Horse kicks when ridden, but not any other time - The Horse Forum
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  • 2 Post By lilruffian
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-15-2012, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Unhappy Horse kicks when ridden, but not any other time

I am leasing my first horse. I watched her for a while in horse camp I helped out in.

She is in her mid teens, and is a rescue. She likes being with her friend who she follows everywhere when being ridden, she is happiest when she is with her. (She is an ex-dude horse).

Before I go further I just want to say that she has been doing camp every week for two months, and had a different rider each week. This could have something to do with her attitude but I don't know.

For the first two days I had her she was awesome. Whenever I see her the routine is something like this: go get her, brush her down, lunge her for about 30 minutes to bond with her (nothing hard, just voice commands), brush her down again, saddle her up, take her out on the trail, come back and get walked out bareback for about 20 minutes (she is fat and out of shape), get brushed down again, and all the while getting treats and pets.

We would go out on the trail and she seemed to love it. We would walk, and it was hard not to keep her from trotting. But then something changed.

The 3rd day I had her she began kicking. I had her saddled up and was loping her and she stopped and kicked out. I backed her up and started over, she kicked again. She is my first horse and this outburst scared me but I know getting off and putting her back would be the wrong thing to do, so I got off and lunged her for about 15 minutes, and then walked her out. She was fine.

I couldn't go to the barn for about 2 days, so she just had camp. When I went down to the barn, I remembered how she had kicked so and I feared I had hurt her, or she was sick, or perhaps the saddle had been pinching her.

I brushed her down as usual and ran my hands down her back, over her stomach. She did not flinch or kick. But I still feared saddling her up, due to my lack of experience, perhaps I had saddled her up wrong and caused her discomfort.

I mounted her bare back and began to walk around the property. She was doing ok until we passed the point where we usually went out onto the trail. She stopped and would not go. I clicked and applied pressure with my legs, she kicked. (I was not trying to take her out on the trail, but she thought I was). I had to back her up and make her go after a few minutes of her kicking at me. Finally we managed to pass the area.

We then passed her pen, she stopped again. I wanted to go left, her right. She kicked. I clicked and applied pressure. She kicked again. So i backed her up. After 30 minutes of kicking she passed the area grudgingly.

She doesn't kick any other time. She doesn't kick while tied up, she doesn't kick while being tacked up, she doesn't kick unless you are on her and ask her to do something that she does not want, which is everything you want. I have tried to ride her a few times since then, and she acts the same way.

If you apply pressure with your legs she kicks, if you try to rein her a direction she kicks. HELP! PLEASE!

Any tips or ideas on why she is acting this way or why she is doing it.

PS. I have given her a week off. I have not been able to see her for a week due to school starting, and camp has been over. So she mite have just been stressed due to camp, however if she is worse or the same when I go see her soon I will not know what to do. And the owner yelled at me for lunging her because he said she is too old and does not have the energy, however I disagree :( She has enough energy to buck and kick at me.

Last edited by HorseLeaserHelp; 08-15-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-15-2012, 04:42 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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I have no idea if this is the right answer but I feel she is just being stubborn and challenging you/ testing what she can get away with. I wouldn't let her get away with this kind of behavior. She learned it with you and needs to be corrected now.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-15-2012, 04:55 PM
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The owner may be right. You said she's out of shape so maybe the lunging is tiring her out more than you think. Have you tried riding her without the lunging? Maybe she'd be more willing if she were fresher.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-15-2012, 04:57 PM
Green Broke
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Thats a bunch of hokey about her being too old to longe. My mare is nearly 20 and still gets worked on the line. Just because a horse reaches a certain age doesnt mean they just give up and drop down dead in the wild because they do no want to run with the herd anymore. It is no different than being ridden. She works hard then and has to carry more weight on her back.
You could try lowering the time you spend longing her, though. Unless you are doing actual ground/respect exercises, you needn't make her run circles for that long.

Firstly, i would absolutely rule out any pain issues. It could be that she has pulled a muscle of sorts. If you can, i would even look into an equine chairopractor. I have heard some pretty good stories about them being able to fix issues that the owner thought was behavioral but turned out to be pain-originiated.

Once you can rule out that and she still persisits, do as Jewelsb said and dont let her get away with it. If she balks or backs up, i would suggest taking a crop with you. Dont smack her about but sometimes all it takes is a little pressure behind or at the hip to make them go forward where as kicking doesnt always work.
Reprimand her every time she kicks and make her work, whether by turning circles or moving faster. This way she will learn to associate kicking with unwanted work.

It would be easier to give advice if we could actually see how you handle her and what she is like, but this is the best advice i can give.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-15-2012, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Milano,Texas
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Id ask her to go, like normal. If she kicks id pop her ass pretty hard with a whip, and push her forward a little harder.
Start nice, then demand it.

Id she doesn't quit with that and pain is ruled out.. if she keeps up with the kicking, every time she'd do it if kick her hip away, yank her head around and make her do yard fast circles, then give her the choice to walk out nicely
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-15-2012, 05:31 PM
Green Broke
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agreed^ couldn't of said it better! << read about Sunny and I. Our journey
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