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RC: RE: Stallion behavior


-----Original Message-----
From:	Lif Strand []
Sent:	Sunday, January 16, 2000 9:56 PM
Subject:	RC:   Stallion behavior

At 02:25 PM 1/16/00 , wrote:
>I took a tip from John Lyons with my stud who is very well behaved...wants to
>be mouthy but knows better.... when he would try to get mouthy, he must think
>he is going to die... John Lyons says you can kill him for 3 seconds with a
>whip below the knees...I scream hollar and whip then I put the whip down and
>admit him back into the herd (pet him) and it has worked like a charm

Hey - I'm up for a fight and here's why:

Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with this approach.  Stallions 
fight by (among other approaches) trying to bite/break the legs below the 
knees (this is from my husband's personal observation of wild stallions 
fighting in Nevada).  In the wild, a horse with one leg that isn't 100% 
functional is basically a dead horse.

When you whip a stallion (or any horse) below the knees (or any animal, or 
any human, anywhere), I believe you are doing these things:
1)  You are whipping the horse.  Sorry, I do not find any justification 
ever for whipping any animal for any number of seconds below any joint.  I 
strongly believe that if force is necessary for a person to "train" then 
that person should not be training.
2)  You are challenging and because you no doubt have the horse in a 
position where it cannot defend itself (haltered, unable to flee), you are 
not even remotely being fair.  A horse that is mouthing so much may well be 
sending a message that it is uncomfortable/fearful.  Whipping as a response 
is not the same as understanding, and is not even remotely the same as 
addressing the issue, even if you think you are fixing the problem.
3)  John Lyons may have said it but I am not sure everyone understands it - 
you are sending the message that you will kill the horse, that for 3 
seconds you want the horse to believe it will die.  Above and beyond the 
shamefulness of wanting to give any living being that impression, I say 
this:  Even a mouse, when pushed too far, will fight for it's life (and I 
can tell you of more than one instance of horses, dogs, etc. turning on 
people who beat/whip them).  When you push a stallion - or any horse - with 
such force, at what point will it flip into fight for it's life mode - 
especially since this conveniently no-evidence place for whipping (show 
trainers do it all the time because it doesn't raise welts) is a 
vulnerability point (see my opening paragraph and my next point).  And if 
that happens, how could one blame the horse, who was not the aggressor 
after all - all the horse was doing was chewing on a few things because of...?
4)  This is primal stuff.  Stallions exist to defend/protect , besides to 
procreate.  When dealing with a stud, it's not like dealing with geldings, 
mares.  Don't push primal buttons by becoming a challenger.   Domestication 
is a veneer that is very thin.  Don't start something you are bound to 
loose or that will be irrepairable.  Use force as an solution to a problem 
with a stallion and you might get force as an answer - big time. Or, 
perhaps worse in the long run, your answer might be behavioral problems in 
the future that are way worse.
5)  By using such a major response to a problem behavior, you draw 
attention to it, you make it into a big deal.  The "pin in the hand" 
method, even the quick slap, is more than enough.  On the third hand, a 
total attention to the situation approach, which means going into *why* the 
behavior is occuring, and dealing with that, would be the best of all 

By the way, whipping to fix problems is the kind of stuff that is banned by 
the Geneva Convention if done by humans to humans.  It is called 
torture.  Convincing a being you are going to kill it - for even 3 seconds 
- as a way of getting compliance is simply that:  Torture.  Why is it OK to 
do it to horses?

If you rely on pain to teach, you are not  educating.  I am sorry if this 
is harsh, but it's the facts.  Forced compliance is not the same as 
voluntary.  I know that there are lots of people out there who don't see 
the difference, but I do ask you to consider that quality does count when 
relating to an animal that is supposedly going to be your partner on the 
endurance trail.  [If you want a dependable animal and your training 
methods are based on fear, and you get into a situation that is more 
fearful than the fear you have applied, then you are in a whole pile of 
trouble.  Trust is a two way street.  [Paul's comment]]

I do not believe that force/pain is a kind of educational method I 
personally want to be connected with any more.  I have been there and done 
that.  I am not proud of that approach. I will never repeat it.  It is not 

Everyone does what they think is right  - and I am not saying that my 
methods are the only right way.  But I am saying that if it's OK to whip a 
horse for one reason, then why wouldn't it be OK to apply pain to any 
creature to get it to do what you want?

Call me an ass, call me a weenie for not believeing in using pain as an 
educational method for any being, but don't call me anything other than one 
who cares.  Lif

   Arabian Horses for Distance Riding
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