|Balking ||Refusal to go forward often followed
by violent temper if rider insists.||Fear, heavy hands, stubbornness,
extreme fatigue.||Curable. |
Review forward work with in-hand
Turn horse's head to untrack left or right.
aids with no conflicting restraining aids (no pull on bit).
Do not try to
force horse forward by pulling - you'll lose.
swinging around, screaming and then rushing back to the barn or herd.||Separation
from buddies or barn (food, comfort).|| Curable but stubborn
cases require professional. |
A confident, capable trainer that insists the
horse leave the barn (herd) and then positively reinforces the horse's good behavior
so horse develops confidence.
The lessons GO and WHOA must both be reviewed.
with lips or grabbing with teeth especially young horses.||Greed
(treats), playfulness (curiosity) or resentment (irritated or sore). Investigate
things with mouth. Often from hand-feeding treats.|| Curable.
Handle lips, muzzle, & nostrils regularly in a business-like way; when horse nips,
tug on nose chain, then resume as if nothing happened. |
Can also use thumb
tack on sleeve; hold wire brush toward lips; use muzzle.
|Bolting When Turned Loose||Wheels away suddenly
before halter is fully removed. ||Poor handling, anxious to
exercise or join other horses.|| Curable but dangerous as horse
often kicks as he wheels away. |
Use treats on ground before you remove halter;
use rope around the neck.
||Arching the back, lowering the head, kicking with hind or
leaping.||High spirits, get rid of rider or tack, sensitive
or sore back, reaction to legs or spurs.|| Monitor feed and
exercise; proper progressive training; check tack fit.|
|Can't Catch||Avoids humans with halter and
lead.||Fear, resentment, disrespect, bad habit.||
Curable. Take time to properly train, use walk-down method in small area first,
progress to larger. Remove other horses from pasture; treats on ground, never
punish horse once caught.|
Can't Handle Feet
|Swaying, leaning, rearing, jerking
foot away, kicking, striking. ||Insufficient or improper training.
Horse hasn't learned to cooperate, balance on 3 legs, take pressure and movement
of farrier work.|| Curable but persistent cases require professional.
Thorough, systematic conditioning and restraint lessons: pick up foot, hold
in both flexed & extended positions for several minutes while cleaning, grooming,
rubbing leg, coronary band, bulbs etc.
|Halter Pulling ||Rearing or setting back when
tied, often until something breaks or horse falls and/or hangs by halter.||Rushed,
poor halter training, using weak equipment or unsafe facilities so horse gets
free by breaking something.|
Often horse was tied by bridle reins and broke
| Can be curable but very dangerous and incurable in
some chronic cases which require professional. |
Might use stiff bristled broom
on the rump or wither rope on advice of professional.
|Head Shy||Moves head away during grooming,
bridling, clipping, vet work.||Initially rough handling or
insufficient conditioning, painful ears or mouth problems. ||
Curable. First eliminate medical reasons such as ear, tongue, lip or dental problems.
Start from square one with handling; after horse allows touching, then teach
him to put head down.
stilted walk/jog with hollow back and high head.||Poor training
attempt at collection, horse not trained to aids, too strong bridle aids, sore
back.|| Curable. Check tack fit, use aids properly including
use of pressure/release (half halt) to bring horse to walk or use strong driving
aids to push horse into active trot.|
|Kicking||Lashing back at a person with one
or both hind legs, also "cow kicking" which is lashing out to the side.||Initially
reflex to touching legs, then fear (defense) of rough handling or to get rid of
a threat or unwanted nuisance.|| Might be curable but serious
cases are very dangerous and require professional to use remedial restraint methods.|
Unlikely to ever completely cure.
on hind legs when led or ridden, sometimes falling over backwards.||Fear,
rough handling, doesn't think he must go forward or is afraid to go forward into
contact with bit; associated with balking; a response to collected work. ||
Can be curable but is a very dangerous habit that might be impossible to cure
even by professional. |
Check to be sure no mouth or back problems.
going forward in-hand with a whip and review longeing.
|Galloping out of
control.||Fear, panic, (flight response), lack of training
to the aids, overfeeding, under exercise, pain from poor fitting tack.||
Might be curable but very dangerous as when horse panics, can run into traffic,
over cliff, through fence, etc.; remedy is to pull (with pressure and release)
the horse into a large circle, gradually decreasing the size.|
|Shying||Spooking at real or imagined sights,
sounds, smells, or occurrences.||Fear (of object or of trainer's
reaction to horse's behavior), poor vision, head being forcibly held so horse
can't see, playful habit. || Generally curable.|
on aids and guide and control his movement with driving and restraining aids
a swipe at a person with a front leg.||Reaction to clipping,
first use of chain or twitch, restraint of head, dental work.||
Curable but very dangerous especially if coupled with rearing as person's head
could be struck.|
Review head handling (mouth, nostrils, ears); head down lesson;
and thorough body handling and sacking out.
|Stumbling||Losing balance or catching the toe
on the ground and missing a beat or falling.||Weakness, lack
of coordination, lack of condition, young, lazy, long toe/low heel, delayed breakover
of hooves, horse ridden on forehand, poor footing.|| Curable.
Have hoof balance assessed, check breakover, ride horse with more weight
on the hindquarters (collect), conditioning horse properly.
|Tail Wringing ||Switching and/or rotating tail
in an irritated or angry fashion. ||Sore back from poor fitting
tack, poorly balanced rider, injury, rushed training.|| May
not be curable once established. |
Proper saddle fit, rider lessons, massage
and other medical therapy, proper warm-up & progressive, achievable training demands.