My 4 yr old is kicking at me and other horses, help!
I have a 4 yr old who has just been broke this past summer. He is a very aggressive horse and has always been kinda pushy. Needless to say he is not one of my favorites. My trainer was the first to notice the kicking. When we brought Blue home we put him in several different pens, (not because of the kicking, at that time we didn't see the problem) mainly due to space. So he ended up with our yearling in just the past month or so. He has shown himself as the boss over the yearling and thats ok. But now that winter is here and we are feeding and blanketing more, Blue has become more aggressive about feeding. I have to separate the two when I feed and it is typically dark at both feedings. Blue will chase off the yearling and try to get into his feeding area. I have to haze him away from the feeding area, and Blue will kick at the yearling if he trys to come close to the feeding area. So I have to play linebacker with Blue so the yearling can get into his feeding area. On a few occassions Blue has tried to kick not only at the yearling but me too. To me it seems deliberate, because I'm trying to keep him away from the food. Separating them would have to be my last resort. I really don't have any other younger horses to keep the yearling with.
What can I do to break Blue from kicking?
If Blue is acting this way, Blue should learn that he doesn't get food if he is aggressive. I would also take a buggy whip or something of the sort with me and if the fart tried to kick me, he'd get a MAJOR overhaul. If you have stall available, I'd put him up and make sure was behaving before he got food. They learn pretty quick when you just don't feed him. I'd also work on the ground with him and reinforce ground manners to make sure he knows that when there are people around there is no fighting.
What kind of ground manner should I use? He has had them all, I'm really not sure which one would reinforce the "no kicking". I have tried the whip and that seems to just make him kick more, perhaps b/c he knows if he gets hit by it that it hurts and he wants to be boss over that as well.
I think I need to get back to showing him who is boss, but I don't know where to start with that either.
My yearling used to do this to me and he wouldnt kick, but he would turn his butt to me and act like he would if I was in his stall when he was eating. If he wasnt a little yearling I would have done a swift kick in the belly because kicking should not be tolerated espeacially because horses are big animals and a good kick from a horse can be serious. If you dont like the belly kicking because some people dont, I would automatically take him away from the food and do ground work stopping, backing make him work. Then take him back to his food after you have made him behave and keep doing this until he stops trying to kick at you.
If you do have an extra stall like onetoomany said I would do that too for the yearling because even if he stops kicking at you he will still be mean to the yearling and unless you want to stand out there and wait for them to get done eating he will still be pushy to the yearling.
Do you have any older horses that are nice. You could try putting the yearling in with a nice older horse that wont be as mean to him.
Well, there must be a lack of respect somewhere as he is not respecting you in the pasture. How does he act with you when you lead him in the pasture? When you're tacking up and grooming? How about if when you just spend time with him in the pasture? Does he try to be the boss all the time? If he hasn't figured out who is the boss by this point in time then something needs to be reinforced. If you nail him with the whip and he kicks at you and you back off, he's just learning that if he puts up a fuss, you'll back down. When you walk into that paddock you horse should know not to pull crap with other horses around.
If it comes to it, put a halter on him during feeding time and if he tries anything naughty with that on, then you at least have control over his head and he can't just run away when you attempt to discipline him. If he goes to lunge at the other horse while on the line then you have a little more leverage as well to pull his head around and disengage/smack him with the whip.
I do have a stall for them, actually it is more of a cover for them b/c we have yet to put gates up on them. But the yearling is fed in the round pen which is in the same paddock as Blue. That is where the trouble comes in, when I'm heading to the round pen to feed the yearling Blue gets pushy and starts the kicking and chasing stuff. And yes I have kicked him in the belly. He knows that I'm not putting up with his mess.
onetoomany, Blue has been handled by several people, mainly my husband, who I think is somewhat afraid of him, i.e. the kicking stuff, he wont tie him up when he saddles him, which I solely disagree with. He on a couple of occassions has pulled back on the ferrier, he has bucked me off, that is when I said, "Thats it I will not get on him again until he is professionally finished". Blue went to the trainer...... So I think I'm on the right track with the belly kicking and slapping him when he comes at me when I go to feed. Unfortunatley I work so I don't have time to stop the feeding and put Blue to work, otherwise I sure would be doing that! I have said to my husband, Blue needs a job!!, This spring our daughter is planning to finish him on barrels, so until then, I'm going to have my hands full. I think I'll try the halter too. Whats your thoughts about trading places, putting Blue in the round pen to eat and putting the yearling in the stall. I have just taught the yearling to open the round pen gate to let himself out after he finishes eating too!!!
Thanks for all the input.
Kicking a horse in the belly could cause an internal injury and IMO it is cruel. If a horse gets out of line I yell at them. I also used a cheap lightweight plastic bucket and threw it at them if they did not stop any bad behavior right away. One should aim for less sensitive areas and be careful not to hit them in the face. I have never used a whip. Act angry and not scared. You are supposed to be dominant. Mine have learned to be nice to each other. If they each have hay of their own at a good distance from each other then the dominant horse will probably stick to his own food. Maybe Blue is not getting enough food to keep him happy. Maybe you should feed him more and always give him his first. If they are both fed grain at the same time he cannot eat the yearlings food and his own. They need to be fed at opposite corners or maybe you should feed him where the yearling eats and the yearling where he eats. If you feed their grain in buckets you can move your "feeding area" to anyplace you want so that each gets their own.
When you kick a horse in the belly you do not kick them hard enough to give them an internal injury in my own opinion. What happens if another horse kicks them in the belly? I dont know I have always used belly kicking as a last resort because I dont like to do it unless they are being really bad.
Lets get back to the subject though. I think putting him in the round pen and putting the yearling in the stall might work. I think its worth a try.
I know this probably sounds a little stupid but when blue gets to acting up start screaming and waving your arms in the arm. They dont like and will usually back down because you are bigger and badder. I cant stand food aggression. Its extremely dangerous and a very easy habit to pick up. Poco has to stant in a certain corner of his stall weight patiently till I tell him to come eat but he doesnt get it until I say okay. Just start screaming and act crazy when he starts getting aggressive.
*waving your arms in the air*
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