Ethical Horsemanship Vs. Abuse

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Ethical Horsemanship vs. Abuse Today, horsemanship, the art and practice of riding on horseback, has seem to have struck a downward spiral. Many people believe that horsemanship today is all about abuse, and in some cases, that is correct. Good horsemanship is how well a person and his or her horse connect, both mentally and physically. Some people buy horses just to try to make money off of them, and those seem to be the horses that end up in an abandoned field starving to death, or are beaten to death when riding. Good horsemanship requires that a rider is in control of their horse’s direction, gait, and speed, hopefully with maximum effectiveness, and minimum efforts. Horsemanship has remained a valued social asset and symbol of prestige…show more content…
Trainers who do not use ethical horsemanship try to elicit a behavior by forcing it from the horse; they fall into using punishment to get a desired behavior. Punishment alone does not teach a horse anything, right or wrong. If used as a modification tool, it can ultimately be ineffective because its suppression effect is always temporary. Punishment has many more pitfalls as a training technique than reinforcement does. It takes great timing and intelligent application to use punishment effectively. It takes pretty ordinary timing and is much easier to use reinforcement. Reinforcement is also great for a horse’s mental health. If horse receives just punishment, many can become depressed and refuse feed, or become combative. Trainers who avoid quick fix programs that involve “horse whisperers” avoid a show that does not help their horse in any way. There are many harsh techniques that are still prevalent in society in many parts of the United States, these harsh techniques involve snubbing a horse to a post and “sacking them out,” to running a horse in mindless circles until they are exhausted. Some uneducated people may think that lunging a horse before a ride is unnecessary, but lunging, where a long line is hooked to the horse’s bridle and ran in circles, is often beneficial. Lunging horses is not an abuse so long as it is only used as a warm up. Lunging is mainly used to get horses to stretch their gait, and to see if the horse lame, or limp. Abused horses are mentally hurt, making it hard for them to trust anyone to help them. One of the most common types of abuse is malnutrition, and the most common reason given is owner ignorance. If a horse is malnourished from neglect, it cannot be simply solved with throwing him some hay or grain. Sometimes it is necessary to coax a horse into eating, this may be done by

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