Horse kicks. - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Rachel1786
  • 1 Post By Saddlebag
  • 1 Post By Northern
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-23-2011, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Horse kicks.

My horse kicks with his back legs every time he is ask to do something,he does not like, he is scared off. He stops and kicks. I'm not letting him get away with it. The girl who owned him before me let him get away with it for several years. He learned I kick they get off.I have a trainer who works with him to solve the problem. What can I do to correct this problem. Soon I will bring him home and it's going to be the two of us.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-23-2011, 05:40 PM
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does he kick while you are riding or on the ground? My TB used to kick when asked to trot, or sometimes even to walk, i just thought she was being a witchy mare but it turned out she had ulcers. It may be a learned behavior but it could also be from some kind of physical pain, such as ulcers, a bad back, sharp tooth. I would rule out any possible physical reason for the kicking first then if that doesn't work focus on not letting him get away with it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-23-2011, 05:42 PM
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One of my horses did that which intimidated previous owners. The first time I rode him he could hardly walk for all the kicking he did. The second time I carried a crop and delivered a good smack on his ribs. If you do this be prepared for the horse to scoot forward. It is best to be prepared for it as it usually lasts only a few steps. With the smack you will be asking for forward movement and that's what you'll get. After that carry the crop and you'll likely just have to move it outward and not even tap him. He'll see it move and usually that brings on an attitude adjustment.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-23-2011, 06:44 PM
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I'm not sure why you'd ask a forum if you've got a trainer who can show you how he/she's dealing with it, for when you take horse home? Isn't the trainer making headway?

How interesting that another horse who did this in fact had ulcers! Certainly, you'd want to rule out any physical factors!

If it's a clear case of the horse dominating the prior owner (not a fear issue of any sort, but rather a deliberate, thought-out tactic to escape being ridden), then it's a matter of a balance between matching his refusal energy plus 4 ounces back at him, yet also motivating him to want to be ridden by making it as interesting as possible. The unmotivated/domineering horse needs time spent with the human to be interesting, or else reverting to balking in some form is inevitable. This type of horse is food-motivated, & I've seen them get interested with random treats (not every time), till you don't need them so much.
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Last edited by Northern; 09-23-2011 at 06:51 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-23-2011, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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I'm calling my veterinarian to have a look at him. Thanks for the advice.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-24-2011, 07:23 AM
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rapid acceleration usually causes the horse to weight it's hindquarters and almost leap into the acceleration. and the horse can't pick it's hind feet to kick when it's weight is on it's hind feet obviously. so indeed what saddlebag said will 9/10 times work nicely.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-26-2011, 07:36 AM
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Spend all of the money you want on a Vet and a trainer. But you already answered your own question.
My horse kicks with his back legs every time he is ask to do something,he does not like, he is scared off. He stops and kicks.
You already said he does it when he does not want to do something or go somewhere.

You said you did not let him get by with it, What are you doing now to "not let him get by with it"?

You can 'correct' him each time and will will gradually do it less and less until it comes to something that he REALLY does not want to do.

OR, you can get after him hard and break him of the habit completely. If it were my horse, I would take the long ends of a pair of heavy harness leather western reins and I would spank him really hard in an 'over and under' manner. I use the 'over and under' spanking so a horse does not learn to duck and dodge and 'spin around' from a smack on one side. That is a good way to trade one bad habit for a worse one -- ducking around and facing home or the barn. The 'over and under' spanks both sides in quick succession and the horse has no where to go but forward. The 'hard spanking' serves as a deterrent and you only have to do it once or twice and it is all over. The behavior is gone. The 'tap' or 'light swat' just turns into nagging and a horse that 'barely' quits each time but keeps trying to do the bad behavior. This turns into worse behavior with a lot of horses and the constant 'pecking' fight is on.

After you accomplish your goal of going forward without hesitation, you need to take the ends of the reins and swing them around so you 'desensitize' him to them and he know it was his bad behavior and not the reins that caused the spanking he got.

You will find that after a good spanking, this horse will get a lot happier and more willing to do everything. It is a 'positive' all the way around.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-26-2011, 07:56 AM
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Can you please describe in detail the "over under" spanking? I am not sure I am envisioning it just right. Thanks!
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-26-2011, 02:17 PM
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If it were me, the day he became my horse, I would school him on a 14' rope lead (one with some weight to it) and yield hind quarters from a safe distance. The split second he kicks out at me, (I'm guessing that'll be right away) he's going to be chased half way to Canada by flicks to his butt of the aforementioned rope lead for the next 30 seconds so he knows he did something that will not be tolerated. Then he will be brought calmly back to the starting point, and asked to yield his hind end again nicely. Lather, rinse repeat until he's yielding both ways calmly and willingly.

Forget about anything he ever did before you got him. Horse's are not backwards thinking, The second they meet a new herd, the hierarchy is established within minutes and everybody knows where they stand. He's been allowed to be a butt head. It ends with your leadership.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-30-2011, 02:57 PM
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Any spanks should be done rhythmically: no random whacking without rhythm, especially not spanks increasing in rapidity! The controlled rhythm helps keep your emotions in check & also those of your horse, because horses are creatures of rhythm, & its predictability.

Anyone can make a horse do something, but can you cause your horse to want to be with you & cooperate? You can get him over the dominance behaviour by being firm/spanking, etc., & making him robotically comply out of fear of more spanks, but if you want him to be a willing partner, because he enjoys your leadership (you've got really fun & safe ideas for him) you can see that that's different.
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