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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondindykin View Post
    I love my horse and I want him to be a pleasant, obedient and safe animal to be around.....not a spoiled, ill mannered animal.
    It bothers me when I see want-ads for horses and people say they will spoil and love the horse to death. Well, yeah, 'to death' because the horse will get to be such a PITA that no one will want to deal with it, it gets worse or hurts someone and then gets dumped at an auction with a bad story to go along with it and then a one way trip to Mexico.

    ETA: By the way, is everyone still here?? The world is still spinning as far as I can tell.
    Last edited by goneriding24; Dec. 21, 2012 at 05:27 AM. Reason: .
    GR24's Musing #18 - More a reminder than a muse, on the first of the month, do your boob check for any lumps or differences.


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  2. #42
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    Jan. 6, 2003
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    This is a very strange question.

    Do I understand you? You're asking if I feel guilty for taking good care of him and teaching him manners, keeping him trained and marketable and healthy.. but may coincidentally make him temporarily uncomfortable?

    Um... no.
    But this question confirms it. Horsemanship is dead.

    There really needs to be some sort of delineation between mentalities in the community. I'm not sure what happened in the last few years but IME there's an awful lot of middle aged, natural horsemanship clinic-attending, "natural" barefoot trim-believing, bit-less bridle pushing, overfeeding, pay-a-premium-for-any-service-because-wasting-money-equals-love horse mommies out there.

    That, or trainers just interested in making a buck, and keeping the client ignorant. Which I guess brings me back to group one.

    Still cant' get over the thought process behind this question. To draw a parallel: If my horse requires life-saving surgery, you're asking if I feel guilty because he has to suffer the pain of the pin-prick to anesthetize him for that surgical procedure?.. Again, um. No.


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  3. #43
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    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    I'm with you, Sansena - the question had me scratching my head.

    The only time I feel even remotely guilty is when paste-worming or giving meds that taste N.A.S.T.Y. (I confess, I have sampled them).
    Then I do wish I could tell them to deal with the bad taste, it is just a moment. But no way does it ever stop me going ahead with treatment.
    And I expect them to comply, no matter how unpleasant.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  4. #44
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Agree...I feel a bit bad when I force yucky deworming paste down their throats. Only for a minute, I do give a carrot afterwards.

    I feel a bit bad if I wake them up from a nap sometimes.

    Other than that...nope, no bad feelings.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  5. #45
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sansena View Post
    This is a very strange question.

    Do I understand you? You're asking if I feel guilty for taking good care of him and teaching him manners, keeping him trained and marketable and healthy.. but may coincidentally make him temporarily uncomfortable?

    Um... no.
    But this question confirms it. Horsemanship is dead.

    There really needs to be some sort of delineation between mentalities in the community. I'm not sure what happened in the last few years but IME there's an awful lot of middle aged, natural horsemanship clinic-attending, "natural" barefoot trim-believing, bit-less bridle pushing, overfeeding, pay-a-premium-for-any-service-because-wasting-money-equals-love horse mommies out there.

    That, or trainers just interested in making a buck, and keeping the client ignorant. Which I guess brings me back to group one.

    Still cant' get over the thought process behind this question. To draw a parallel: If my horse requires life-saving surgery, you're asking if I feel guilty because he has to suffer the pain of the pin-prick to anesthetize him for that surgical procedure?.. Again, um. No.
    Yes, this question had me also scratching my head.
    Absurd on several levels, hard to decide where to start, you did well giving an answer a try.

    I will add, as a horse trainer, I don't "do horses do things", I teach them what we are doing and how to cooperate.
    All we do is part of getting along and working together, the more and less pleasant we do still has to be done and force is rarely necessary and when it is, there is no guilt involved, like holding a horse for procedures that may be unpleasant.

    I think that is what the OP meant, do you feel guilty then?
    If that is so, no, we do what we need to do in life, all of us, horses and humans and everyone else.



  6. #46
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    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Never. My horse doesn't work that much (compared to how much i have to work to afford him) and I've never asked him to do anything that's dangerous. In return, he must do his part!
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  7. #47
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    Apr. 22, 2007
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    I get the question. The question is though, should we be making any animal do our bidding? It doesn't matter that they get veterinary care and whatnot. We could do that out of kindness, not because we are getting something out of it. Horses do not get the concept of fairness and reciprocity so pushing human values on the situation is not aduquate justification. It is not the same as a boss forcing you to work because nobody is forcing you to take the job. Horses do not have a choice. If they don't comply with complete servitude, they have a consequence and sometimes cruel ones depending on the training. It is no different than training a slave to follow a master. I have almost given up riding many times because of this. I think too many people do not face the truth because they don't want to give up their hobby. I am criticising myself too, obviously.


