Driving Lessons
#53
Yes, Easter and I both definitely acted on instinct! And what led up to that outburst was ignorance but I can't pick apart what I did because until the "crisis point" I was only playing games and not observing my horse's body language and attitudes. A more experienced person would have seen the danger signs a mile a way. All I saw was a beautiful, running, leaping, bucking horse--until she came after me!

Your article is interesting but it does not disprove dominance theory. Rather, it explains how hierarchy works in a feral herd. It brings up a term I've never heard applied to horse hierarchies and that is "tyrant." I've never heard any horse behaviorist use that term, so the article is attempting to discredit a term and a related theory that doesn't exist (or at least hasn't been used in circles that I am familiar with). He's right that leadership in herds is not maintained by tyranny. A "tyrant" horse is kicked out of the herd until it shows submissive behavior. We had one of these in our herd years ago. The horse tried to fight his way to the top of the pecking order by brute force and would attack other members of the herd violently with little or no provocation. The top horse (a mild and benevolent gelding) and the most dominant mare (she was not the lead mare) threw him out of the herd and made him stay away. He never stopped being aggressive and so was never allowed to integrate into the herd for the six months or so he lived there. The other horses did not try to use positive reinforcement to teach him an alternate behavior pattern. They used punishment (biting, striking, kicking) to physically throw him out, then they used the threat of punishment (pinned ears, rushing, aiming their haunches) to keep him outside the circle.

On the subject of domestic herds, I previously made the observation that the bottom animal is the one most likely to be sadistically mean to anyone under them. Your article does not contradict this and in fact states of a domestic herd, "Lower status individuals may be repeatedly harassed even though they offer no challenge to more aggressive higher status animals. This behavior generally has no useful function whatsoever..."

It does not say anything about low-status animals attacking ones who come in below them, but I imagine the author has seen this tendency. This aggression is not always aimed a member of the same species but often at anything perceived as smaller and weaker (dogs, children, chickens). I sometimes feel that these picked-on individuals have an inner need to exert control over someone--anyone--because they have no control over anything else. And since they've mostly been shown aggression by other herd members, they haven't learned another way to behave.

I won't go into the article's analysis of round pen training because I am not a huge advocate of round pen training myself. I've used round pens effectively as a tool to achieve certain ends, but I've also had to retrain enough horses that were abused in round pens to know that these places can be nothing short of torture chambers in the hands of ignorant trainers. The best part of the article, which sums up exactly what I feel a trainer should be is the last sentence: "But if we did want the horse to accept us, learn from us and trust us we would want to behave as if we were a head mare, or perhaps benevolent and protective harem stallion – in which case we would signal our high status best by regular and predictable socialising, unflappable calmness, confidence and self-control." YES, YES, YES AND YES!!! Can we have an "AMEN, Brother!"
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Messages In This Thread
Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 12-11-2013, 09:40 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 12-11-2013, 09:42 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by LORI - 01-06-2017, 05:01 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-06-2017, 10:21 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Dave-Trinity-Farms - 12-11-2013, 11:01 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by deschutes dawn - 12-11-2013, 08:03 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 12-11-2013, 08:25 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 12-17-2013, 11:25 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by ledel - 01-06-2014, 08:11 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-06-2014, 08:34 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by deschutes dawn - 01-06-2014, 08:41 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-09-2014, 08:05 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-06-2014, 09:00 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by AACmama - 01-09-2014, 02:05 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-09-2014, 03:06 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by deschutes dawn - 01-09-2014, 11:08 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-09-2014, 11:08 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by joecool911 - 06-18-2014, 07:12 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by ledel - 06-18-2014, 06:22 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by JaymeAlaska - 06-18-2014, 10:33 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by deschutes dawn - 06-18-2014, 10:44 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by joecool911 - 06-19-2014, 07:21 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 06-19-2014, 10:29 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by deschutes dawn - 06-19-2014, 12:54 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by joecool911 - 06-19-2014, 09:09 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by deschutes dawn - 06-19-2014, 11:33 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-02-2017, 06:49 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-02-2017, 11:41 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-02-2017, 11:51 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-02-2017, 11:55 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-03-2017, 01:37 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-03-2017, 01:58 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-03-2017, 05:11 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-03-2017, 10:01 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-03-2017, 10:16 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-03-2017, 02:35 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-03-2017, 08:40 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-04-2017, 01:24 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-04-2017, 12:11 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-05-2017, 05:38 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-05-2017, 03:23 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-06-2017, 12:18 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-06-2017, 11:48 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-05-2017, 05:16 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-05-2017, 06:58 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-05-2017, 07:08 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-05-2017, 08:01 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-06-2017, 12:13 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-06-2017, 12:53 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-06-2017, 12:33 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 01-06-2017, 03:28 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-06-2017, 11:00 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-08-2017, 12:17 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-08-2017, 11:49 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-09-2017, 02:38 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-09-2017, 08:15 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-10-2017, 11:28 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Sanhestar - 01-11-2017, 12:52 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-12-2017, 02:06 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 02-12-2017, 03:55 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 02-12-2017, 02:00 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 02-16-2017, 12:33 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 02-16-2017, 08:06 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 02-16-2017, 06:24 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 02-16-2017, 09:40 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 07-06-2017, 02:46 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 07-09-2017, 03:47 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 01-14-2018, 06:59 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 05-11-2018, 07:02 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 05-11-2018, 11:13 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 05-12-2018, 05:38 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 08-29-2018, 05:05 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 08-30-2018, 07:51 AM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 08-30-2018, 08:31 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by Nanno - 08-30-2018, 09:16 PM
RE: Driving Lessons - by DownUnder Gal - 09-01-2018, 01:39 AM

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