Dear Friend and Horseman,
Welcome to another Horse Training Tips Insider.
Today I want to address a horse training question that was sent in by one of my subscribers.
I use this question as an example here because I get hundreds of emails just like it.
The lady is pleading for help, I responded because it sounds like she is in real danger.
HERE IS THE EMAIL SHE SENT:
Dear Sir/Madam, (I guess she doesn’t know if I’m a man or a woman) =o/
I have recently been faced with my horse becoming aggressive.
I have tried working on giving and taking pressure and using my voice and saying “NO” or “AGH” also, clapping or a tap on the neck.
He has gotten to the point where he puts his ears back and tries to bite and sometimes cow kicks.
Also if approached he sometimes swings his butt around, ears flat back and his nostrils wrinkled and he gives a kind of snarl, showing some teeth, and approaches with ears flat back.
I would never sell him or give him to someone else.
Seeing how many people seek your advice and have good results i thought i might ask.
I hope to here from you soon.
HERE IS MY REPLY:
Hi L M,
I’m happy to point you in the right direction.
You may not be totally aware of this but your horse is on the verge of DELIBERATELY hurting you.
When he swings his rear end around at you, he’s warning you to get away or he’ll kick.
Be aware, people have been KILLED by horses exhibiting this kind of behavior.
A few years ago, a lady who lived only a few miles away from me, was killed by her horse.
The horse kicked her in the chest, tearing an artery from her heart.
She died instantly.
I feel it’s imperative that you take appropriate action right away.
Mistakenly, you are approaching this problem as if your horse is a DOG.
Dog nature isn’t anything like horse nature.
Saying NO, clapping your hands or tapping him on the neck, mean nothing to your horse.
All you are doing is aggravating him.
The SOLUTION is to get your horse to RESPECT you.
A horse that respects you, will not bite, kick or run over you.
To get this done, you need to CHANGE your tactics and discipline this horse in a way he understands.
And when I say DISCIPLINE, I mean the PHYSICAL kind.
That’s what horses relate to.
When horses work out their “pecking order” to establish “respect”… they do it PHYSICALLY. They bite, kick and strike.
They don’t use “words” or a light tap on the neck.
No horse will learn to behave when merely threatened with meaningless WORDS or a TIME OUT session.
For your immediate safety, I would recommend a straight-forward approach and get to the heart of the problem right away.
Normally, I would suggest a quieter, more gradual approach.
But in your case, where your physical safety is at risk, I recommend you get AGGRESSIVE.
The FIRST STEP in getting a horse to respect you is to teach him that you can MAKE him move his body ANY TIME you ask.
With a horse this bad, I’d tie him up and then teach him to move his hindquarters out of my space.
READ THE ABOVE LINE AGAIN.
Tie him short to a secure post.
Ask him to MOVE OVER by standing beside him, cluck and tap his hindquarters with a buggy whip or training stick.
Be ready, he’ll RESENT you asking him to do this and try to kick you.
When he does, WHACK HIM two or three times on the hindquarters.
And do it hard enough to let him know you mean business.
Repeat this procedure on BOTH sides until he willingly moves away from pressure every time you ask without being resentful.
Remember, anytime he threatens you in any way; let him know you won’t tolerate it… whack him.
With a horse that intends to hurt you, you’ll get better results from whacking him good and hard two or three times than you’ll get from lightly tapping him 20 times.
This exercise should only take 10 minutes and if done right, your horse will have a way better attitude toward you.
Now, once you’ve gotten your initial message across, I’d continue with a more NORMAL route of training for respect.
Such as, teaching your horse specific maneuvers and exercises on the ground.
Keep in mind, ANY kind of training that is done WELL (whether on the ground or in the saddle), will greatly improve a horse’s respect and behavior.
The better you teach this horse to respond to the bit and move off leg pressure, the better he’ll respond to you on the ground, also.
And when I say “respond”, I mean he should be taught to respond IMMEDIATELY.
Not make some half-hearted attempt 15 seconds after you’ve applied the cue.
When you ask your horse to do something, he should be answering with “YES MAM”, not “SCREW YOU”.
If you watched ANY of my training videos (especially the Flying Lead Change video) and actually MADE your horse respond to your hands and legs…your “respect” problems would be over.
READ this issue of the Horse Training Tips Newsletter about “respect”.
It’ll give you some insight to horse behavior and the ROOT CAUSE of why they do what they do:
ALSO, I highly recommend you get my training video titled, “Groom, Saddle, Ride & Fix Bad Behavior”.
Your can find it at www.FixHorseProblems.com.
In that video course, I cover the topics of BITING, KICKING, BAD MANNERS, etc.
SOMETHING ELSE that will put respect into a horse and make him better mannered is to train him to the HOBBLES and SIDE-LINE.
A horse has only two NATURAL responses to unwanted pressure.
He has the choice of fighting us (like your horse does) or running away to avoid us.
Either way, it’s HIS decision which action he’s going to take.
When you put a set of hobbles and side-line on a horse, you TAKE AWAY his ABILITY to fight or run away.
In essence, the choice is no longer his.
He realizes YOU are the one who has control.
This is very HUMBLING to the horse.
This by itself will change a horse’s bad attitude INSTANTLY.
You can see exactly how to apply the hobbles in my video titled “Colt Starting Magic”:
IN CLOSING, I want to assure you that once you get your horse’s respect, he will return to being a good horse that you can thoroughly enjoy.
Initially, you may have to apply some “tough love” but once he understands you aren’t a push-over, you won’t have to do much to maintain your good relationship.
Keep in mind, if you feel like you just can’t do this, get help from a professional trainer.
Also, have a vet check your horse for STOMACH OR INTESTINAL ULCERS.
And the sooner the better. It’s not uncommon for a horse with painful ulcers to act irritable towards people.
Your horse’s dangerous behavior will NOT go away on it’s own.
You are going to have to deal with it or face serious injury.
ONE FINAL NOTE to address my “cookie treat” readers:
I know you’re going to send me hate mail because I’m telling this lady to physically discipline her horse.
However, it’s not going to change my advice to her.
Let me ask you a question.
If this lady was your DAUGHTER and her horse was threatening to kick her head off, would you tell her all she needs to do is love him more and give him a cookie?
Featured Online Training Video
How To Fix Horses That Buck, Rear, Bite, Kick, Spook & More
By Larry Trocha
A top pro demonstrates how to fix horses with bad behavior problems
Well, this wraps it up for this newsletter. I hope you liked it.
Until next time, have fun training your horse.