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Extreme messing about in (and out) the pasture


I have a 3yr old new forest cross and he has been with me since he was 8 months old. he was gelded as a yearling and I had no problem with him until now. he has lived by himself since I had him and I have introduced a mature mare to him about two months ago which he has been getting on well with. Recently, he has been getting over excited when someone approaches the field, and has also been galloping at people, turning around and bucking/kicking out at them and also rearing up. He has also shown no fear of jumping fences to get out of the field, could this be because he is just bored? He is a very willing pony and it strikes me why he is doing this and i wonder if there was a reason for it and a solution. He has been known to "mess about" in the field but not to this extent.

yours sincerely

Hi Hannah,

Yes, I do think perhaps the spring grasses and boredom may have something to do with his behavior. He needs a leader he can trust. Is that you? You become a good and trusted leader for a horse by spending a lot of time on the ground with it, asking for simple movement, directing all starts and stops and turns. The leader knows how to reward a horse immediately for its efforts at compliance. This is what your horse is looking for. Without a leader. it sort of fends for itself and will show very inappropriate behavior towards humans who it has no respect for or trust in. So, this is the problem in a nutshell.

Solution, handle the horse on the ground a lot. Get it soft in its responses to cues for movement on the ground. Every start, stop, turn should be off of a direct cue/request by you, its great, knowledgeable and competent leader. Reward it immediately by releasing all pressure when it tries to comply. You need to recognize its effort and reward it. You could consider learning something about the mind and real nature of horses, beyond the human riding it. There is a world of equines that has nothing to do with being ridden by humans. This world is sorely neglected and overlooked in deference to humans riding horses. Humans who only ride form inappropriate opinions about horses. When behavioral issues come up, they go to force, coercion, more control and abusive tactics like punishment. What a sad commentary on the standard horse/human relationship that so little wisdom of the mind and nature of horses is to be held by humans.

You can learn a lot from DVDs. I cannot give you what you need in an email That would be like trying to teach you to tango in an email. You must see it to get it. I have several in my shopping corral that would be of great benefit to you. There are many good ones found in the backs of all horse magazines. Get some and get some good education. Whether mine or some other trainers, it doesn't matter. Just get some and watch them over and over to really understand what you are seeing. There is not magic bullet or quick fix to training horses. Patience, skill, knowledge, timing and more come into play. Get knowledge and gain some wisdom. Learning about horses is a lifelong, wonderful experience. I am a professional trainer for 43 years and I am still a student of the horse.

Good Luck, Franklin

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