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Do You Feel Guilty if You Make Your Horse Do Something?

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  • #61
    His cat is a monster to handle, by the way.
    I can only imagine!!
    Tell your hubby to picture his cat 1000 pounds heavier, with the equivalent power!

    After many different horses, and most of them tricky to handle - aka stallions with issues - I have come to realize you need to have balance in the way you treat them.
    Give them a carrot, give them a slap, whatever is most fit for the situation. Just like boyfriends!

    I usually try to reward a good behavior instead of waiting for the bad one to arise. So instead of waiting for the day the horse decides it would be fun to be on my lap instead of leading correctly, I try to teach them that if they do things the way I want them to, they get a treat, or a pat, or whatever they like.
    Trust me, it comes to a point where as soon as they see you they start trying to catch your attention.

    They'll be focused on you which makes handling *and* ridding incredibly easier. The photo on the link below is me and my first horse a few years ago. He was considered unridable and I purchased him as a 7 year old stallion who would lunge at people to bite.
    http://s879.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=1
    www.facebook.com/lusitanos4sale

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    • #62
      Hail, no. My horses have better lives than 99% of the HUMANS on this planet. Even if the little poopsies have to spend all day moving cattle or foxhunting, or a few days packing/camping in the wilderness.

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      • #63
        Nope. The things I do with my horse are either for her health/well being or my safety. My horse actually likes to do stuff. A few years ago when she was out of work to recoup from an injury, she started acting so ugly(even though she was handled daily). When I started riding her( in the winter with 6 months off) she stood perfectly at the mounting block and was so mellow you would have thought she had been ridden routinely.

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        • #64
          Bluey, there are all kinds of extremists. Some think animals should be treated as kids, some think humans should not interfere with animals at all. I am closer to the second. While I think the animals I have deserve the best care, I think it is kinder to let them be horses and not give them a "job" based on our wants and desires. Let them be horses, as much as we can. Horses might not premeditate or ruminate like humans, but that doesn't mean should use our human might to dictate their lives. Safety is one thing and I agree if you choose to have a potentially dangerous animal in your life you must set boundaries,but I question whether going beyond that is ethical. As humans, we are moral agents. We have the ability to make ethical decisions and just because animals can't, it doesn't mean that they can't be receivers of ethics and morality. Retarded people can't always make logical and ethical decisions but I am not going to treat them as a means to my ends because they do not have the ability to do so themselves.
          Like I said, this is a personal question I bring up for myself, but I think others need to honestly examine their own lives as well.

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          • #65
            I did feel a tiny bit guilty if I had to twitch two of mine, but Mr. Nasty, aka Bill, no guilt at all.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by OceansAway View Post
              Bluey, there are all kinds of extremists. Some think animals should be treated as kids, some think humans should not interfere with animals at all. I am closer to the second. While I think the animals I have deserve the best care, I think it is kinder to let them be horses and not give them a "job" based on our wants and desires. Let them be horses, as much as we can. Horses might not premeditate or ruminate like humans, but that doesn't mean should use our human might to dictate their lives. Safety is one thing and I agree if you choose to have a potentially dangerous animal in your life you must set boundaries,but I question whether going beyond that is ethical. As humans, we are moral agents. We have the ability to make ethical decisions and just because animals can't, it doesn't mean that they can't be receivers of ethics and morality. Retarded people can't always make logical and ethical decisions but I am not going to treat them as a means to my ends because they do not have the ability to do so themselves.
              Like I said, this is a personal question I bring up for myself, but I think others need to honestly examine their own lives as well.
              So you have horses as pets? Do you ride them? Do you own horses or just admire them from afar?

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Sobriska View Post
                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.
                You haven't had an orphan from day one. You miss that little bit of a spook that a horse raised with an equine mother has, even if it only has its mom for 3 weeks.

                It's not possible to have respect without a little bit of fear. Getting after a horse doesn't mean he won't look to you for guidance; quite the opposite.

                As a young horse my gelding was a brat. After a certain point I got very frustrated and told my DH that he couldn't handle the horse anymore if he didn't do it correctly, because I was constantly having to deal with the repercussions. Now the horse is a lot more fun to be around and is more relaxed and happy. He's also a good riding horse.

                I guarantee your method wouldn't work with my horse. He has a great attitude under saddle but on the ground he likes to play and yank my chain. He's not unusual; I've seen many geldings like him.
                Last edited by grayarabpony; Dec. 23, 2012, 10:54 PM.

