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disciplining a kicker

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  • disciplining a kicker

    very inexperienced mare in big groups ( see my post below re: jigging)...took her on her second big outing - 30 horses? lots of trot and some canter, we stayed in the second group ...you could see the horses in the first group at times....we were on a dirt road.. at the walk she jigged only about 50% of the time and actually stood still ( sometimes) at the checks. i was very proud and considered this lots of progess. she never pulled or got strong at the faster gaits, we just stayed alongside her buddy and it was fine. there were moments when i felt her get VERY tense and i made sure i warned all the folks behind me to keep a distance. well...the first group started to canter, and we were about to when we got " rear ended" and my mare let out a nasty kick, when i turned around to see if the girl was OK , my mare did a little twisty thing, and i came off, ( it was actually more like a dismount! ) anyway, it was too late to give her a whack and say NO, BAD GIRL.... but i do not trust her to not kick now....and would like to train this out of her...... someone told me mares who have foaled ( she's had 2 and was the alpha mare in her herd) are more apt to kick..... and yes i know about the red ribbon.. any suggestions?
  • Original Poster

    #2
    very inexperienced mare in big groups ( see my post below re: jigging)...took her on her second big outing - 30 horses? lots of trot and some canter, we stayed in the second group ...you could see the horses in the first group at times....we were on a dirt road.. at the walk she jigged only about 50% of the time and actually stood still ( sometimes) at the checks. i was very proud and considered this lots of progess. she never pulled or got strong at the faster gaits, we just stayed alongside her buddy and it was fine. there were moments when i felt her get VERY tense and i made sure i warned all the folks behind me to keep a distance. well...the first group started to canter, and we were about to when we got " rear ended" and my mare let out a nasty kick, when i turned around to see if the girl was OK , my mare did a little twisty thing, and i came off, ( it was actually more like a dismount! ) anyway, it was too late to give her a whack and say NO, BAD GIRL.... but i do not trust her to not kick now....and would like to train this out of her...... someone told me mares who have foaled ( she's had 2 and was the alpha mare in her herd) are more apt to kick..... and yes i know about the red ribbon.. any suggestions?

    Comment


    • #3
      I have absolutely NO time for kickers out hunting.

      Having been kicked by a horse that backed 30 feet to get me,I could'nt get away from it,we were on the bank of a canal,I had NO-Where to go.

      As far as I'm concerned the rider should have beaten the crap out of the horse to send it forwards.

      I have seen too many horrific accidents,kickers should be at the very back of the field.

      If your horse even offers to kick,it needs wacking,imediately it pins it's ears.

      I am equally hard on people who ride up my butt,stepping on my horse's heels,I will hit them,or threaten them, with my whip if I can reach them.

      If your hunt has little kids out ,they are really at risk from a kicking horse.I would never forgive myself if my horse kicked,and hurt an innocent rider.

      Just not worth it.

      Fly buckers are equally dangerous in my book.
      \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        well i'm with you fernie fox, i would have LOVED to have beaten the crap out of her, had i stayed on...

        Comment


        • #5
          Well,there is'nt a lot you can do in that situation.

          But the minute you see that ear flicker towards another horse I'd be on her case,verbally and if she does'nt change her attitude Imediately,give her a wallop,preferably on the side she is reacting to,if you know what I mean.

          They always give a warning.Unfortunately some folks arent paying attention to their horse's body language and they miss the signs.
          \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".

          Comment


          • #6
            Can you elaborate about the "no time" for kickers/buckers? All horses will kick/buck - I've seen some very experienced hunters do it - like a mare in season, the first really crisp fall day,that sort of thing. I'm not excusing it of course - just saying I've seen it. I'd chalk it up to a bad day.

            I agree to discipline as quickly as possible but am wondering for those of us who may have trouble from time to time -

            is it better for a fellow hunter to help the rider through it, talk to the field secretary about it, or hit them with your whip? Which one is more conducive to amicable hunts and the long term viability of the hunt club?

            Accidents happen of course, and no one wants to get hurt. I agree that spacing is paramount.

            I just got this vision of you (ferniefox) as this formidable huntsman - madly whacking away at lowly mendicants who dare to get too close. I'm kidding, of course. No offense intended.

            Am I over reacting to your post or reading something into it that isn't there?

            Comment


            • #7
              Well that really did nearly happen,and I was NOT joking at the time.

              Was hacking between covers along a two horse width trail.

              The horse behind me was all but stepping on my mares heels,and had been all morning.

