How to calm down an excited horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to calm down an excited horse?

My horse is an 8 year old Standardbred(ex-pacer),Monty. When out on a ride he can sometimes get very excited and starts to get cheeky. He changes gaits very quickly and spooks a lot. It is not very fun for me. Is there any advice on how to calm him down?
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post #2 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 09:11 PM
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Put a lt more work into him, double the distance you are travelling, keep the pace at a strong trot or canter, work him hard up any hill and ride him until he is tired and listening.
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post #3 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 09:27 PM
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Hi and welcome,
Is there a pattern or consistency to the behavior? i.e., does he act this way in a specific area? are you alone or riding in a group? How long has this behavior occurred? What sort of equipment is he in? What do you know of his history?
Working him longer and harder could fix the problem it could just get him more fit so he can act like weenie longer. I would start with some desensitization work and getting him to realize that no matter what happens his feet don't move. This maybe something to start work on in the arena. If riding on the trail is not fun then I would give the trail a break. You or he may not be ready for the challenges of a trail.
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post #4 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 10:39 PM
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You have to think about why he is acting up. Could it be because of ill-fitting tack or has a sore back, neck, mouth etc?

First, if you can, try going for a ride with someone else. Sometimes being with another horse while riding can calm them down.

If that doesn't work, check your tack. If that isn't it, see if he is hurting anywhere. Possibly have a vet out, though I know that can be expensive.

Good luck!
Hoped that helped!
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post #5 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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I usually ride in a group and he is just in an all-purpose saddle, simple bridle without a noseband and snaffle bit. I only know that he was a pacer and then a Trail Horse before I got him. I am actually a trail guide, so I think I can handle it. He tends to spook at kangaroos and things I cant see that scare him. He also dislikes the arena a lot. He bucks and it is not him being excited in the arena. His previous saddle was rubbing so I replaced that one, but besides that his tack is fine.
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post #6 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 01:15 AM
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best thing to do is try to stay calm yourself, have you ever done ground work with the horse to gain his respect as his leader and listen to you? Alot of times doing ground work really makes a difference in a spooky horse. My mare was 3yr. when I got her with 30 days of riding, I did a lot of ground work with her in the round pen before I took her out. Once I got her out, she would get nervous or spook because deer would jump out but she always listened to me and stopped.......I think ground work makes a world of difference in alot of horses.....

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #7 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 07:54 AM
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As a trail guide, you are riding in front of the group right? which makes him lead horse. Is he better as a follower horse? I knew one horse who was a spooky mess and would rear if asked to cross water as lead horse. As a guest horse who was second or third in line, she was fine and would cross water like a champ. She needed to borrow another horses courage and see them do it first.
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post #8 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 12:11 PM
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Rookie has a good point. My horse doesn't like to be the leader either.
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post #9 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Monty is usually better as a leader, he tends to try and overtake the horses ahead of us and he normally has a very soft mouth but he just wont care if I try to stop him.
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post #10 of 21 Old 02-23-2013, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rookie View Post
Hi and welcome,
Is there a pattern or consistency to the behavior? i.e., does he act this way in a specific area? How long has this behavior occurred?
Can you answer these questions? I feel like looking at these questions in more depth might help you determine what the issue is. Horses don't do things without reason. So you need to start being observant, take mental notes next time you're out on the trail.


Last edited by dashygirl; 02-23-2013 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Wanted to add more
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camling down , excited , spooking

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