried about hurting his teeth if I did it wrong. Unfortunately for me, the girl who'd slapped my horse was the one sent over.
I was like, well, I should trust her. She is the one with horse knowledge. I'm probably just being a big baby. Let's see how this goes.
My horse sees her and his ears go back and he starts backing up. She has the bridle with bit in one hand and grabs him by the halter and tries to jerk him forward, but he's backing up. She slaps him hard, in the face, and yells angrily at him. I mean, so angry it sounds like she's screaming.
This is a really good, sweet, push button horse. Really well trained, former regional champion show horse. I've never seen him be this much of a brat, but he just kept his head further back after the slap. She kept screaming at him and slapping him and finally jerked him down hard and got the bit in.
So I guess it worked? Is it all fine then? But it was kind of traumatic, if I'm honest. Watching him flinch, watching his eyes roll around. He has never acted like that, or been treated like that while I'm around. I felt like I couldn't say anything because A. I'm new and don't know anything and B. was in shock.
So during my lesson, I was riding him and he was super happy as usual. The head teacher came over to tighten a stirrup and I asked him about slapping. He said sometimes if a horse is doing something really bad, a strike can teach them not to do it.
But I've seen him do it while training a new horse he's working with. He hits it, yes, but not crazy hard and not on the face. And not with crazy anger.
I'm not sure what to do or say about it. Lots of people feel she's really knowledgable, and she told me some cool things about different bits and where they should go on the horse. She seemed awesome right up until she slapped my horse.
The last thing I want to do is be an overprotective owner that knows nothing about horses and causes drama at the barn by ratting out a helper to the head trainer.
But I can't forget that whole scene. I wanted to take her by the collar and throw her across the stall, (not that I would, I'm not a violent gal) just anything to get her away from my horse, who has always treated me well.
I should add that it wasn't just my horse. She did it with the other horse in the stall over who needed to move forward so someone could get behind her. But it was a lesson horse or the owner wasn't there to see it. The horse backed away even further from the helper, and the helper started yelling and slapping it.
What should I do? Does she just know something I don't? My horse never tries to bite me. He sometimes nudges around to see if there are treats, but if I just say no and push his face away he stands still and good and doesn't reach again. No shrieking or slapping needed so far.
Thanks for any help, even if it's just telling me to stop being a baby.
She was totally wrong in what she did. There are other ways to correct a horse. Never hit it in the face. I just hope it doesn't break his good spirits and trust in the future. I have a name for idiots like her but I will just think them.
Twalker is offline  
post #3 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:17 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 8,707
• Horses: 12
Your horse, your rules. Next time it happens politely tell the girl you prefer her not slapping the horse in the face because you don't want him to become head shy. Then if she does it again go to her boss. I'm not a fan of slapping them in the face at all but wouldn't be all that upset about in the case of biting (I pinch their lip-HARD), but it really isn't an effective punishment for much else.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
JCnGrace is offline  
post #4 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:18 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 17,077
• Horses: 1
The reaching out thing, a swat can be warranted but it shouldn't be aggressive. It can be a swat in the air or a slight bop on the nose.

The bridling thing? Nope. That was ridiculously out of line. A horse can't see past its own nose, and even if it's being a poop for bridling, smacking it will not help the situation.

It's better to be calm, persistent, and set your horse up to be happy to be bridled.

I'm curious what he was doing for you when he was being difficult to be bridled. Are you experienced with bridling?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
post #5 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:25 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 6,082
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCnGrace View Post
Your horse, your rules. Next time it happens politely tell the girl you prefer her not slapping the horse in the face because you don't want him to become head shy. Then if she does it again go to her boss. I'm not a fan of slapping them in the face at all but wouldn't be all that upset about in the case of biting (I pinch their lip-HARD), but it really isn't an effective punishment for much else.
DO NOT WAIT for a next time. It shouldn't happen again. I could see she may have over reacted the first time but the 2nd was well thought out. I would be direct with her that she was not in any danger and you do not want her disciplining your horse, ever.
I would be going to her boss now. The problem will be she may become resentful and you will always be worrying about what is happening to your horse. I see a move in the future unfortunately.
Also quit giving the horse any treats unless you put them in his bucket as to avoid this again. Do not allow others to give him treats.
churumbeque is offline  
post #6 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 26
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
The reaching out thing, a swat can be warranted but it shouldn't be aggressive. It can be a swat in the air or a slight bop on the nose.

