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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    All the above answers are accurate.

    So to the OP, in a word NO!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003


    I saw a trainer hitting a horse in the head at, of all places, Equine Affaire, several years ago. His name escapes me, but I did email EA when I got home. Their response was that they would take it into consideration when booking trainers for future events. It is not a "natural horsemanship" technique, although some "NH" trainers do use some fairly rough techniques to get what they want, and unfortunately that sometimes includes a whap upside the head. Why, I don't know. But I walk out rather than continue to watch a horse being mistreated.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011


    I have only ever hit my horse in the face when they attempted to bite me. I will give them a small pop if they attempt to use me as a scratching post with their head. I wouldn't qualify it as a hit though. I use so little pressure that I would not even kill a fly. It's more to startle than anything else.

    Unless the horse already has serious issues on the ground, all most horses need are body language or a light tap with a whip on their chest if they're really tuning you out.

    When I brought my new horse home a couple months ago, she was very passive aggressive while being led. She'd come in to my space, fall behind me or walk in front of me. Carrying a dressage whip around to give her light taps (probably tickles more than anything else) on her barrel or chest for a couple days was all it took. After the first couple taps all I had to do was move the whip and she'd listen.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006


    I try to give all my horses the benefit of the doubt. I also dont expect them to learn complete everything in five minutes which will require, yes, rushed actions or borderline abuse to get reactions.

    As you find areas that need fixing, you should really chip away at it so that trust remains since you are not another horse that just wants them to get away from you.

    The best thing in your tool box is time....
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by oldernewbie View Post
    ETA: I am particularly sensitive to harsh whip use as my breed of choice (Arab) has a long and ugly history of overuse of the whip. You never know when you'll run into an Arab that was trained using the more unfortunate approaches for halter - try to put a whip on the side of that horse's head and you may regret it.
    Yup. We have a few horses in our mostly-Arab barn that arrived with halter training on them, and they will respond to a lunge whip on the other end of the arena.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2008
    now in KCMO, and plan to stay there


    Please tell us who that idiot is. In answer to your question, no that is not a valid horsemanship method, no matter what style of riding is involved.
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by MyssMyst View Post
    Yup. We have a few horses in our mostly-Arab barn that arrived with halter training on them, and they will respond to a lunge whip on the other end of the arena.
    There's a halter showman who damn near didn't survive a class at Scottsdale a few years ago when the stallion he was showing had a psychotic break (not kidding here) during a class. Some severe flashback to prior handlers' techniques apparently and he knocked the handler down and hurt him. I am profoundly sad to say that this is not an isolated incident, as you probably know.

    After thinking about the OP's scenario all day I am no closer to thinking it was OK than I was this morning. Sad, really, and I would like to know who it was as well.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2012


    I agree with almost everything others have said already. That's poor horsemanship, and everything about "bad" horse manners and behavior really irritates me. Young horse handling is SO important, and it's certainly discouraging to know clinics showcasing such poor training skills.

    That being said, I will admit that I hit my horse in the nose as hard as I could one time. It was before I owned her, but was leasing her, and when she first arrived at the barn she was terrible in her stall. She'd go after people because she didn't know any better and had really poor handling / no handling until she was six. Anyway, I was putting her girth on and she bit the crap out of my arm. It wasn't a little nip, she meant business. And she tore a nice chunk out and the bruise lasted a month. Immediately after she did it, before I even really thought about it, I hit her in the nose pretty dang hard. That was absolutely unacceptable, mean, dirty behavior.

    That was six years ago and she has never tried to bite me or anyone else since. Just to play a little bit of devils advocate, in that instance, with this horse, it was okay to do. And she wasn't at all nervous about me after. Her manners were impeccable after a full year there, to this day she is very responsive and well behaved.

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