bit worried - new peopel on yard think its ok to hit their horses on face

darkhorse123

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Now im a first time horse owner so do not judge anyone - each to their own so long as i dont witness actual abuse
But we have had a few new new liveries on our yard lately who smack their horses faces if they misbehave.

Ok - thats up to them - but i have a bolshy cob who can gate-hog and no way do i want anyone smacking him in his face!

Ive dropped hints - said he was very headshy when i got him etc etc so cannot ever be hit on his face ( he wasnt but felt i had to fib to protect him) - he only needs to be told to step back from gate and he will - wave a whip to his chest ok, smack his shoulder IF NEEDED - fine, im fine with that. But hit his face - no!!!!



Guess im worried they are a bit smack happy and im worried for my lad who is not nasty just tries his luck.

Now im sounding horrible - but maybe im not. I would never ever hit my boy in the face if he was naughty ie barging ? Maybe im wrong? They do it in full view of everyone?

And no im no bunny hugger - if my boy is naughty he gets a short sharp whack - on his shoulder the minute he is naughty. But to hit his face - a slap? Is that right - in your opinion?

Do you think it is acceptable to hit a naughty horse in the face - ie slap him?



Opinions needed from experienced horse owners please x
 
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ruby1512

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I wouldn't hit a horse in the face to be honest and if I found out someone else had hit my horse in the face there would be hell to pay.
 

Arizahn

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We have spent almost three months gaining our mares trust so we can brush her face and bridle her without a panic:(
I cannot see the logic in striking a horse about the head or face.
 

FionaM12

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I can understand your concern, but I'm not sure there's a lot you can do about it.

I would hope that they wouldn't hit someone else's horse at all. I don't think most people would, however they behave with their own.

You've gently warned them not to mess with his face please, I think I'd feel I'd have to leave it at that. Sadly we can't protect our horses every moment.

Is the YO about much? Would they have something to say about anyone hitting another person's horse?
 

noodle_

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i would never smack anyone elses horse ever - ive been reared on/draged barged etc - but never smacked anyone elses horse....

however my own i would but not on the face! except the odd flick on the nose when she nips me.... but shes afraid of nothing - its just cheekiness and she knows its the same back :)
 

savia

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I've had experience of this as well, at a riding school I briefly worked at.:rolleyes:

At the interview, the owner of the place gave this big speech about how none of her staff hit the horses and if anyone was caught doing it they would be promptly removed.Come the first day of working there, I was stood outside one horses box with one of the other girls who had been there a couple of years, after she had shown me round the yard.Cue the horse who's stable we were stood outside of giving her a nudge and her turning round and punching it on the cheek.:eek: She then had the audacity to say to me 'if they do anything, just give them a smack on the face'.:mad:

Needless to say, I didn't stay there very long!
 

darkhorse123

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I can understand your concern, but I'm not sure there's a lot you can do about it.

I would hope that they wouldn't hit someone else's horse at all. I don't think most people would, however they behave with their own.

You've gently warned them not to mess with his face please, I think I'd feel I'd have to leave it at that. Sadly we can't protect our horses every moment.

Is the YO about much? Would they have something to say about anyone hitting another person's horse?


I get on with my yo very much - i think i might mention my concerns to him and i do think he would respect it.
I have always been very honest about my horse, he can be a bugar at the gate - he likes to be first in but due to respiratory problems now cant be - he needs to be out as long as possible.

With the other liveries i trusted them, i left a whip on the field gate with a carrier bag fastened to end so they could "wave" him off if he was rude without them even touching him.

I just think if people are so easy hitting their own horses faces, well it worries me - id hate my horse to be hit in his face

And tbh it shocks me they do this like its normal and ok!
 

FionaM12

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I think a quiet word with YO is probably the way to go. Issues like this could reflect on the reputation of his yard after all.

I agree it's shocking when you see people hitting horses in the face as if it's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. :mad: But sadly, it's not uncommon.
 

Shantara

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I occasionally 'bop' Ned on the nose if he's being pushy. I would never smack or hit him in the face properly, unless I felt it was the only way to get out of a dangerous situation for either of us. When I do bop him on the nose, it doesn't hurt him or make him head shy, it's just a small reminder, which works!

At a show, I have seen a child smack a horse in the face with her whip. I don't know who it was (I assume mother or horses owner) stormed over, plucked the child off the pony and snapped the whip. Haha! I hope she learnt her lesson.
 

darkhorse123

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I occasionally 'bop' Ned on the nose if he's being pushy. I would never smack or hit him in the face properly, unless I felt it was the only way to get out of a dangerous situation for either of us. When I do bop him on the nose, it doesn't hurt him or make him head shy, it's just a small reminder, which works!