              Having repeatedly asked this clown to get off my horses heels,I had finally had enough,I turned around,turned my whip so that the handle was close to his horses face.

              And in no uncertain terms explained ,that I would knock his horses teeth out followed by his own,if he did not back off.

              At the time I was riding beside one of hunting's leading ladies,who said that was the best way she had seen that handled in a long time.

              Riding up peoples bums is the ruination of many good horses,and if they start kicking to protect them selves you can't blame them.

              Even so kicking is just not acceptable behaviour.

              As far as I'm concerned,"known Kickers",have no place in the field.

              They are a major liability.
              \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".

              Comment


              • #8
                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Falstaff:
                I just got this vision of you (ferniefox) as this formidable huntsman - madly whacking away at lowly mendicants who dare to get too close. I'm kidding, of course. No offense intended.

                Am I over reacting to your post or reading something into it that isn't there? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



                Actually I had enough people beating,dealing with the anti's in the 60s and 70s in UK.

                Nowadays I am a harmless little old lady glad to bring up the rear and watch the antics of others.
                \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ahh - I see and understand. And agree. Sometimes the direct approach is the only way to get through to some people!

                  I have come across several folks in the hunt field that wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire, and those who try to help a new subscriber feel welcome and try to educate them - and get over some of the "growing pains" newcomers and their horses experience the first few seasons. Many of us have to work with what we have - buying a made field hunter is not an option - regardless of how wise it is.

                  Certainly I would be as assertive as you in the same situation - since the mare mentioned is new to hunting, perhaps experienced hunters could offer constructive criticism and ideas for solving common problems in new hunters. Lord knows my horse has problems jigging and whatnot.

                  I'm afraid that I don't see the enthusiastic support for new hunters that I see in other horse sports. It seems that the hunts want new members, but don't dare make a mistake once you get in.

                  I don't mean to cast aspersions on any person or hunt - these are just my observations.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    magic mushroom -

                    Put both a red AND a green ribbon in your mare's tail, and the next time you go out keep to the back of the field and watch carefully who is behind you. At any halt turn your mare slightly sideways to the line so that she can't kick anyone unless she spins her butt. And you keep your whip at the ready (in case she starts to pivot) to "remind" her that kicking will have dire consequences... from you. You'd be amazed at how much better horses behave when they are caddy-corner to the line with their vision capturing both front and rear, and not having to worry they are going to get rammed unexpectedly from behind. It's also easier for the rider to scope out the manners of the horses behind as well... and to see (and be able to react to) the very situation that happened to you and your mare.

                    If you notice the rider behind you being less than reasonably in control, either move forward in the group, or drop back behind the offending horse.

                    The hunt trail rides around here have ramped up to a lot of cantering and hand gallops to have everyone ready for cubbing.. and we've been doing a lot of abrupt changes of gait without notice. I've learned to keep my eyes at least three horses ahead of me as advance warning for changes of pace, and been throwing up my hand when the pace throttles down abruptly. More than once I've been gratefully thanked by the riders behind me for the visual "halt" -- I'm pretty sure a fair number would have careened into me (since I have a very athletic pony who can stop on a dime) had I not warned them of a sudden halt.

                    My astute watch of those behind me has saved my pony from being used as a crash dummy numerous times... but not until I'd already been crashed into TWICE by the same person on our very first trail ride, and saw with horror that my sweet, loving, good natured pony's surprised look at the stupid horse behind him turned (at the second crash) into a pissed-off look accompanied by a lifted back foot as an implied warning on what would happen if there was a third crash. (Mind you, this horse behind me ended up with his d**n head in my lap, the rider apologizing profusely!) My guy had never offered to kick another horse in his life even in the tightest of group situations, and I didn't want to see it happen ... even once! I immediately moved him forward in the line more than happy to let the rider crash into someone else. I now ride defensively and have *no* problem moving out of line and finding another spot in the group if I feel I've got a yahoo behind me.

