Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dealing with a Pushy Horse

Horsecity.com - Full Article

by Charles Wilhelm
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Problem:

I was leading my horse and he was pushing into me. I tried to correct it with a whip but only thing I could do was move away. Is there something that I should have done?

The Advice:

This is a very good question and it happens a lot. There are a number of components in this situation that need to be discussed. A lot of people don't like to talk about controlling an aggressive horse. There are corrections that have to be made but there is a difference between making a correction and a beating.

In this situation, the handler tried to correct the horse, put pressure on it by blocking the horse from coming toward her but the horse kept coming and she finally moved away. Now, in horse world, a horse learns by pressure and release so the moment she moved out of the way, she released the pressure and taught the horse to do it again. I will guarantee that this will happen again if the horse is not properly corrected.

Correction is nothing more than follow-through. Everyone understands the roll of pressure and release in herd dynamics. Intellectually we understand that it means the least amount of pressure but as much as needed. If you look at any herd, pasture or big corral, when a new horse joins that environment, you can see the dynamics at work. Sometimes the lead horse will turn around and look at the new horse with snake eyes and that is the least amount of pressure. If the new horse does not respond to that or he challenges, the lead horse may swing his hind quarters around toward the new horse adding pressure. If that doesn't work, it is amazing how fast a horse can back up and kick at the same time.


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