Marissa asked in PetsHorses · 7 years ago

What do you consider "too far" when disciplining a horse?

My previous trainer got bit by a horse and broke a pitch fork over the horses back

My boss has broken buckets over her horses heads for not behaving and smacks them with whips

Another trainer of mine kicked the horses stomach repeatedly while swearing at it...

Every trainer/boss always tells me I'm too soft with the horses- I don't see how, I smack them when they need smacked, I yell when they need to be yelled at-the horses respect me and don't try to act up yet they're terrified of my trainer now...they literally tense up and start to shake when she walks into the arena or one day I was leading a few horses out and she went to pet one and he completely backed up and tried getting away as if he were going to be hurt.

I'm not comfortable beating the crap out of a horse...where is the "line" between putting a horse in it's place and abusing them?

I KNOW horses can take another horses kick with no problem but I see that as something totally different.

Am I wrong for not being so tough with them and only giving them a smack when I feel it's necessary or are the others wrong for having these horses literally terrified to even be in the same room with them but they see it as the horse "respecting" them. They come to me and play with me but they know not to get in my "bubble" unless I allow them too they don't go to my trainer unless forced too.

11 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    YOU are on the right track....just have not yet met the right trainer/ and or boss yet. That person that will be able to help you further your already, in place sensitivity, in a way that will be useful to you in training a horse in a better way. I have been accused of being too "soft" my whole equestrian life. However, as I got older I began to literally seek out trainers and employers that were successful in the career of horses. These are the people that helped the most, in learning how to best get from a horse the desired behaviors. The people you have been around lack self control and do not have the ability to control their own impulses. Very sad. I hope you will soon be able to align yourself with the right people.

    Of course there is a time for a swift smack on the ****, or a sharp jerk on a shank...but it is all about timing and not the pound per inch of force applied.

  • 7 years ago

    Horse can take quite a bit, they aren't fragile little butterflies that people like to believe. Their skin is much thicker than ours and because of that they can handle things like hooves and teeth and not really be bothered by any of it; BUT with that being said, breaking buckets and pitch forks over them is RIDICULOUS and VERY uncalled for. I would NOT be spending another second in a place that used such unnecessary and down right barbaric force. A simple firm smack and sharp no! Are plenty enough. Think of a herd of horses usually, all their squabbles are settled by ear pinning and teeth baring. Horses subtly "punish" and dominate each other and very rarely does it actually escalate to anything more then nips and few kicks. For my mare, all it takes to let her no she's doing something she's not supposed to is a smack on the shoulder and a stern no or stop that and to be honest I think it hurts my hand more than it hurts her! Also, the fact that the horses ur trainers is ridiculous

    Source(s): Horses should not behave because they FEAR their care givers they should behave because they RESPECT them, two COMPLETELY different things won over by two completely different methods!
  • 7 years ago

    These trainers you are talking about are extremely out of line. In training I rarely ever smack a horse and when I do it is never in the face because this causes them to be head shy. I only smack a horse on the shoulders or sides if they try to bite. Horses kicking at you and biting can all be trained out of them without hitting it is just a matter of work. Hitting and kicking these horses is way crazy and they need to be reported to a humane society or police for animal abuse. You are on the right track and I suggest reporting them and finding a new riding place where the trainers aren't abusive. Good luck and you are welcome to message me if you have anymore questions. :)

    Source(s): Horse rider for 6 years and trainer for 2. Also work on a horse rescue ranch
  • 7 years ago

    wow you NEED to get a different trainer right away, i literally started to cry when i thought of these poor horses. horses don't understand anger its an emotion that they don't have and also we are predators so when your trainer does that all they are thinking of is that this monster is going to eat me they aren't thinking of what your trainer was or wasn't asking of them so they don't learn anything. i can tell by what you said that you are naturally good with horses :) being soft is good but you will also have to be strong at some times but never hurt your horses its like something someone once told me that you should be at the same energy level/strength as the horse to meet them so when your horse bit your trainer and broke a pitch fork over the horses back, she was being WAY to strong instead i would have just moved the horses head or backed them up.

