Cow Kicking (not the milk kind hehe)
 
 

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Cow Kicking (not the milk kind hehe)

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  • How to prevent a horse from cow kicking
  • Can cattle kick with both hind legs

 
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    03-17-2009, 01:34 PM
  #1
Weanling
Question Cow Kicking (not the milk kind hehe)

Ok so Dean (the TB) has some anxiety issues and nearly every sterotypic problem. He head bobs, weaves, paces....does everything but crib. But anywho, we are working on those (free choice feeding in his stall and he gets a workout everyday plus new stall toys).

The thing that is really bothering me is this. (some background info here: We are working on his buddy sourness. He is stalled next to a 3 year old mare and they are in love hehe. He is fine as long as he can see her (the round pen is within sight of the stalls) and I can take him across the ranch to the arena with little fight now that we have been working on it nearly everyday.)

So when I take him out of sight of his girlfriend, he gets panicky..wont stand still, raises his back legs alternating sides, and cow kicks. Cow kicks with both rear legs alternating sides. I don't think he is aiming at anything (like me), I think it is just his way of getting the frustration out. How do I correct this?? Right now when he does it, I make him disengage his hindend or move backward...but I don't think I am really making a connection with him, he will back the entire way down a trail without a care. He will also do it if he is tied up and is bored so I constantly have to warn people that he kicks, though he is not kicking at anyone.

Any suggestions? Help!
     
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    03-17-2009, 07:41 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Rosie9r, your situation reminded me of a horse that my daughter rode. He was a big beautiful 16h 3" quarter horse and he had issues like your horse.

If Clown was pushed too hard, he would start cow kicking, yet his front end (neck, ears, eyes ) all remained calm looking. He and Jasmine got along great, as she found a gentle way of maneuvering around what he didn't want to do. He never cow kicked with her in the 3 - 4 years they rode together.

One day I got on him, and one of his things was to creep to the center of the arena. Well ,I moved him out with my leg and bam! The cow kicking began.

Was told by the owner that she had sent him away for training out of state to a "highly recommended" trainer and basically they broke him mentally. No one could get near the stall even without him going crazy.
Fortunately he still recognized and trusted the owner so she brought him home. After much time, he was able to be ridden and eventually was used a lesson horse,not his original intended purpose.

Why I've said all this is maybe a lot of your horses issue has to do with mental (some horses are more sensitive, naturally or due to life experiences). May be his bond is very deep with the stall mate and this is how he copes with the stress of being separated.

Are you able to tie the stall mate where he can see her and work your horse to see if this kicking still occurs? What about someone accompanying you on the trail ride, does he still kick?

In the round pen or arena, start practicing various exercises to take his mind off the filly and onto the task at hand. The one rein stop is great (disengage the hindquarters), but it doesn't give him a job afterward. He needs something else to focus on.

I'm not sure if I've helped, and I am looking forward to some of the other posts on this.

Good luck to both of you.
     
    03-17-2009, 07:43 PM
  #3
Weanling
You need to get after him. To put it simply. He has become so attached to the mare that he sounds like he has gotten dangerous in a way that he pays no mind to you on the ground what so ever. When you are on the ground and he does this, swing the tail end of your rope at his haunches, and raise some hell until he turns, faces you, and says, "Whoa, sorry."
You won't be doing this in an energy like you are punishing him, just a quick, energetic correction.
You need to make sure that you do not put yourself into a position where he can kick you. So even though you are firing energy at his hind end, don't position yourself too far near his hind end, stay up near his barrel. You need to do something loud enough to get his attention. Anytime you see that cow kicking coming on, send him sideways, backwards, anything to let him know there is a consequence to him not paying attention to you on the ground. Even though he may not be aiming at you, you need to get ahold of his behavior before it escalates into something you cannot handle. Be clear that if he panicks about the mare, you do something to make him want to pay attention to you more than the mare. Any time he is quiet and making an effort to listen to you, reward him by doing something really peaceful, or something you knjow he can do well.
You are right to disengage his hindquarters, but when you are riding will it be most effective. The moment he starts his antics, move his hind end left to right, right to left, until you feel him settle and be with you. If backing up seems too easy for him, you need to do something a little more challenging, like moving his hind end from side to side. You also need to keep in mind that while doing this, you need to have a little bit of forward in there as well. Try not to allow him to sucker you into him not moving. Move his butt to one side, take a step forward, then the other.
Does he get turn out? Any possible chance that mare can be moved to a different stall?
     