                    Better safe than sorry.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Leg yielding is your best friend out hunting,it gets you out of all sorts of trouble.
                      \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Amen!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Fernie Fox, I am glad to know that I am not the only one who will jump all over someone riding up on my horse like that. Especially infuriating at a flat gallop in a wide open 400 acre field . Sometimes I put a red ribbon in tail just to keep the goofballs away. That being said, I, also have seen horrible accidents from kicks (broken legs, horses put down...) and would highly recommend a sound thrashing for it and stay at the back - very back.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh, and one more thing. Has anyone else ever watched an experienced hunt member give a goofball the "Would you like to Pass?" icy stare as a response to being crowded? NOT a compliment, Newbies!!!!!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              when new to hunting mine kicked out at a passing hound. a couple of jerks on the curb reins plus verbal reinforcement and he hasn't done it in the years since. much to my relief.
                              he is however hard to stop with all that bulk moving, so i have had much practice avoiding others. we have had a few bounce off his back end, fortunately with out any injury. to find one his size with the control of his predecessor would be perfect, but sometimes ya just gotta deal with what ya got.
                              more hay, less grain

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The biggest problem I've noted is an unwillingness to truly discipline a kicker. I've seen horses kick out unprovoked only to receive a light tap or a verbal reprimand. When you reprimand a horse, you must USE YOUR CROP, and use it HARD! If it doesn't produce a loud WHACK sound then you're not really giving it enough effort.

                                I've seen too many people take far too cavalier an attitude towards their horse's kicking. In my mind any horse can kick if provoked, but those who kick repeatedly do not belong anywhere in the hunt field. Just my opinion.

                                Don

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  But what is a "newbie" supposed to do when a long term hunt member is riding a known kicker, doesn't have a ribbon in the tail, and proceeds to scream at you if you get within 3 horse lengths of her horse?

                                  How are the new guys to the hunt supposed to deal with this?

                                  I keep thinking of ways to make my horse less anxious about hunting - but maybe, just maybe, part of his anxiety is because I'm so worried about incurring the wrath of long time hunt members that we're both basket cases.

                                  I think, generally, newbies are eager to learn - and there is so much to learn.

                                  Safety first, always. I really enjoy foxhunting and am glad to have the opportunity to do so. But I tell you this: newcomers should be made to feel welcome and part of the hunt - if that means an experienced hunt member should team up with the newbie they should do so - it's to the benefit of all - and to the future of foxhunting. Snide remarks, dirty looks, cold silences do less to educate the newcomer than to drive potentially good foxhunters away.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Getting side tracked...

                                    Falstaff "I'm afraid that I don't see the enthusiastic support for new hunters that I see in other horse sports. It seems that the hunts want new members, but don't dare make a mistake once you get in. "

                                    I have to say this is my biggest worry about joining a hunt. I love to hunt, hunted in college, and have been asked to join. But now that my mare is super fit (I event her) she can be hard to handle for the first few gallops and I dread being asked to leave the field! She can be great once she settles (she doesn't kick or anything, just loves to run and run and run) but I'm too nervous about the first hour of her jigging and not standing at checks to give it another try this winter. I know once she gets out a few times she'll be great but I worry about others thinking she's too "fresh" for the hunt field. It would be nice if there was some sort of "intro" hunts for those with greenier horses who want to train them to be hunters.
                                    Just a thought.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Falstaff wrote:
                                      "newcomers should be made to feel welcome and part of the hunt - if that means an experienced hunt member should team up with the newbie they should do so - it's to the benefit of all - and to the future of foxhunting"

                                      That is the solution I was going to suggest - pair your new folks up with a seasoned member that will be better at correcting the bad behavior of the seasoned member out in the field than the new person.

                                      I remember instructing a woman who had a gelding that she needed to ride at the back as her horse was kicking out ( and she had a hard time controlling the horse ) she proceeded to ignore me until her horse laid a bad kick into a long time member of the hunt. I think that in her case she was just overmatched by that horse and should not have been out there but given her time in the hunt nobody ( other than me ) wanted to correct her. In general .

                                      Out here, I see very few people in the hunt field that really do any correction of people for improper safety / riding considerations or etiquette I think that most folks are so worried about potentially insulting / angering someone. It does distress me when even the field master or riding secretary overlook potentially dangerous situations.

                                      I was hit in the knee by a shot from a horse that went out of his way to get at my horse two years ago so I am sensitive to this issue.

                                      I have a little less concern about my horse kicking someone that runs into us - I have never had this happen, but I would not be too upset at my horse if he kicked someone that smashed into us ( not just a little bump or just following too closely ).

                                      I agree 100% that a safe hunt horse should not kick at all in tight quarters.

                                      Nowdays, I ride to the outside of the group when I can so I have no horse on one side of me which gives me room to move if I need to, I don't really like being boxed in - it limits your options.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Our hunt hosts a series of summer trail rides that provide a great opportunity to bring out green horses and work on any "issues" they may have.

                                        My complaint is not with greenies in the hunt field, but rather with experienced foxhunters who persist in bringing known, agressive kickers into the field, and then riding up front. And when the horse inveitably kicks, they have a million and one excuses for why he or she was "provoked"

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