This is what Popcorn saying, “No” to Jac looks like.
Here is a version of a question I get all the time;
One of my friends says do NOT “strike” them for biting/kicking because a horse “doesn’t understand that.” I beg to differ, since he’s a 1200-lb animal that could put me in the hospital if he so chose…I realize timing is everything — so the “strike” has to seem as if the horse caused it/ran into it on his own. Can you give any other “pointers” on how to deal with this? Especially a kick — my first reaction is to move, of course…which is submitting.
My response: The easiest way to make the decisions quickly when biting, kicking, etc is happening is to think, “How would the dominant horse react to this?” Pretend you are the dominant horse. Would that horse duck the blow?…very likely. Would they come back swinging?….also likely. (I know this lacks detail but you get my point)
My dominant horse, Popcorn, even ‘holds a grudge’ for days or weeks and keeps ‘the offender’ on his toes during that time. Kinda like once the kids push you past the end….then you stay tough for days.
Horses will respond well to tough love…and terrible to abuse. Amazingly they know the difference. They don’t hold grudges for tough love.
Will someone tell me I am being to harsh? ………………Or that I am condoning abuse?
Do I? No.
I find that horses are much harder on each other than I am.
What is natural horsemanship? Is studying the relationship of one horse to another the ultimate in understanding horses? Jac was warned many times before this, for weeks, but he chose to keep pushing. The good news is that it hasn’t been repeated since!
Below is a video of the first time Popcorn and Jac met. At the end it shows Popcorn a month later getting harder on Jac (Popcorn is the one in the back doing the biting). The photo of Jac’s leg happened another time after these videos….Jac just wouldn’t back off.