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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by OceansAway View Post
    I get the question. The question is though, should we be making any animal do our bidding? It doesn't matter that they get veterinary care and whatnot. We could do that out of kindness, not because we are getting something out of it. Horses do not get the concept of fairness and reciprocity so pushing human values on the situation is not aduquate justification. It is not the same as a boss forcing you to work because nobody is forcing you to take the job. Horses do not have a choice. If they don't comply with complete servitude, they have a consequence and sometimes cruel ones depending on the training. It is no different than training a slave to follow a master. I have almost given up riding many times because of this. I think too many people do not face the truth because they don't want to give up their hobby. I am criticising myself too, obviously.

    The difference you are missing there is that horses are not humans.
    Horses are not standing there wondering about their future, considering their past, thinking what else they could have done, will do now.

    While we owe our domestic animals, all of them, the best life we can provide, within reason, for being our animals in all ways we use them, from emotional complements, entertainment, working for and with us, to eating them, we would do them a disservice if we want to attribute them characteristics that are not who they are, but our human ones reflected from us on them.

    Sorry, that is not giving each animal's own nature it's own rights to be who they are.
    If we followed what you say and consider our animals slaves in the human definition of that, we would be guilty, but not of what you state, but of not being fair to their animal nature.

    We are part of this world, each one within who we are, some times prey, some predator, some times parasites, others in a symbiotic relationship.
    All of us alive are individuals from the same matter, will go back to it once we quit being alive.

    That is what animal rights extremists fail to recognize with their "a dog is a kid" type mantra.



  9. #49
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    Aug. 10, 2008
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    Okay. Let me try this again. I come from the 'horses need to behave' school of thought. I don't think it is an odd question, when you consider people like my husband He doesn't get it when my horse crowds me and I yell at my horse, smack him on the chest with the end of the lead rope, and make him back up and wait. To me this is a normal and PROPER way to treat the horse. My husband thinks it is harsh treatment. He says he'd feel guilty if he had to get after an animal like that.

    His cat is a monster to handle, by the way.



  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACP View Post
    Okay. Let me try this again. I come from the 'horses need to behave' school of thought. I don't think it is an odd question, when you consider people like my husband He doesn't get it when my horse crowds me and I yell at my horse, smack him on the chest with the end of the lead rope, and make him back up and wait. To me this is a normal and PROPER way to treat the horse. My husband thinks it is harsh treatment. He says he'd feel guilty if he had to get after an animal like that.

    His cat is a monster to handle, by the way.
    Do you have any kids?
    Sorry, that was a joke, don't answer that.

    There are some people that are natural leaders, some that want to leave the leading to others.

    You need to get him a cat and horse that are fine with those that don't want to lead and still go along and do what they have to do and keep him away from those that need a bit more firm handling, that insist rules are followed.

    Or he can, as I have, learn to stay a step ahead and prevent, not get in a situation where you have to remedy that some took that inch and made it a mile.

    I agree with him, I don't like to have to work with anyone, human or animal, that you have to get overly firm to just coexist.
    I can do it, I have the skills, is just not worth to do that to others for me, if I can avoid it.



  11. #51
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    Mar. 13, 2006
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    The only time I feel remotely guilty is when I make her get up from a nap in the sun to go to work Otherwise, no, not at all.

    I do feel badly about the mud but they all have a nice dry shelter if they should choose to use it. Little mustang has a huge shed to hang in but prefers to stand in the mud just so she can be right next to her best friend (who coudn't care less about her and kicks the snot out of her if given half a chance) in the next paddock. But I don't feel guilty about it. I didn't cause the rain to fall from the sky.
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert



  12. #52
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    Aug. 13, 2011
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    I have only felt guilty once, my mare kicked me and I swatted her on the butt. She jumped forward and ended up getting tangled up in a metal basket the BO kept grooming stuff in. She ended up cutting the pastern on one of her legs. While it wasn't deep it sure did bleed a lot. While she was in the wrong to kick me, I felt bad that my reaction had caused her to hurt herself.

    I also feel guilty when I pull her blanket off to tack up to ride in 30 or under degree weather!!
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  13. #53
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    Aug. 23, 2003
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    I feel bad for horses who aren't trained to have good manners and be well behaved and useful both on the ground and under saddle. I understand some people don't care that much for riding and just like being around horses whether they are well-behaved or not. But I don't get it. It seems neglectful and wrong to me.


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  14. #54
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    Washington State
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    Short answer, no I never feel guilty about making my horses do things. Just like I don't feel guilty for making my dogs do things, or for trying to make the cats do things. I am at the top of the ladder when it comes to my animals, I have to be, or I will end up with unruly, dangerous beasts. That is not to say that I don't treat them with kindness, I love them and try to provide them with everything they need for a happy life, but they must toe the line.



  15. #55
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    I get the question. And I hate hate hate that word. "Make"
    To me that equals force. And I don't feel that force is acceptable MOST of the time.
    I believe there can be teaching without force. That horses can learn by clear direction and positive reinforcement and without punishment, MOST of the time.

