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Horse Behavior and Training

Raising your voice?

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed

I'm just wondering... is it ever acceptable to raise your voice around horses? Not with anger or anything, definitely, but just to get their attention? For instance, the other day I was bringing hay to our horses in the field, and one of them was crowding the gate and trying to kick the other horse at the same time. I spoke sharply to him to keep him from hurting me or the other horse. It worked - the horse moved away from the gate and left the other horse alone. Was that wrong? It seemed like the only thing to do at the time, since my arms were full of hay and I was about to be in the middle of a squabble... I thought of just looking the horse in the eye to send him away, but he's not a real responsive horse, and that didn't work. Any suggestions?

P.S. My subscription is about to run out... :'(

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I know at my stable, when neighboring horses go at each other, I call their names and tell them to quit and it works. I dont see any harm in it as I think the domesticated horses are used to our voice commands. In your specific scenario, you had no choice and I firmly believe that as long as you are not being violent and hitting the horse, raising your voice should not harm the animal. Bear in mind, that just like people, if it is raised at all times, it loses its efficiency in correcting the behaviour you are trying to see ceased.

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed

Thank you! That was my thought, I just wanted it confirmed. : ) And there is definitely no anger or harshness here. And yes, I would certainly agree that having a raised voice all the time is not right, besides making it lose its efficiency. Thanks again!

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i dont normally have to raise my voice i sometimes change my tone and i do get a reaction from the horses from that, but sometimes i guess sometimes you dont realise you raise your voice sometimes it just happens.

Please upload your photo 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed

I truly believe that domestic horses do know what the different tones of voice mean, as do other animals such as dogs and cats. Is that sort of vocalization natural to them? Not really, but when they hear it day after day they will obviously pick up on the different meanings. As far as raising the voice, I see no harm in using a louder, sharper tone for example, telling my horses to stop trying to bite my truck when I bring in hay or grain. They give me a side look, and reluctantly back away from the vehicle. Obviously they are not harmed by it in any way. Another appropriate scenario would be one like the one you described, where you are in the middle of a potentially dangerous situation, and raising your voice will get the attention of the herd and hopefully stop the unwanted behavior or at least deter the situation.

However, I do not believe in yelling at a horse during training or out of anger. Like I said, they do know the difference between raising the voice to get their attention, and being downright violent in your intent.