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Excitable horse


I own a 14.2h 6yr old Irish bred cob gelding. I bought him from a busy stable yard with lots of other horses and he was fine hacking out on his own and in company when i first had him with hardly any problems, he was a bit nappy but then he stopped and was fine. He was perfect with traffic and would pass a huge tracter with inches to spare! But now if I meet a motorbike on the roads he rears with excitment spins round and tries to follow it , in the end I have to get off and the motorbike rider has to switch his engine off and push it pass slowly , then he's fine! also Me and my sister were riding on the roads and we met another horse and rider for the first time in the 18 months coming up the road towards us to I got off and we led him down a track and held him as the rider went past but as soon as he saw it he went mad and tried to bolt after it me and my sister were on both sides of him and just about managed to hold on to him even though we were being pushed and barged every where! He was so worked up I didn't get back on as he would off proberly tried to buck or bolt with me! So we were dragged home in stead!! My confidence is less and less every time he does this, we have been invited to ride out with another cob horse who came from the same yard , but I don't think I could control him , He lives with just one other horse in a field who is to old to ride and is a very stittish TB, I have been feeding him treats eveytime I see him (I know I shoudn't but its the only way to get him running over to me when I go over to see him!!) and he has been pushing me and has no respect for me what so ever, and when I try and lead him I have to walk in front pulling him because he won't move else!! How can I bond with him in the field as I don't have a round pen?

Anyway, hope you can help, many thanks

Hi Hanna,

The process to get a horse used to anything takes some patience and skill. You need to introduce different things to the horse thoughtfully and with care. See if you can get someone to bring a motorbike to the yard and get the horse used to it there and do not wait to get on the road to get him used to it. A technique to get a horse's attention back on you when riding is to ask for hind quarter yields. The horse can't really do much of what you don't want when they are moving their butts in a tight circle. Do you understand? Make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy. If a horse is doing something I do not want, I put them to doing some action like yielding the hind quarter. It will put the horse's attention right back on you and stop the behavior you do not want.

As far as bonding in the field, put a halter and leadrope on the horse (preferebly a rope halter). The make every simple move like coming forward, stopping, turning, backing a clear conscious and precise request. If the horse complies give a "good boy". I invite a horse to walk forward, I request each and every stop. I ask for a back up with precision, clarity and confidence. Do these simple moves at lot at the end of a leadrope and see what happens.

Let me know how it all goes and the best of luck to you.

Sincerely, Franklin

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