Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
How can you think that you are being overly cautious? Consider what parts of YOUR body will break if that horse nails you?
Horses that kick at other horses while being handled or under saddle are out of control. Period. I worked with my old herd and I am working with my younger herd to nip this in the bud whenEVER it has occurred. Usually I would/will be aboard the kicker, and I either spur forward or whip forward when I see the signs and feel a kick towards my other horse(s) coming on. Therefore, YOU cannot prevent the kicking from taking place. MY ADVICE is to avoid being around or working NEAR your friend's horse. However, if you can't help it, I have some tips.
I became interested in Dressage bc of the close order drill that our CW company practiced. There are some tactics that you can practice when forced to ride near your friend's horse that I will share. We "dressed" with the horse to our right or left by riding with stirrups touching. This made it difficult for horses to kick at each other. We also were forced to discipline our horses to behave while dressed and to desensitize them to working right next to a horse that they wanted to beat up. We also maintained a full horse length between the front and back of our horses when riding in (single) file and file by 2's, 4's, etc. This prevents the horse in front from successfully nailing a kick to the horse behind him, and prevents the horse behind him from successfully biting the horse in front.
It's exactly the same as misbehaving, bully children who will hit another child while the enabling mother repeatly tells them "don't hit."
Keep yourself safe. =D