View Full Version : how firm is too firm
23rd Feb 2003, 08:21 AM
i have a three year old filly who i've had since december 26th who was and still is generally really well behaved she is an ex race horse last raced late november 2002. Anyway shes had a couple of cuts and stuff and she is fine until you touch them but then she trys to kick she doesn't get away with anything on any occassion but I try to used growly voice and firm handling more so than hitting her The problem is kicking is dangerous shes never got me or anyone yet as it has been more just a kick out at nothing recently shes has started aiming for you i have hit her (hit tho not bashed) for this coz i dont want her kicking but its only when shes got some sort of cut so i dont know whether its really fair on her as she might be sore the person who is helping me with her if i need help is very very strong on horses and i dont really entirely agree she uses the same strength on a 12hh pony as she would on a 17hh horse and has the they have to be scared of you to respect you attitude which i like to think is not true i'm quite capable of doing this but dont think its required as thats not really gaining a partnership with your horse. Shes very submissive when i get mad at her she come to stand by me with her head well below my head height sulking. So basically i'm just looking for peoples opinions on what they do to teach a horse not to kick under any circumstance without destroying their trust in you while keeping in mind its only when treating cuts and things that she does it. I have always been taught to hold up one leg and have some1 then treat the cut but shes very agile and can stand on two legs to kick still.....trying to find an answer before she actually gets someone.
23rd Feb 2003, 08:49 AM
Horses trust strong leaders, not subordinate horses to them!
Once you have established the pecking order she may test is occasionally, but if the boundaries never change she'll give up.
Look how another horse would counter this sort of behavour, usually with a load squeal and a thump.
Having said this some horses have very thin skin and a low pain tollerance so it may really, really hurt her! All she's doing is protecting her legs which she instinctively needs. What may feel quite relaxing for a hairy cob may feel like torture for a thin skined TB.
23rd Feb 2003, 11:26 AM
I think you need to find a confident horseperson to work through this with her. Anyone who is going to be acting nervously around her will not help. My approach to an horse who is afraid of handling (which is what the problem seems to be taking into consideration the cuts she had), is to teach them to accept what you are asking of them.
This means that hitting or reprimanding the horse is out of the question. In fact in most training situations punishment does make the horse hesitant to do things wrong but i also makes them hesitant to do things right, (such as having her feet picked up to be cleaned).
Someone who is confident at handling horses needs to teach her to accept her legs being touched which involves handling the leg and not taking away the contact until she relaxes. There will likely be an initial struggle (hence a confident horseperson should be the one doing this) but that way she will learn that all that is required is for her to relax. Of course this should be a gradual process, not going for her most sensitive areas first but working up to them. The contact however must not be removed until she relaxes otherwise, as you already know, she will learn that if she kicks then you take away the bothersome handling.
23rd Feb 2003, 08:05 PM
Don't forget that confidence\trust grows from knowing what your reaction will be, not necessarily the reaction itself. If one day you are mad and the next day try to be nice and calm, this will not bring trust - not because of either reaction but because the reaction wasn't the same.
A horse who gets a whack each time it does something at least knows if I do 'A' then I get a whack.... (please don't jump on the bandwagon and start a discussion on whacking horses - its just an example :) )
23rd Feb 2003, 09:32 PM
Dolly can be quite awkward with her legs, but I find if I rub my hand down her neck slowly and continuously over her body, I can get down her legs and do anything I like with them. However, if I reach straight for her leg, she starts flailing it about which is pretty dangerous. Maybe this is what is going wrong with your horse? Take your time, and just follow the body down to the leg, and praise her continously. Yesterday, I hibiscubbed and picked up all four of Dolly's legs without the slightest bit of trouble from her.
23rd Feb 2003, 11:49 PM
Thanx for your reponses they are make sense the problem is the cuts that i have the trouble with are not the cuts on her legs they are on her body the cuts on her legs if she does get stroppy with them are ok as i do pick them up and treat it that way and put up with whatever she does and even now i'm not scared of her i just dont want her thinking that seen she can kick when a cuts being treated then she can kick when ever she doesn't want something shes got a lovely nature generally and i want to keep it that way the only more experienced or more confident horse person i could get out is the person described above and i dont want to do that as she would litterally scare the daylights out of her i've seen her flip horses over backwards for picking up a leg which i dont want done to my girl. when she does it now i just stay in close to reduce impact if she does hit and let her know its wrong but i dont wanna go over the top with her when its no necersarry but at the same time you cant let a 16hh horse get what they want coz you want to be "nice" coz then it could become dangerous if that makes any sense......lol
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