At a show, I have seen a child smack a horse in the face with her whip. I don't know who it was (I assume mother or horses owner) stormed over, plucked the child off the pony and snapped the whip. Haha! I hope she learnt her lesson.
See maybe im being thick but i dont get that!
You say you "bop him on his nose" but "never smack or hit him in the face properly"

Is your horses nose not on his head or face? Have you ever had a "bop on the nose" - do you know how much it hurts?

Oh god maybe im too soft but if someone "bopped" my boy on his nose i think i would kill them!


Ok if im over reacting - explain why bopping a horse on his nose is better than a slap on the shoulder - i said im a novice - please explain, im just genuineley confused!
 

Shantara

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See maybe im being thick but i dont get that!
You say you "bop him on his nose" but "never smack or hit him in the face properly"

Is your horses nose not on his head or face? Have you ever had a "bop on the nose" - do you know how much it hurts?

Oh god maybe im too soft but if someone "bopped" my boy on his nose i think i would kill them!


Ok if im over reacting - explain why bopping a horse on his nose is better than a slap on the shoulder - i said im a novice - please explain, im just genuineley confused!
Sorry, I should have explained! I mean I used one or two fingers to lightly tap him inbetween the nostrils, it gives him that reminder to stop whatever he's doing, but I've never seen him recoil or shy away from me. It just stops him in his tracks.
It's probably a lighter impact than using a brush or even putting a saddle on or other..
It's like a "Oi, I'm watching you, stop it" type thing ^^

And I have been hit on the nose...with a cricket ball, after it'd been hit. As much as it hurt, it improved my looks :p I used to have a slight kink at the top, now it's completely flat!
 

Ladydragon

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Do you think it is acceptable to hit a naughty horse in the face - ie slap him?
I think one of ours was slapped about the face a bit before we got him... He's not head shy as such but if you raise a hand to scratch a bit of mud off his cheek for example he'll instantly pull his head up and away, get a bit rolley eyed and lean away from you... Moving from his body to face is fine - it's just that movement of bringing a hand from your side towards his face that makes him nervous...

He actually likes having his cheek and between his ears scratched and will let you grope around in his mouth easily - so I do think it's a bit of a reflex reaction that he's become conditioned to...
 

4faults

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I have a headshy horse and it's clear that he has been smacked in the face a lot before we got him. He used to be very grumpy in his box and even when we went to try him was grumping over the so I imagine this is why.

It's so difficult to bring them back from being headshy so I would never codone hitting a horse in the face. Thankfully our boy trusts us now but can still be a bit skitty if we move to quickly around his head.

I would stick to your story that he was headshy when you bought him and keep a close eye on him for any changes in behaviour.
 

BonneMaman

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I would never hit a horse around the head for any reason, but if I was in a dangerous situation at a field gate for example I would certainly hit someone else's horse. My self preservation always comes first and I don't give a damn what the horse owner would think.
 

Foxhunter49

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It all depends on what the 'sin' is.
A horse that turns around to bite me will gat a very firm open handed slap across the muzzle. He will feel it and that will be that. It will not make him head shy as it will be applied as he is going to bite so it is accepted as fair.

If I am going to do anything with my horses that involves someone else's and that horse acts inappropriately then I will correct it as I know is right. I will ask nicely and if that is ignored then my action will go from asking to correction.

Then again, I am old, I have been around horses for well over 50 years, I take no nonsense from horses, dogs or humans. I am a great believer in manners from all and unless everyone acts consistently then nothing is achieved.
 

maisie06

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It all depends on what the 'sin' is.
A horse that turns around to bite me will gat a very firm open handed slap across the muzzle. He will feel it and that will be that. It will not make him head shy as it will be applied as he is going to bite so it is accepted as fair.

If I am going to do anything with my horses that involves someone else's and that horse acts inappropriately then I will correct it as I know is right. I will ask nicely and if that is ignored then my action will go from asking to correction.

Then again, I am old, I have been around horses for well over 50 years, I take no nonsense from horses, dogs or humans. I am a great believer in manners from all and unless everyone acts consistently then nothing is achieved.
I agree with FH. I had a colt that was a bit of a biter and he had a slap on the muzzle too - never did it again. I insist on manners in horses too and cannot think for the life of me why people think it's acceptable for horse to barge, bite, kick, drag etc etc. It's dangerous at the end of the day. I also think gate bullies should not be in the main fields, but that's another argument to start.
 

