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Charging and rearing problem


I've scanned your website and found some interesting tips from you, but nothing specific to a problem I just encountered. I am helping out a friend with a 3 year old QH mare (my own 11 year old QH gelding is a perfect gentleman!). She has been hand raised and made into a pet. She has been ridden, but not actually trained (no steering/brakes I'm told). The problem is the lunge line - when you bring her out to the ring to begin lunging she will look for any opportunity to rush in and get as close to your face as possible, then if you make any move to get her away, turn her, whatever, she begins rearing and striking. I've had years of experience, but never seen a horse this aggressively attack before. If you try to move left or right to get to the side where you have control and she can't strike, she pins her nose as close as she can to your body and spins around so you can't get around her. Obviously, vigilance is key, but I'd like to get to the root of the problem before she hurts someone (me.....!)

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


Hi Kelly,

If you could work the horse at liberty for a while and get you both good at that and then go to the lunge I think that would help get you guys more on track. If there is a round pen available that would be great. If not, a small paddock or even a big arena you can turn the horse loose in will do, providing you know how to work a horse at liberty in a large area. Aggressive behavior is always fear based and does not require punishment. Generally, it is 'capture' that is the issue.

Perhaps your relationship with this horse is not yet as trust based and strong as it should be. Consider dropping your immediate agenda and be only concerned with developing trust and feelings of safety within this horse through gentle and appropriate action and activity on the ground, activity that in no way implies the horse is being captured. Playing 'at liberty' is the best way I know of to really get this bond going strong. This way you begin to make all requests free will for the horse. Consider the possibilities if it becomes his choice to comply with all requests. This training has to be done without restraints.

Do you understand this process? Most don't, so if you do not you are not alone.

Let me know.......

Sincerely, Frankliln

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