    I think that things like making a horse back out of your space, making hi submit to brushing etc are failures (thankful red thumbs are gone here) of the human to properly educate the horse. Respect of space can be easily taught without force or punishment. Simply a matter of showing the horse where you would like him to place his feet. Not all horses like grooming, blanketing, tacking. Whether its past baggage from old owners, or something you (not meaning OP, just current owner) have created,changing the horses mind is doable, and rewarding.

    Good horsemanship is not dead. And it's not touchy feely BS. Good horsemanship is now, and has always been about having a willing partner, not a horse who performs out of fear. Not a robotic creature afraid of self expression.

    GOOD horseman know how to teach in a positive way. They don't "make" a horse do anything. They are wise enough to show the horse what they want the horse to do,rather than what they dont want the horse to do. They are wise enough to work at the pace the horse is able to work at and understand, rather than forcing an agenda. They are wise enough to take a step back and re-think what THEY are missing when the horse is not doing what they THINK they are asking.

    I consider myself a good horseman. One who has learned through the school of hard knocks. Those "hard knocks" have been hard knocks against horses I loved dearly, but was simply not wise enough to do things differently.
    I am guilty, and will forever feel guilty for, thinking it was OK to "make" horses behave and perform.

    But I have learned that good horseman don't "make" horses behave or perform.
    They teach them through consistent, positive training what is expected. They make it rewarding for the horse, at the moment.

    Small example of raising a horse right is my orphan. She was 3 weeks old when I got her. Out with her Dam, with almost zero handling. My "clean slate". My chance to learn from all of my mistakes, and my chance to not repeat them.
    I can honestly say that I have raised this girl from 3 weeks to almost 4 years, without "making" her do anything.
    She is a model citizen. Leads, ties, clips, stands for vet and farrier, blah blah blah. Lunges online and free and walked around bareback. (Dont crucify me because she's almost 4 and is not technically broke WTC. Too many work hours and a broken leg and the loss of an eye put a damper on things).
    But this baby is a horse anyone would be proud to take anywhere. She is good because sh wants to be. She has never been smacked around. Never made to be afraid.
    It can be done. Ditch the word "make" and replace it with "teach"
    Be that kind of person and you will never feel guilt
    I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.


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  16. #56
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    I have an orphan too (orphaned from birth) and you're kidding yourself if you don't think a little fear is a good thing in a horse. The horse needs for you to be the leader and the only way you can be the leader is if the horse respects you. Doesn't mean the horse can't love you, too, but the horse won't love you if it doesn't respect you anyway.

    A lot of horses like to push boundaries, in play or just because they want something other than what you want. I like to address that in a humane and teachable way, which is directly.

    There's nothing wrong with using negative consequences in teaching as long as there is reward for good behavior. That strategy makes for a happy, willing, safe and reliable partner.

    To answer the OP's question, I have no guilt about making my horse do something. Anything I make them do is supposed to be for their own good.



  17. #57
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    Grayarabpony. I respect your opinion. But I disagree with you that fear is a good thing. When one starts with a clean slate it is quite possible to teach without instilling fear. Possible to be the leader and be respected without being feared.
    I AM my horses leader. When this horse is in unfamiliar and potentially scary situation, she looks to me for guidance and since I have never hurt her or made her fear me, she will quietly do whatever I ask.
    I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.


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  18. #58
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    Nope. Don't feel the least little bit guilty. I work hard to pay the bills. I worked in a lot of barns to get my horse fix. The one thing I swore after handling other peoples horses that couldn't stand quietly for food, blanketing, clipping, tacking and et cetera is I was not going to have one of those horses.

    The rules are clear. For my safety and others big animals need great manners.
    \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup



  19. #59
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    I get the question, and to be honest, I do, sometimes. My situation is a little bit different, though; my horse is a mustang who went through some neglectful homes after he came in from the wild. He wasn't started until 11, and I've only just had him for as long as he's been wild.

    I never, ever feel guilty about enforcing manners, doing things for his safety and comfort (like blanketing or making him stand for the vet, etc.). But there are times when I can clearly tell he's not that into being ridden or working hard, at least at that initial tacking up stage. He has a world champion disgusted/exasperated sigh that he deploys frequently in the crossties. Once we start working and he warms up, he really enjoys it, and he does love going cross-country.

    But I do feel keenly that for him, he has a whole world of non-human experience that he prefers, and sometimes dragging him out of his stall and putting a saddle on is clearly not what he would like to be doing at that moment.
    An Eventful Life
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  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    What I feel guilty about is that I am *bothering* by riding him. I was raised by a mom who was constantly telling me to stop what I was doing because I was bothering people, to come away from those people because I was bothering them. I was 64 before I realized that the only person I ever bothered was HER. But that's another story!!
    I think that a certain level of guilt about controlling others, even others who are dependents or pets, is appropriate. It acts as a counterbalance to the tendency we all have as humans to try to dominate those around us.

    Then again, I was raised Catholic, so guilt just feels natural to me.



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