4faults

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My horses have impeccable manners, always have. I have never felt the need to hit them in the face, I will slap them if they misbehave on the shoulder or neck. If I caught someone hitting my horse in the face I don't care their reasoning I would tear strips off them.
 

katastrophykat

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Foxhunter 49- you're not the only one- and I'm under 30 so it isn't an age thing. I have bought up a very well mannered youngster from birth and instilled manners from the off. When he oversteps the mark (especially biting which I can not stand!) he does get told off. He has had a few slaps on the nose as he's coming at me- mainly when he was younger but he does try and test me on a regular basis. He is the least headshy horse I could show you! I can leap up and down in front of his face wafting my hands and gobbling like a turkey (yes... I have :D ) without him doing more than sigh and look bored. I am no threat to him, but I am his herd leader and will stand up for him if scary mobsters dive out of hedgerows and he trusts me implicitly.

With a real biter I wouldn't fancy my chances getting past their teeth just to smack them on the shoulder.
 

moodymare123

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My horse is a cheeky bugger- always trys to nudge me and bite me and it bl**dy hurts so I also 'bop' him on the nose as he just carries on if I tap him on the shoulder.. :eyesroll:
 

fallenangel123

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I cracked the kids mare around the muzzle on day one of owning her. She's a chestnut welsh c and had got away with everything in her previous home. I was holding her on the yard and she was a couple of paces back when she launched at me mouth open, ears back! Just before she made contact I caught her on the side of her muzzle knocking her head round and away. She was so surprised I'd fought back and she has never tried to bite since. She isn't headshy from it, And we have a good respect for each other now she knows where the lines are drawn.
 

AprilBlossom

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Agree with the 'if it's coming at me teeth barrd it gets a slap'. A horse going for another horse in such a way would have far worse retalliation - why should the horse get away with the bad manners displayed to a human? I've never had a headshy horse, but then again I've never advocated punching a horse in the face either...I think it's a fine line and probably largely a matter of opinion where some people are a bit precious and others maybe a bit callous. I like to think I'm a happy medium like some of the other posters with similar views :)
 
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There's a difference between self defence, as per the new pony above, and habitual scolding and slapping around the face.

I wouldn't be able to tolerate it going on near me, and if they did it to one of my horses I would be beyond upset.

In a bid to help harmonious yard relationships, and take them for the ignorant people they are, it may be possible to step in when they are slapping and saying, 'ah, have you tried x,y,z instead?' and offer an alternative to the hand/horse's head interface.
 

4faults

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Agree with AprilBlossom completely. I would take the necessary measures to protect myself but for the average telling off it's a slap on the neck or shoulder
 

aimsymc

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Im another one for a smack on the nose for biting, completely unacceptable behavior imo. If someone elses horse bit me it would get the same treatment. Havent actually done it for as long as i can remember as my girl wouldnt even consider it and neither would any of the others in block.
 

Goldenstar

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It all depends on what the 'sin' is.
A horse that turns around to bite me will gat a very firm open handed slap across the muzzle. He will feel it and that will be that. It will not make him head shy as it will be applied as he is going to bite so it is accepted as fair.

If I am going to do anything with my horses that involves someone else's and that horse acts inappropriately then I will correct it as I know is right. I will ask nicely and if that is ignored then my action will go from asking to correction.

Then again, I am old, I have been around horses for well over 50 years, I take no nonsense from horses, dogs or humans. I am a great believer in manners from all and unless everyone acts consistently then nothing is achieved.
I aggree with this post , also if you watch older mares correcting youngsters they don't hang back.
However there is a world of difference between a sharp correction and beating a horse on its head in temper there is no place for temper in correcting horses.
OP if I 've understood correctly your horse in DIY livery yard and one of the things you have to learn fast if you are going to have a happy time that many people handle horses in all sorts of ways .
I do understand your worry but even if these people where to give your horse a smack on the head in a gate way it would be unlikely to cause a long term issue with your horse.
 

dallastheo

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i think its absolutely disgusting to smack any horse. hitting or being aggressive gets you nowhere if thats what your trying to achieve,bad horsemanship, they are the most gentle of animals and in your instance when he is just stood in the gateway, they sure dont deserve a 'smack' and yes if they ever hit my horse, they'd have a bigger one coming there way!!
:mad:

i also understand some horses have been treated badly and have aggressive behaviour and can be sometimes dangerous to us- but a smack will get you nowhere!!
just try different ways..thats all im sayin ..would be a nicer world :p :)
 

dallastheo

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Agree with quote above - humans smacking out of anger i hate!!

but i am a firm believer in acting like anotherhorse .... if a more highly strung horse will not listen to you if you are on the ground for example... have a bit of horsey behaviour ..ive found that some youngsters/etc respect that :)
 

luckyoldme

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Im glad foxhunter came out in the open and admitted she gives her horse a slap on the nose now and again.. im the same if mine tries a cheeky nip.. he knows what he is doing and he knows the result.
I don t know how i would manage in a yard situation but if i was the op i wouldnt really be posting a thread like this about someone unless i wanted all out war.
 
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