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                • #68
                  I don't agree with that. I am confident my horses do not fear me, but they are certainly respectful. Maybe your particular horse is wired that way, but I don't think that is typical.

                  I feel guilty about some things w/ my horses - like I forgot to watch the radar and didn't move them last night to the pasture with a shelter. They were wet this morning and not shivering, but not all that happy.

                  I don't feel guilty for asking them to do things for me. I do things for them every day, so it's one of those turnabout is fair play situations. I can tell that they love doing some things I ask them to do (go for a real trail ride), less than thrilled about some (carry small humans very carefully in circles), and bored by others (stand tied to the trailer for a couple of hours because that works for me today), but they do them all without misbehaving. I carry hay in the rain without misbehaving, you know.

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                  • #69
                    I'm tempted to feel guilty for asking much of Hooverpony, but I think that mostly comes from our vets and I not having access to equipment that could diagnose what's REALLY going on in that dropped hip of his. But I've learned how to trim his feet so he doesn't have to break his toe walls off to trim himself, and I'm learning to adjust saddles so he's comfortable. Above all, I've learned to read him to tell if he really is hurting, or is just feeling the same middle-age inertia that I do. What loosens us both up and gets our bods feeling better? Exercise! The local world is our health club.....

                    Above all, we live where horses who don't work literally have no way to eat. The horses left to 'just be horses' in Haiti? We see them skeletal, or dead of starvation, or hit by trucks and dead by the road, or hit by trucks and alive by the road with shattered limbs. Don't tell the local mares they have to practice family planning to reduce the pony population, they don't get it even if the owner's do! And we're in a drought - prone country where there are NO pastures and grazing is scarce to begin with for 6 months of the year.

                    So my gelding gets food only by having a human, and sufficient exercise only if he will do something for us - I can't run fast and far enough beside him to give him enough exercise unless he's packing a load. His hip is now much better after a year of refeeding and light work, he's lost the constant worried look, loves grooming and likes going out once he's warmed up. And he gets hassled much less by dogs and local people when they see him WORKING, in a country where people starve because they can't find work and no one can just hand the people a life without work in exchange.

                    Temptation to feel guilty isn't something I want to give in to.
                    Last edited by HorsesinHaiti; Dec. 24, 2012, 11:38 AM. Reason: Duh, forgot a key point.
                    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by katyb View Post
                      I don't agree with that. I am confident my horses do not fear me, but they are certainly respectful. Maybe your particular horse is wired that way, but I don't think that is typical.

                      I feel guilty about some things w/ my horses - like I forgot to watch the radar and didn't move them last night to the pasture with a shelter. They were wet this morning and not shivering, but not all that happy.

                      I don't feel guilty for asking them to do things for me. I do things for them every day, so it's one of those turnabout is fair play situations. I can tell that they love doing some things I ask them to do (go for a real trail ride), less than thrilled about some (carry small humans very carefully in circles), and bored by others (stand tied to the trailer for a couple of hours because that works for me today), but they do them all without misbehaving. I carry hay in the rain without misbehaving, you know.
                      As I said, unless you've dealt with an orphan from birth, I guess you don't know what you don't know, and take your horses' respect for granted. My horse is not unusual even though he is an orphan.

                      Installing manners in your horse is not an unkindness. Everything isn't sunshine and roses all of the time. Sometimes the horse needs to do something NOW, without arguing, whether he wants to or not. That will often involve a mix of negative and positive reenforcement. Needing to have treats all of the time to get your horse to do something is a pain in the ass.

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                      • #71
                        Fear is an appropriate part of respect. You need only watch horses in a herd setting- or a mama getting after her foal- to understand that. Absolutely nothing wrong with 'come to Jesus' aka 'putting the fear of God' in a horse when it's called for. In the long run, that's what improves horses' and riders' wellbeing.

                        For a horse, I daresay it's a better situation than fear of predation.

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                        • #72
                          Absolutely not! I give my dogs and horses shelter, food, water, medical care, etc. In return, they have a few rules to follow and have to put up with the things I ask of them.

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                          • #73
                            Since I returned back to the gym four months ago I would say I feel empathy for my pony. My trainer pushes me in the gym and sometimes it hurts and I want to throw-up. When I ask my pony for a bit more collection I know what she feels like. I'll tell her I'm sorry but I know you can do this!
                            Dawn

                            Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

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