Brutality, or reasonable force.

especially for horse owners to ask advice, from farriers or from other owners, all welcome, also please post details of lost or stolen horses here
PNB
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Brutality, or reasonable force.

Postby PNB » Sat May 30, 2009 9:48 pm

Today I had an enquiry regarding my views on what I would consider barbaric practice. The request was to ask the horse owners on these boards their view on three methods of horse constraint, when used to remove shoes from the traumatised feet of a pony.

1, The Nose Twitch.

2, The Nose Twitch used in conjunction with an Ear Twitch.

3, The Nose Twitch, with an Ear Twitch and the Immobilisation of a pony by casting it upon the ground and three people holding it down by sitting on it.

Your views please. Assistance will be canvassed else where.

PNB.

Giles
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Postby Giles » Sun May 31, 2009 7:48 am

Peter,
You may well consider the use of the twitch a barbaric practice as most of us would in these days with the availability of drugs to restrain horses that are objecting to being shod. But having live and worked when drugs were not available at all in this respect and there was no option but to shoe the horse/mule as ordered in my case being in the army, or as a civilian was quite often the case of not earning money to feed him or his family what would you do. Well you I suspect would do as I and all others I knew did, and that was use a twitch.

Then again properly applied the twitch is not as barbaric as you and others may think. I was assured by Vets and such people that are supposed to know these things that the correct application of the twitch in one or two places caused the release of a drug called Endo-Morphine into the blood which is a soporific and so allowed you to shoe without having your head kicked off, my view on this you can probably guess. I would probably cause the animal a short period of pain until the drug kicked in than having a long period of pain applied to me personall.

These days in this country there is no reason not to have an injection of a soporific or something to completely knock out the animal so that it may be shod safely both to itself and most importantly to the farrier. The other objection to the twitch that I have is that there are not many people who know how to apply one correctly and for how long. Farriers being one man bands mostly these days would have to rely on the owner (usually a female) with no experience and being the owner would be adverse to causing a short period of sufficient pain so negating the whole exercise to the detriment of your safety.

My view is that a twitch is a requirement as I have found in various parts of the world to carry out all sorts of work on animals (try shoeing bullocks) because of the non-availability of the correct drugs, having said that it is not the case in this country and most of Europe and we and ours will not starve if we refuse to put our lives at risk. I might add that it seems commonplace to use drugs in the USA much more than we do here.

Giles
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Postby Giles » Sun May 31, 2009 8:42 am

Peter/All,
Some further thoughts on the above twitch thingy, I should add that I have been in a position where a twitch has had to be used to alleviate suffering to an animal. Although drugs were available by then so that a mule/hose could be restrained enough to shoe I was not near enough to the source of the drugs to obtain them quickly. So as a welfare issue I was forced to use a twitch to carry out the first aid required for the welfare of the animal. I had no moral objection to doing this as not using it was not a runner as far as I was concerned, and having used a twitch a great deal over the years, used correctly I find it another weapon in my armoury, and great when there is nothing else.

Italian stallion
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Postby Italian stallion » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:04 pm

pnb,
I find the twitch very effective and olso the indian twitch seems more apt at working on blood horses than the standard twitch.
After saying that i only ever use them with the permission of the owner if consent is not given then my advise is call the vet.
My own vet uses the twitch and i dont find that it's barbaric if used correctly but i do not under any conditions ever use the twitch on the horses ear that's something in my book that does not sit well with me.

Regards,

E.W.

csc
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Postby csc » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:29 am

what is a indian twitch

Italian stallion
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Postby Italian stallion » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:26 pm

csc,
Indian twitch is a length of cord about five foot, parachute cord is perfect make a loop one end pass the cord behind the horses ears then place the cord under his upper lip pass the cord through the loop and tighten as nessesary.
Simple and showen to me by a argentine polo groom and work first class.


Regards,


E.W.

PNB
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Indian War Bridle

Postby PNB » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:23 pm

EW, Giles,

I think what you describe use to be known as an Indian War Bridle. I use a very similar device, a leather covered lip chain, and have found a way of securing it under the animals top lip and clipping it to the head collar.

It works well to pacify with only a resulting soreness and bruising of the animals top gums. The animals specifically TB's do not seem to blow up as the often do with a nose twitch. It is simple to attach a lead line to the chain to use as single handed training instrument whils't under horses.

I don't have a mental problem with moderate nose twitches, save they are of no use for single handed usage, and there are several heavily scarred clients and a few Vets that I work with.

Ear and Tongue Twitches with or or without a nose twitch are similar to yourself very foreign to me and their use would be something I would find difficult to defend.

Throwing/casting horses or ponies onto the ground in this day and age, how do fell about this??

I am not talking here of the tying up of an animal's leg and pulling it's head around to it's side to make it lie down, something which is quite tranquil, that simulates dominance, and is very occasionally needed/done in order to train an animal to be at ease around humans, and make it understand that we are not about to eat it.

Comments??