The bridling thing? Nope. That was ridiculously out of line. A horse can't see past its own nose, and even if it's being a poop for bridling, smacking it will not help the situation.

It's better to be calm, persistent, and set your horse up to be happy to be bridled.

I'm curious what he was doing for you when he was being difficult to be bridled. Are you experienced with bridling?
I'm experienced with basically nothing. I have only been riding a couple months, only owned this horse for a few weeks, and was used to riding lessons where they tacked up the horse. I am still learning how to get everything on the right way. The first time I put on his halter to lead him back to his stall I put it on every wrong way possible and he just sat there for me patiently. Even with my hands all over his face. It's just how he is. He has always taken a bridle with bit from anyone else who did it.
I have never bridled him with a bit yet. My teacher has done it in the past. I've been shown it. But it has been easier to just ask one of the helpers as they are all happy to help if I'm nervous about screwing something up.
But you can for darn sure bet I'm trying it on my own next time if that chick is anywhere around. I have been shown to do it right, I just need to trust myself.
Bluediamond is offline  
post #7 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:28 PM
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 33,853
• Horses: 3
She'd have been given a really harsh talking too the moment she smacked any horse of mine in the face.
She sounds as if she thinks that being 'macho' around horses makes you experienced
Don't be intimidated by her, its your horse, you need to tell her that if she can't keep her hands off slapping its face she must keep away from it altogether.
jaydee is offline  
post #8 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 26
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
DO NOT WAIT for a next time. It shouldn't happen again. I could see she may have over reacted the first time but the 2nd was well thought out. I would be direct with her that she was not in any danger and you do not want her disciplining your horse, ever.
I would be going to her boss now. The problem will be she may become resentful and you will always be worrying about what is happening to your horse. I see a move in the future unfortunately.
Also quit giving the horse any treats unless you put them in his bucket as to avoid this again. Do not allow others to give him treats.
Okay. I just needed to know it was warranted to go to him. I hope I wouldn't have to move. My horse has a comfortable place with the herd here and gets great pasture time and I really enjoy the lessons.
Bluediamond is offline  
post #9 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 26
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
She'd have been given a really harsh talking too the moment she smacked any horse of mine in the face.
She sounds as if she thinks that being 'macho' around horses makes you experienced
Don't be intimidated by her, its your horse, you need to tell her that if she can't keep her hands off slapping its face she must keep away from it altogether.
That's kind of what I felt. That she was doing an exaggerated display of dominance or something.
Bluediamond is offline  
post #10 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 01:39 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 17,077
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluediamond View Post
I'm experienced with basically nothing. I have only been riding a couple months, only owned this horse for a few weeks, and was used to riding lessons where they tacked up the horse. I am still learning how to get everything on the right way. The first time I put on his halter to lead him back to his stall I put it on every wrong way possible and he just sat there for me patiently. Even with my hands all over his face. It's just how he is. He has always taken a bridle with bit from anyone else who did it.
I have never bridled him with a bit yet. My teacher has done it in the past. I've been shown it. But it has been easier to just ask one of the helpers as they are all happy to help if I'm nervous about screwing something up.
But you can for darn sure bet I'm trying it on my own next time if that chick is anywhere around. I have been shown to do it right, I just need to trust myself.
Then it's time to watch some youtube videos, my friend.

What discipline do you ride... western (saddle with horn) or english (saddle that has barely any extra padding) ?

Watch youtube videos on how to bridle a horse. Each discipline does it the same way except for the buckles, style of bridle, and keepers.

You need to be proactive and not rely on everyone else to do things for you, because that's how your horse starts getting out of hand.

Don't get me wrong, it's great to ask your instructor for help and guidance but you can do more. Bridling isn't rocket science, and I'm sure if you learn to do it...your horse will appreciate it over asking someone else that is overly and stupidly aggressive to do it instead.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Face highlighter on white face horse? MakeMeAMemory Horse Grooming 6 02-19-2013 06:56 PM
Lets see your bald face/wide blaze/blue eye/apron face horses sommsama09 Horse Pictures 46 12-18-2012 12:04 AM
On my horse face HELP!! please :) mistysms Horse Health 3 08-13-2012 01:21 AM
was this horse owner being ridiculous? re:patting horses=slapping a person dirtymartini Horse Training 106 05-06-2011 03:50 PM
Face to Face Picture Contest inaclick Horse Contests 39 07-03-2010 05:51 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome