Encouraging the Response to the Discouragement of Unsafe Horse Behaviour

In this video I talk about coming back to the horse after having to discourage a behaviour that was dangerous or risks your personal safety. Hopefully the horsey show in the background is entertaining too 🙂

If you’re around horses enough there are going to be times where they put you in danger through either playing around or truly trying to get you to move because they consider themselves above you. I talked a bit about this in this video here about biting: http://www.stablehorsetraining.com/why-horses-bite/

To deal with the pressure that they put on your safety there may be times when you have to physically lash out. This might be something as small as a poke with your finger, or an actual smack or punch or kick.

*** Important note: This video and article is in no way condoning physical abuse of horses nor is there justification to hit horses outside of pure risk of your physical safety. No, this does not include those that hit horses because they fell off of them and their personal safety is at risk, that’s just poor riding and the fault of the rider (sadly this is a common occurrence). The point of this video is to point out that it’s important to recognize that the horse may be responding in a positive way to the discouragement and to reward that as it’s what you wanted as them moving away has made you safe again. ***

The theory in this video is reliant on the fact that the horse responded positively to the discouragement or “punishment” given as it’s important that they know that the reaction was appropriate. Some horses do not respond to this and have learned if they keep pushing on the human, it won’t be long before they yield and move their feet. This is unacceptable.

Building a relationship with a horse is defined almost solely on who moves who’s feet consistently. Each time you get out of your horse’s way you have taught them that they can move you, hence why some people do lash out physically to protect themselves. Others will move out of the way or back. Both are a very natural reaction to protect yourself and in fact horses themselves do it all the time. Almost this whole video is demonstrating that with the ridiculous antics of our three horses going on in the background.

While I certainly didn’t come up with this concept on my own, I follow Buck Brannaman (one of a few horseman I respect) and he’s the one that introduced me to that concept and it made a lot of sense. Hopefully the way I have interpreted it and modified the thought process can make sense to others and it helps in some way in a positive way.