PNB.

csc
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Postby csc » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:33 am

when in the army i was taught to make a horse lie down or to drop a horse this was done primary in the olden days so a soldier could use the horse for cover in open ground this practice can be seen today with the household cavalry quadrille if done correctly like the twitch causes no problems and is safe for horse and handler
i have witnessed the use of drugs when the horse seems to be quiet suddenly throws a fit and persons have been injured
most horses handled quietly with patience need nothing however most difficult horses can easily be overcome by asking the owner to make a cup of tea then you don't have to put up with some silly cow saying repeatedly hes never done that before
most problems are caused by nervous owners and people who in the past have kicked the shit out of the poor animal. restraint done in a professional way and not for more than 20 min is OK in my book
saying that i don't use it maybe once in a blue moon

Gay
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Postby Gay » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:07 am

Well, in the absence of any owners so far, it looks like I'd better give my 'view' & hope it's not the last :grin: .
The nose twitch, applied correctly, with close attention being paid to the horses' ability to cope, (fillies/mares can almost instantaneously explode - front feet 1st :( ) is a perfectly humane method of 'sedating' a horse in order to achieve certain procedures, provided it's not abused from a time perspective. I personally feel a period of approx. 10mins is quite sufficient & a rest period to restore circulation ought be given due to the potential risk of nerve damage, prior to reapplication. Due to time restraints in the real world, I realise this is unlikely to happen!! I don't consider the practice to be barbaric given the above provisio.
Nose & EAR twitch, I, personally do consider to be barbaric & would only consider in an emergency situation with the horses' immediate welfare/life at stake.
The above also applies to No 3 scenario.
I've also had very sedating effects using a hand applied neck twitch which should always be considered prior to the nose, imho.
Come on all you 'viewing' owners, you must have an opinion, please share it with us :lol:

john ford
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Postby john ford » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:07 pm

All farriers should sit back for five minutes and think very carefully about using twitches or any other restraining devices on horses that they shoe. We are now in the 21st century with very few horsemen around if any in this country. And hardly any horsemen who truly know how to break-in young horses, with a vast majority of so-called horsey people advertising they are skilled in the art, yet their limited experience comes from reading books or watching from a distance from the likes of Monty Roberts stage show.
True horsemen/women gained their professionalism working for many years under a horseman, not in a riding stable.
Why should farriers put their health in jeopardy for a badly behaved horse? With the chance of the farrier getting a reputation in his/her area for twitching, hitting or abusing a clients horse that needed shoeing or trimming.
We have vets who are brilliant at sedating horses for us farriers to work on, and we are fools not to use them.
If the client doesn’t wish to pay the extra for a vet, then WALK. Hero’s are dead or in hospital, it is better being a walking wealthier coward, with a soft patient reputation with a badly behaved horse, than being cut to bits, with a twisted back and then having to go up for a day to face the Farriers Registration Councils Disciplinary committee. To all farriers, THINK ON

Gay
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Postby Gay » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:12 am

Wholeheartedly agree John, looks like the UK & Oz are in the same, sorry state with worse to follow. Seems to be the way of the world now. Unfortunately the 'more pleasure less work horses' situation, has probably caused this, more than any other single factor. NZ & Ireland to follow - bloody shame for the horses & ppl like yourselves who earn a living doing, what is now, a sometimes dangerous job :x

jaimep
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Postby jaimep » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:01 pm

Wise words from Giles, CSC and John. I agree with you all (hoorah!)

I deal with an increasing number of animals which "previously had to be sedated for the farrier" (I ask for them not to be sedated btw) and I have to say I often wonder what must have happened to have created that situation... Surely an atmosphere where the horse feels calm, safe, and confident in the humans around it is best for everyone concerned?

I agree with csc that often if you can remove excitable or frightened people from the situation the horse will often calm down (it aint rocket science!).

In answer to your orignial question Peter out of the three No1 the nose twitch is the only one I would even consider and even then only in a situation where there was no alternative (and I had exhausted my own 'toolbox'), the twitch was to be applied by a person who genuinely knew what they were doing and the overall effect was for the animals benifit, i.e the work absolutely had to be carried out for the animals own good and there was no other way.

Even then, I would heed John's wise words and I have to say I have never had to resort to using a twitch as yet and do not expect to despite seeming to attract cliets with horses that no-one else will any longer deal with. They tend to regain their confidence and composure within a couple of trims.

henrietta
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Postby henrietta » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:22 am

I had known my gelding fr mny years before I bought him and knew that he had arrive from Ireland at age 3 terrified f having his back feet touched, let alone shod. The then owners worked hard with their farrier to get the horse confident with shoeing. He was subsequently sold on and had to change farriers and unfortunately ended up with a old man who thought that the way to deal with a nervous horse was to hit it over the head with a rasp. The result of this was that when I bought him I couldn't pick his feet out for 6 weeks. He was never dangerous, just scared out of his wits.

My farrier who is a saint among his breed has sorted out the problem. From the first time he shod my boy and took two and a half hours to do it while the horse shook with terror, to four months later when he dozed off while having his feet done, we have never looked back. Nine years on, while my boy still looks beadily at any strangers with designs on his feet, he is confident enough to let them pick up his feet for any purpose.

My farrier achieved all this without twitching or sedation.

In my opinion (and only mine), based on over 50 years with horses, indescriminate twitching can and often does lead to making a horse head-shy and I have never allowed it with any of my horses. Twitching is said to release endorphins which calm the horse. Unfortunately, what the advocates of twitching fail to mention is that endorphins are released in response to pain. I am firmly of the view that proper handling induces confidence and trust between the horse and the owner/handler which renders such devices as the twitch unnecessary. Once again this is based on over half a century of experience with horses.


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