Slapping a horse in the face? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
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I would not let this person near your horse at all, even if the instructor sends her over. I would talk to the instructor and tell her what happened so she is aware and ask that this girl is not sent to you again. Let her know you appreciate help while you are learning, but it upset you the violent reaction from this girl.

The biggest mistake a newbie can make is to baby the horse, Sure it can be a pet but you do have to be firm and make the horse do as you ask. A pampered unruly horse can be dangerous. I see no problem with treats, just remember treats by their nature should not be regular or expected and never use food to catch your horse.

If the horse was actually biting a bit of a slap on nose might be justified and you can't help but give bit of a yell (I got bitten on the upper arm a few months ago, it is still vivid in my mind :) - but screaming in the horses face as you described is over the top. To my mind, this sort of behaviour from the girl is born of fear, but I am speculating here.

I don't think your horse did anything wrong and if the girl didn't like it a flick of the hand would have discouraged the horse. She has caused more harm than she prevented as now you have to regain trust for bridling. Get someone there that you trust to guide you in putting on the bridle a couple of times and make sure it is adjusted properly. Videos will help also. You will be fine, just try it. If the bit bumps the teeth it wonít hurt unduly, any more than yourself if you catch your teeth with a spoon.

Just because you are lacking experience does not mean you are stupid. You do not have to feel inferior to these more experienced people. Itís a bit like when youíve had a baby, the whole world has advice and a lot of it conflicts Ė you take what suits you and ignore the rest, if it doesnít work try something else.

When you are not working with your horse watch what others do, you can learn a lot that way.

You donít have to allow any tom, dick or harry to bully in and push you or the horse around. If they are any good they will tell what to do/or what they are going to do and why. It is still your horse.

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.
No it is not fine. You were made uncomfortable and intimidated. You felt defenceless as to what to do when you felt protective of your horse and powerless when she came back with her crazy anger again.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT THIS . . . donít accept this. No-one should be doing anything to your horse without your permission, and they should be explaining anything they do.

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post #32 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Cordillera Cowboy View Post
I respectfully disagree to a point. It would be difficult to injure your hand slapping a horse with your open palm. I do advise folks to never hit a horse with your fist or kick one. You are much more likely to break your hand or foot than make an impression on the horse.
In most instances the reprimand does not have to be given hard enough to possibly hurt your hand. While presenting the right body language, a light slap accompanied with a stern "NO", gets the point across. I have seen young children that don't have the strength to hit hard manage to do this effectively.
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post #33 of 56 Old 10-29-2015, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Cordillera Cowboy View Post
I respectfully disagree to a point. It would be difficult to injure your hand slapping a horse with your open palm. I do advise folks to never hit a horse with your fist or kick one. You are much more likely to break your hand or foot than make an impression on the horse.
Not if you hit a bone....I just make it a practice NOT to. Heck, I got a pillion fracture of my knuckle on my horse's neck landing after a jump!
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post #34 of 56 Old 10-30-2015, 04:43 AM
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If that girl knew so much she would have been able to tell that your horse was not trying to bite her. Even if he was reaching for an anticipated treat he wasn't using his teeth- horses reach with their lips. Very easy to tell the difference between looking for a treat & looking to bite.

I give unearned treats all the time. No horses in my care even think of biting, though a few did when they came here. Some people get so hung up on the "respecting my space" thing that they don't learn to read a horse. They want horses to interact with them but be a statue at the same time. If your horse was a naughty, pushy one in training it would be a different story but even so he didn't deserve all that drama.

If I had a kid worker do something like that you would see her cleaning tack or dusting cobwebs for a while...after you got an apology.

Communication is key to any happy boarding arrangement so if this continues to bother you I suggest you approach whoever is in charge & explain your concerns. If you think that would create waves then do as others suggested & try doing tasks yourself. You can always ask someone to double check but I'd not ask that girl.
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post #35 of 56 Old 10-30-2015, 05:18 AM
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I am certainly not one to be able to give equine advice of any kind, I just wanted to say that I am sorry you had this experience at all! It does sound daunting. I would think however that as far as human behavior goes this girl was very "off base" in this situation. I hope things get better for you, I love reading your better stories.
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post #36 of 56 Old 10-30-2015, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by greentree View Post
First, YOU should learn that one should never hit a horse with one's hand.
This is a matter of personal preference.

Yes, there are ways to go about correcting your horse without hitting them, and many people use that method.

I, on the other hand WHEN NEEDED and the situation calls for it, have no problem striking my horse. My "little" hand is not going to hurt my horse in any way, I am not going to hurt my hand, yet my correction is very effective for it's intended purpose purpose.

To each his own.

But of course, as discussed, there are situations where hitting is not acceptable. (ie trying to bridle your horse)
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post #37 of 56 Old 10-30-2015, 10:42 AM
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The girls reaction was totally overblown and out of line. In my experience, (decades with horses) there is extremely rarely such thing as a "knowledgeable teenager". They have YEARS o go before they are truly knowledgeable horsemen. Until then they are mostly "know it alls" with just enough experience to be dangerous.I was one once , so I speak from experience.
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post #38 of 56 Old 10-30-2015, 11:15 AM
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Hitting, tapping a horse on the muzzle is fine though.
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post #39 of 56 Old 10-30-2015, 11:17 AM
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In the beginning we all have to be shown or told how to do something, but after that we perfect it by doing. If it takes a little longer and is awkward doing it yourself, so what? It is your horse and your time and this is how you become adept at things.

That girl that "assisted" you is no horsewoman and is simply trying to impress a beginner, and obviously failed in doing that. If she offers to "help" again, I would simply say "No thanks, I need the practice doing it myself"
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post #40 of 56 Old 10-30-2015, 12:11 PM
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I am one of those who pops a rude horse in the muzzle with my fist (not hard, more of a reprimanding attention-getter). But the horse has to be repetitively rude with their head -- shoving against me, mouthing me. My new horse came to me with both those behaviors -- apparently someone thought it was cute. I tried different things, but that one was the one that was the right amount of grumpy without being ineffective or scary. For her.
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