Sunday, October 20, 2013

Power Struggles

"My horse makes me SO frustrated!" 

You end up walking away before hitting your horse. Good move! "STUPID HORSE. STUPID. STUPID."

Pushy Horse - Common Behaviour Problem

Do you find that you get into power struggles or fights with your horse from time to time? Sometimes people ignore the little annoyances and then they notice months later that they have a pushy horse. Does this happen to you? Is your horse a drama queen?

Mr. Pete Gerlach, MSW, (website:, Break The Cycle!) talks in this youtube video about power struggles.  I believe it very much applies to dealing with horses as well in terms of if and when and how to do it properly.

Pete mentions in the video that the person who is pushing their opinion on you is being disrespectful. The same is true for your horse.

I believe that in the case of dealing with a horse, that as horse handlers, we have to consider the horse's size and our safety when it comes to deciding if we are going to take action or just ignore it. I don't think we can ignore a person much larger than ourselves trying to be pushy. Or being a bully.

I believe that if horse handlers ignore the little annoyances then it will add up to big problems later.  Ignoring it, I believe creates a pushy horse. I believe in 'nipping it in the bud' every time. That way, it only needs to be a minor correction. It really is a lack of respect on the part of the horse.

A minor correction or disciplining your horse is fast, simple and straight to the point. A horse handler is much more able to stay calm, do a minor correction and move on.

Just like the alpha horse would do in the herd. Short, swift and sweet!  No grudges.

It's the consistency that sets the boundaries and rule for the horse to behave properly.  This maintains your leadership and safety.

In this article, Clinton Anderson is teaching a foal not to be pushy. Now that's starting early!

There are a lot of youtube videos on teaching someone how to deal with a pushy horse. I think the thing to keep in mind is that the horse is being disrespectful and challenging your leadership and if something isn't done to let them know that you are the leader, I think the human in the relationship could get seriously hurt.

The same applies for human to human power struggles. Pete, in the video, says that not dealing with major struggles, will lower someone's self-esteem.

Why not practise on your horse? Or human? Or your dog?  It's all good!

Thank goodness there is a lot of helpful information out there.

Putting my spin on a pushy horse or pushy people! :)
@KISS Reiners

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