    03-18-2009, 12:36 PM
  #4
Weanling
I thought about moving him to a different stall. Right now he and the filly are in stalls that are seperated from the rest of the horses. But I don't want to move him to a new stall, only to have him get overly attached to his new neighbors....I am thinking the kicking is his anxiety response maybe more so than being away from her since if I walk her across the street to the trails, he does the same thing and he can't see her at all over there, the same thing happens if I take him to a new place or trail. (We are only doing groundwork, no real riding.)

He does not kick right away, first he picks his foot up and holds it up. So now when I see him pick up his foot I will try what you suggested Koomy, thanks. :) He does get turnout, I turn him out everyday but he is a pacer. He wont move from close to the gate on his own so I have keep his attention, we play "send away, ask to come back" a lot otherwise he wont go play by himself.

Walkamile, he is off the track...so I am sure a lot of it is mental like you said. I have been finding out little things about his background that I am sure helped to influence his behavior now. (he was previously an only horse who never got a turnout, fed, etc...) If I put him in the round pen, he can see the other filly and he will still stand there and kick unless I am making him work. The vet/chiro told me she thinks it is just an anxiety thing because he is not getting his way. He will also break at the poll and chew furiously when he does it, even by himself.

Thanks for the advice :) I'll let you know what happens!!
     
    03-18-2009, 12:47 PM
  #5
Weanling
We have a TB at our barn that does the same thing. Lol. Off the track TB's are sometimes pretty wiggy. He's anxious due to seperation anxiety, unfortunately. We have a high-line that we use for horses like this. It's a safe place to tie them up. If they pull back, it has give so they don't get loose but they also don't hurt themselves. They can whinny, spin in circles until they realize it's not worth it, and then stand quietly. Looks like this, like some use for camping,


The horse we have here, any time he starts to act anxious we stick him on there. Sometimes horses will stay there all day, and we just keep supplying the water. When they are quiet, we let them go. If they immediately begin to act silly, put them back on. For our horse it serves as a weaning purpose. Works wonders. It will carry on to modify his behavior in other situation as well, because he will learn that being by himself isn't so bad. And that he gets rewarded for standing quietly by himself.

But yes, when you are handling him, you can't let him get away with acting belligerent.
     
    03-18-2009, 01:03 PM
  #6
Weanling
That is a neat idea. I wonder if there is a way to set that up where I board....
     
    03-18-2009, 02:47 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by koomy56    
We have a TB at our barn that does the same thing. Lol. Off the track TB's are sometimes pretty wiggy. He's anxious due to seperation anxiety, unfortunately. We have a high-line that we use for horses like this. It's a safe place to tie them up. If they pull back, it has give so they don't get loose but they also don't hurt themselves. They can whinny, spin in circles until they realize it's not worth it, and then stand quietly. Looks like this, like some use for camping,


The horse we have here, any time he starts to act anxious we stick him on there. Sometimes horses will stay there all day, and we just keep supplying the water. When they are quiet, we let them go. If they immediately begin to act silly, put them back on. For our horse it serves as a weaning purpose. Works wonders. It will carry on to modify his behavior in other situation as well, because he will learn that being by himself isn't so bad. And that he gets rewarded for standing quietly by himself.

But yes, when you are handling him, you can't let him get away with acting belligerent.
I really like this idea. It is kinda along the lines of if a horse wont stand still, tie him/her onto a strong tree with lots of branches and have them take out their energy on fighting them instead. Lol Great advice
     
    03-18-2009, 11:47 PM
  #8
Weanling
You def can set it up. All you need is two big trees, or posts, or anything sturdy. Talk to someone about it at your barn to see if it is do-able.
     

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