    id like to suggest natural horsemanship to you, since you seem like that type of person that would rather slowly figure out and solve a problem without hurting your horse and becoming partners then quickly beating up your horse and forcing them to do what you want to do.

    two great natural horseman that i know of, off the top of my head that you could quickly look at there website and see if you like what they offer are

    Parelli (there the most popular)

    Carolyn Resnick (my favorite)

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  • 7 years ago

    I can see smacking them if they bite or kick or yelling at them when they paw but honestly get a new trainer !! Before the damage gets any worse because you do not want a spooky horse while riding or to be head shy and fight back at you because horses are very protective sometimes not all horses will but sometimes they get tired of it and fight back and you do not want to be in that dangerous situation . You need a new trainer ASAP. Because this one is doing more wrong than right. And respect and fear are two different things you do not want to be scared of you , you want them to respect you not fear you . Do it for your horse and you :)Good luck and have a Merry Christmas

  • 7 years ago

    Honestly the most I EVER discipline my horse is if she turns to bite me, i will smack her face only if she hasn't pulled her head away. I do not tolerate biting or kicking at all! Honestly just a smack is all that you need... Anymore than that, I think is abuse (100pd female hitting a 1000 pound horse doesn't really hurt them to much... lol) and not like punch the horse back just kinda a slap... Ive seen someone repeatedly whip there horse because it out walked them... It was sad ...

  • 7 years ago

    If you discipline in anger it's too much - you discipline fairly and justly, then you move on.

    If you repeatedly strike the horse for a single infraction, it's too much.

    If you do not stop the discipline when the horse stops the misbehavior., it's too much.

    I can not imagine breaking a pitchfork or a bucket on a horse's spine or head and considering it discipline. It is not; it is abuse, pure and simple. If the horse bites, you smack it on the nose. If it goes to bite again, you smack it again. Immediately and sharply - discipline delayed is discipline denied. Turning, picking up a bucket, and then hitting the horse until the bucket breaks is too late and too much.

    Get away from these people. Animal abusers usually abuse people as well, at least verbally and emotionally.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I beg of those horses :( That is cruelty! Get proof, set up a camera and get the abuse on video. Take videos/pictures of their cuts and report these "trainers"!

    One lady at my barn was leading her horse. He walked in front of her a bit. She got the end of the lead rope and smacked him in the FACE (right by the eyes) very hard. Repeatedly! I nearly snatched the horse away from her, if I see that again I will. Nobody at my barn did anything to stop her :(

    That is "too far"..

  • 7 years ago

    Those were incidents of anger, not discipline.

    I almost never hit my horses. The harshest I've ever handled a situation was when one of my horses took a deliberate jab at me with a hind foot. I put the side of my foot against the underbelly a couple of times. Better the horse than me. She never did it again.

  • Finley
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    it just amazes me how people put up with abusive "trainers" and such.

    If I ever saw anyone break anything over any horse, they would get to feel what it's like to receive the same treatment.

    that isn't discipline. that is abuse.

    clearly, the trainer deserved to be bitten. that horse was right to bite that idiot. he was telling him that he was not a trainer, that he was an angry fool.

    people like that deserve to get their heads kicked in by fed up horses.

    If YOU continue to "learn' from these types of people, if YOUR boss is abusive and you continue to be around that and around that person....

    then thanks to people like YOU, who support such abuse (because you support it by being these abusers helpers, and by taking lessons from them etc)....

    then you are also at fault.

    If people did the right thing... these abusers would be out of business because no one would want to give them time or money to continue their abuse.

    so... why do you keep supporting it? you're a hypocrite if you say you want to stay and work for that boss of yours...and claim you think how the horses are treated is wrong.

    you are supporting it all, just by being there and helping the abuser keep their business.

    point a finger at the mirror and ask yourself...

    do you really want to stand up for the horse?

    find another barn.

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